So like, when a guy’s into you, but you’re not really into him, but he’s like, super powerful, trying to take over the galaxy and could easily kill you and everyone you ever loved with a snap of the fingers… what do you do?
I hadn’t encouraged him in any way. He’d simply picked me up on one of his population-destroying adventures and decided to keep me. Like a pet. He was ravishing me with gifts; the most beautiful gifts from across the cosmos. There was the ruby-encrusted diadem, delicately woven from the silver of a far-off planet, the sapphire pendant ablaze with the cold fire of a burning star… He seemed to have a thing for precious stones.
But none of these gifts would make me forget so much death. Wherever he went, bodies crumpled in his purple wake. I wanted nothing more than to hide in some forgotten corner of the galaxy, to never see that ridged chin again. But he wasn’t really the kind of guy you say no to.
Nevertheless, I resisted his advances as best I could without pissing him off, but this only made him try harder. He thought it would be romantic to make me an ice rink by freezing an entire city.
I fucking hate ice skating.
If you ignored the bodies frozen beneath your feet, the city did look beautiful. Crystallised towers glinted in the sunlight, sparkling showers of refracted light across the frosted ground. It would take years to melt ice this thick. A fresh start for the planet.
Somehow, this place held the key to my freedom. Not only was this a supposed romantic gesture, this was also a game. He watched intently for my reaction. Trying to ignore the outstretched hand frozen beneath my feet, I smiled and thanked him. For a moment he almost looked happy. But knowing he had a hidden motive in the skating, I politely declined to join him and his smile soon melted.
There was a delicate veil of snow floating along the ground. Watching something so pure made me feel a small sense of peace for the first time in weeks. It was the first of Thanos’ gifts I could almost be thankful for. I lay amongst it and it was soft and welcoming, like lying in a cloud of cool water. He watched as I made graceful snow angels, and I could tell he was losing his patience. He wanted to see his doll dance, to see her enjoy his wondrous gift and succumb to his will. He wanted to win a woman who would stand lovingly by his side while he massacred half the population.
Many people were already using the skate rink, drafted in from nearby cities to dance across their fallen brethren. They began performing some kind of ritualistic synchronised dance, supposedly to entice me onto the ice. A digital leaderboard appeared, tracking who had completed the most laps, but most were too wrapped up in the dance. I kept an eye on it.
People had hidden themselves in rooms frozen shut, so Thanos used his bladed foot to slice the solid walls of ice apart. Everyone had to be on the rink to appreciate his generous gift. He was getting angry, and I could tell more murder was on the cards. My time was running out.
Having exhausted all my options, I slowly began to put my skates on. They were beautiful; sleek and black, with swirls of silver stitching and incredibly long silver laces. For some reason though, I had rollerblades, as if he didn’t trust me with real blades. I was also burning thin pillar candles in each. I kept them in.
As I reached the rink, the toffee-nosed forerunner of the leaderboard came over and smirked. “Dead already? That’s a shame.”
I smiled innocently at him and said, “oh dude. I’ve not even started yet,” and his face dropped.
Somehow, I needed to be top of that leaderboard. Somehow, that was the key to escaping Thanos. I just needed to not die in the process…