Marvin dug through his grocery cart. He knew he had that gift there somewhere. He finally pulled out the single pink glove. He handed it to Charlotte. “Merry Christmas,” he said, his smile highlighting the many lines on his weathered face.
Charlotte took the glove and held it tight. She gave his cheek a brief kiss. “Thank you,” she said. She tried to slip it onto her swollen hand, but it barely covered her crooked fingers. “It’s perfect,” she said, “but I’ve got nothing for you.”
“I’m used to nothing,” said Marvin. Charlotte looked like she was about to cry. “But I’ve got a whole lot now that I’ve found you.”
With that he held out his hand and Charlotte grabbed it with her pink gloved one. They began to dance under the stars to music that only they could hear, trying keep warm in a colder and colder world.
To Charlotte it seemed she had always been running, always trying to stay one step ahead of certain death that hunted her. Every breath ragged as her lungs labored to bring in the oxygen that would allow her legs to pick up and put down her feet yet another time. But with every stumbling step she lost a bit of her lead. The sound of her pursuer grew larger than the sound of her blood pounding through her veins. Her fears cried no, but her body had had enough and turned to embrace fate, dancing for eternity, never running again.