MJ Huntsgood | It’s a Marshmallow World

Read by Alexis Strope

It is, of course, true love.

Their lips part and she lets him in, the full swell of her heart opening up for him. Their dog bounds, waist-deep in the snow as it circles them, barking madly.

“And you’re sure?” he says, his English broken through his thick Swedish accent. “I know it is so soon since we have just met, but I can’t imagine my life without you.”

“Oh, Elias,” she says. “These last few days have been the happiest of my life. I can’t—I don’t want to go home.”

He traces a calloused thumb across her cheekbone as his other hand plays across the diamond ring. “And you never will.”

He pulls her into a hug and his eyes drift across the snowy fields glistening with the setting sun until they fall onto you. You, standing by the Forest’s edge, the wind that only you can feel whipping at your translucent robe, causing the candles on your crown to flicker but never go out.

You know he is not lying.

You have seen this before.

Elias is like the others. The bags under his eyes, the ones he told Maria were from too many hours studying at college, they come from mugs of coffee, barrelled down with marshmallows and milk to make them palatable, but they’re all that keep him from you.

He sees you now.

And you see him.

“Come on, Maria,” he says, his eyes on your wax-covered white irises. “Let’s go inside.”

“Oh, can’t we stay out here until the sun sets?” she whines. “It’s so beautiful out here.”

She turns, and her eyes look past you. Through you. Her world is full of bubblegum and lollipops and warm fireplace naps. She has no idea the things Elias sees.

The things that see Elias.

“It’s a long walk back to the village,” he says. “We don’t want to cross the stream after dark.”

You will wait for him at home.

He will see you there.

She will see you soon. When she is awake long enough.

MJ Huntsgood (any/all) is a speculative thriller and horror writer who lives in Washington, DC. When she’s not being spooky, she works as a program leader and biologist and lives with her plants, cats, and trophy husband.

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