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It’s funny, when you think about it. How humanity has painted the gods as all-powerful, sobering marble statues on high, surrounded with purple rainclouds and thunder.

I know for a fact that they love a good joke. And they have a sick sense of humor.

Why else would I be here? Why else would I try to navigate this labyrinth of dead roses and stone?

I fiddle with the flowers in my hand. I had only just met you. A month ago, but it seems like an eternity – as if we knew that our time together would be short, so we crammed memories into each spare minute and second until nostalgia filled our lungs every time we inhaled. I’ve never trusted so implicitly in my life. I don’t think I ever will again.

You made me happy. I bet you never thought you would hear me say that, but it’s true. You were my teddy bear that I squeezed near-to-choking in the dark, so as to keep the monsters under my bed from leaping out and devouring me.

And then the Jesters-on-High made the executive decision that a month of Paradise was enough. They took you from me. You were mine; my salvation. You were a part of me. You always will be, I guess. My little ghost that I tug around on a string wherever I go.

A few of the velveteen petals fall to the frost-covered ground. Red on white. Like blood in the snow.

Why didn’t you tell me you were hurting? I told you everything. And you decided to hide from me the demons that were devouring your sanity. Maybe you caught them from me. A sort of contagious infection of imps and devils. If you did, then I’m sorry.

The wind picks up, and takes with it the feather-light shreds of rose. I watch the dead rise in swirls of red. And you fly with them.

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