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The Hanging Tree

By fri13girl

Horror / Romance

The Hanging Tree

Two different sets of footprints coming from different directions led to the same place. The oldest willow tree in the center of the wood. One set of footprints was from a pair of boots. The other set was obscured by a floor length dress.

A young man with jaw length blonde hair and bright blue eyes leaned against the willow tree. He was wearing his Confederate uniform. He held a gun in his hands. In his pocket was length of rope. He heard footsteps and straightened up. He relaxed when he saw who it was. She was wearing a light blue gown with a bell-shaped skirt. She too carried a length of rope in her lace gloved hands. He put down the gun.

Are you, are you coming to the tree,

Where they strung up a man, they say he murdered three,

"My love, at last. I told you by midnight. You're late." He walked towards her slowly.

"My apologies Jasper." She held onto her rope tighter, nervous about being caught.

"My sweet Bella, I could wait an eternity for you." Jasper hugged her as she began crying. "What is it my love?"

"Are you sure about this?" Bella asked through her sobs. Jasper stroked her long brown hair that went to her waist. It usually did not hang down like that.

"You are promised to another. As am I, as soon as I get back. We cannot live without one another." Bella took a breath and nodded.

"I love you."

"I love you too." They stood there for a while, absorbing each others' warmth. Bella eventually stopped crying.

"It seems so strange, but so right that I die here." Bella whispered, terrified of being caught.

Strange things did happen here,

No stranger would it seem if we met up at midnight in the hanging tree,

"Darlin', stranger things happened here, and to me, it isn't strange at all." Jasper whispered. They pulled apart.

Are you, are you coming to the tree,

Where the dead man called out for his love to flee,

Strange things did happen here,

No stranger would it seem if we met up at midnight in the hanging tree,

Jasper tied his rope to a branch and made a noose. Bella handed him her rope. He did the same with her rope.

Are you, are you coming to the tree,

Where I told you to run so we'd both be free,

Strange things did happen here,

No stranger would it seem if we met up at midnight in the hanging tree,

The nooses were less than two feet apart. Jasper picked up two barrels, one for him to stand on, one for Bella.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Jasper asked.

"Of course." Bella hugged him. He helped her to stand on the barrel, then climbed up his own.

Are you, are you coming to the tree,

Jasper helped Bella slip the noose over her head and move it around her neck. Jasper put his noose on. They took each other's hand.

Where a necklace of rope side by side with me,

"One...Two... Three." They both kicked their barrel away. Neither could breathe, but they never let go of each others' hands.

Strange things did happen here,

No stranger would it seem if we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

"Bella! Bella!" Charlie Swan called as he walked through the wood the next morning along with his only son, Emmett.

"Bells! Come on, I know you don't want to marry Edward, but this is ridiculous!" Emmett called out.

"You haven't found her?" Peter Whitlock asked.

"No, we've searched everywhere." Emmett said, sighing.

"My brother's missing too you know. Maybe they're together?" Peter suggested. They were approaching the old willow tree which almost everybody called the hanging tree.

"That does sound logical. Good thing Jasper's in the Confederate army, so we at least know that our Bella is safe." Charlie said.

"I wonder how much farther we'll have to look." Emmett said, wiping his brow off.

"Not much." Peter said, looking up.

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