This was it. They were done, forever and ever. Still, the smile never left her face as she went to the window and opened it to let out the last tendrils of incense smoke and candle soot.
She turned around to face him again and her smile widened. He really did look nice today, despite everything that had happened. “You look great in purple, Marty,” she said. “It’s definitely your color.”
Marty said nothing, only looked back at her solemnly with his lovely green eyes. He opened his mouth a tiny bit, as if he had changed his mind and wanted to speak, then closed it again. His pulse beat rapidly in his pale throat, and he looked greatly perturbed.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to say anything,” Tanya said. She tied the top of the garbage bag shut with a couple of twist ties. She looked around the room, at all the empty spots here and there. It would be nice to have the place to herself again.
“I think that does it. That’s the last of your stuff.” She put the candles back into the dresser drawer, and swept aside the incense ashes. “There we go. Everything’s neat and clean.”
Still dejected and humble, Marty watched her with his sad eyes. What could he say, really? It wasn’t like he’d never been warned.
“I have an idea,” Tanya said as she went to Marty’s side. “Let’s spend the day in the park where we first met, just for old time’s sake. Maybe we can even visit that little pond you liked. Then we’ll say goodbye and go our separate ways. What do you say? Sound good?”
Marty lowered his head.
“Come on, it will be okay. Let’s not part as enemies. I’ll get you some water and then we’ll go.”
He went willingly enough and sat in the car next to her while she adjusted her seat belt and found some good music on the radio. She laughed out loud when she found a song they both enjoyed, and she began singing along at the top of her off-key voice: “Jeremiah was a bullfrog. Was a good friend of mine…”
At the park, they lay on the grass in the shade of a huge oak tree. The grass was as cool as the spring breeze, and everything smelled fresh and green.
“Remember this tree, Marty?” Tanya said. “I think it’s the very same tree we laid under when we first met. Remember that? We laid here for hours, didn’t we? Gosh, you loved me so much then, didn’t you?”
Marty closed his eyes as he listened to her talk. She bet he remembered very well.
Tanya stood up and brushed the grass clippings off her jeans. “Let’s go see the pond,” she said. “Maybe the ducks will be there and we can feed them.” She looked down at him and smiled; she was so much taller than he was.
The air smelled of the pond and the things that lived in and around it. A flock of green-headed mallards and their drab grey mates came paddling up to greet them as they approached, and they looked very hungry indeed.
“Damn, doesn’t anyone ever feed these poor things anymore?” Tanya asked as she toyed with the pentacle around her neck. “Poor little duckies. Well, we’ll feed them, won’t we, Marty?”
She dipped her hand into the water-filled coffee can she carried with her and took out a tiny, bright purple frog. She held it by one of its back legs and let it dangle while she spoke to it.
“I’m really sorry things had to end between us, Marty, but I don’t like to be cheated on, lied to, and ignored. It’s just not nice. Goodbye, my love.”
With a flick of her wrist, she tossed the purple frog into the middle of the pond. The ducks surged toward the source of the splash, all of them squabbling and flapping and shoving at each other in their haste to get to the wildly flailing purple treat.
Tanya tucked her pentacle back inside her shirt and headed back to her car, smiling to herself as she walked. Marty was never much of a swimmer, even with webbed feet.
Discover gargoyles and a goddess, insects and arachnids, witches and wizards! A Half-Dozen Horrors brings you six weird, wild tales that will make you shiver!
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