In case you’re wondering, yes it is deep. And yes, it does hurt. At first I didn’t feel any pain, and looked down upon the deep gash as though it belonged to someone else. I refused to believe, as I stood there in the cold night air with steam rising from the hole in my belly, that my wife had just sliced me open like a pig. The snow started to turn crimson around my feet. It was only when I noticed the blood seeping from me that the pain arrived. A delayed flash of lightning that put a metallic tang in my mouth, then a dull throbbing ache like toothache down my spine.

‘You’re going to hell, you rat.’ she said coolly, though there was the light of fire in her eyes. She rested the axe back against the log pile and wiped her hands. Case closed.

Kneeling down, I began to pack snow into the cut. A note for any extreme survivalists out there - it numbed the pain fast. I began to feel light headed and doubted it was the wine.

What a situation. I forgot what the row even started over; probably her mother, the bilious pigeon of a woman. She’d sat there all through Christmas lunch squawking and ruffling my feathers, just like she does every damn year.

‘Sue,’ I said, still on my knees. ‘I think I need an ambulance.’
‘Go to hell, Tony.’ She replied.
I pictured myself rowing across a lake of fire and shivered. ‘Well, can I have a cigarette at least?’ Surely she wouldn’t refuse a dying man’s last wish.
Sue threw her packet of Menthols at me. I hate menthols as a general rule, but in this case I guessed I had no choice. ‘Got a light?’

The snow I’d packed into the gaping hole had melted and there was no stopping the bleeding. I felt the end coming fast.
‘I do love you, Sue.’ I said looking into her eyes as the light faded. And then with my last breath, ‘I always have and I always will.’
Sue knelt down in front of me and took the cigarette from my mouth. ‘Really?’ she said, looking genuinely surprised. ‘I’ve never loved you.’