Stained Red by Amanda Saint

He surprised me with a picnic on the beach. We lay on a tartan blanket surrounded by windbreaks. Gulls swooped and screeched overhead, silhouetted against the blue sky. A glorious day.

A badly drawn love heart on the homemade ‘First Anniversary’ card. Strawberries dipped in chocolate. Pink champagne. Our song playing.

Red ants.

A scarlet fever flush rose up his beautiful body until it smothered his swelling face.

Anaphylactic shock, they said. Rare for red ant bites. One in a million.

He was.

My lips were stained blood red from the funeral wine as I scattered his ashes into the sea.

Previously published on 101 Words Dec 2015

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