Thomas offers Newt a heart. It sits in his hands and drips onto the tiled kitchen floor.
“Whose is it?” Newt asks. Thomas shrugs.
“Dunno. I found it over there somewhere.” He gestures vaguely to his right.
“I don’t want some buggin’ stranger’s heart,” Newt says, pouting slightly. “I want yours.”
“Alright,” Thomas laughs, and cuts it from his chest.
Winter is their favourite season. The snow glistens in the light of the moon, and the air smells fresh and crisp. They walk side by side through quiet towns. Thomas throws a snowball at Newt and together they build a snowman outside the old grocery store, except one arm and the head aren’t made from snow.
“It’s a masterpiece,” Thomas says, framing it with his hands.
“Make a snow angel with me Tommy.”
Newt drags him down onto the snow, and they both make the motions with their arms, until Newt has to stop and move places, because the buried child made his pattern uneven.
Newt bites Thomas’ collarbone, hard, and blood runs down his chin.
“One day,” says Newt as Thomas groans underneath him, “I’m gonna eat you whole.”
Thomas doesn’t reply, he’s too busy seeing stars.
They find a dog lying on the side of the road, and Thomas rushes over to it.
“Newt,” he says, holding the dog’s front paw, “we gotta fix it. I’ve always wanted a dog!”
“You got it.”
They play with the dog all day and Thomas laughs louder than he has in a while. In the end it’s time to go, so they kill it again and move on.
The next morning Thomas wakes up with tears frozen to his cheeks.
The church is crumbling quietly around them as they lie on the pews and look up at the sky peeking through gaps in the roof.
“You believe in God?” Thomas asks.
“I believe in you,” says Newt.
“D’you reckon I’ll go to hell for impaling that pastor?”
“Nah,” Newt murmurs, “We’re already there. Gonna go somewhere else entirely.”
The library doors are always open, and the interior smells like ash and paper. Newt sits with Thomas’ head in his lap and reads aloud from the book of fairy tales on the couch.
They sleep in the library that night and burn all the books on the shelves labelled ‘A-C’ in a fire that lasts until morning.
Thomas’ feet are sore, and Newt can’t carry him because of a limp he has (neither of them are quite sure how that happened) so they decide to spend a day in a shopping mall.
“I only wish this place had been deserted,” Thomas sighs, wiping his knife on his pant leg. “I got so used to feeling like the only two cranks in the whole shuck world.”
“It’s bloody well deserted now.”
Newt cuts his fingers off one evening, just to “find out what it bloody feels like,” but they’ve all grown back by the time Thomas wants to get on the road.
They play I spy on the way to Canada and Newt wins every round.
“I spy with my little eye something beginning with ‘c’.”
“What are you, some kind of shank psychic?”
“No, you’re just bloody boring.”
Thomas mimes dying and Newt kicks a pebble over the edge of the street.
The theme park hasn’t been operational for a while, but that’s ok. They sit together at the top of the Ferris wheel and gaze around at the pink tinged world. Thomas plaits Newt’s hair, and Newt suggests they sleep in the carriage that night.
They walk together over the tracks of the ghost train ride through dusty shafts of light throwing the jerky skeletons and mechanical guillotines into dim relief.
Thomas pushes a finger through the bars of the metal cages and touches the strange fake skin of the dummies, and Newt daydreams of hiding inside the ride and jumping out at people as they speed past. Daydreams of laughter and screaming (but a very different kind of scream to the ones he’s grown used too).
They find white crystals in a zip lock bag in an apartment. Thomas tries putting some on his tongue, and winces at the taste.
“I don’t think that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Newt says, grinning, and Thomas rolls his eyes.
“You show me then.”
Newt presses his face against the opening of the bag and sniffs deeply. He looks up and smiles.
“Try doin’ that.”
Thomas does, and when he looks up the world seems to sparkle. He opens his eyes as wide as possible, looking at Newt and the floor and the ceiling and l a u g h i n g.
Newt kisses him slowly and the world flickers. Bright colours explode in his vision and everything is crystal clear.
They overdose on happiness and when they awaken the world is burning around them. Thomas thinks it may have always been on fire, and Newt knows for sure it has.