A beautiful winter morning. Cold and clear. I sat on the fence. Just at the edge of the trees. Almost completely silent except for the rustle of a solitary pheasant somewhere in the undergrowth.
I surveyed the gentle rolling hills and fields with their muted greens and mustard yellows. A patchwork of farms and tiny hamlets all preparing themselves for Christmas. I breathed it in, enjoying every second of clean air in my lungs.
A wood pigeon startled by my presence flew up and away. I wanted to keep this memory. The smell of mud and leaves, acorns and the damp sleeping earth.
It would have to last me. Once I told them about the bodies. My terminally ill wife and my own father suffering the ravages of dementia. They were laying peacefully in their beds. Dignified and tidy. The pillows replaced after I had finished.
I could not stand to watch them go through another Christmas. We were all suffering. You are loneliest of all when surrounded by other people. My Christmas present to them was eternal peace and a gentle and loving exit from the world. No more pain for anyone.
I enjoyed my peaceful walk back along the lane. Once I made the call and the police arrived to take me away. It was the last quiet Christmas I would ever have.
'Cold Christmas' is the name of a village near where I grew up. It is next to the villages of Ugly and Nasty x