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LAce Posted Monday, October 25th, 2004
The Heart
Michelle Watson

"If only I could have your heart," he said. His eyes were deep-blue, speckled with stardust. The night had embossed a full moon onto the sky, and in the gathering darkness his skin glowed like a lantern.

"All right, you can have it." I unbuttoned my shirt, ripped out my heart and handed it to him. He held it gingerly on his palm, like a Faberge egg.

"It's so red," he said. "I didn't expect...I'm not sure about this..."

"What, you don't want it now?"

"Can I think about it?"

My heart was beating, eagerly and steadily, on his palm, streaking his fingers with red.

"Well?" I said.

He looked meek, his pale hair jutted out over his eyes like an awning. "Well...I just don't know!"

"Fine." I reached over, grabbed my heart and stuffed it back. But it wasn't the same. Every breath I took filled me with an ache that spread like a stain across my chest.

The next day, he sent me a token gift--a heart-shaped pendant, brighter then gold, fake-looking. I held it in my hand for few minutes and it felt weightless, insignificant.

I threw it in the kitchen drawer. It's still there, jammed between a wad of broken rubber bands, twisted paperclips, and a single, tarnished key that doesn't fit any door.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Katrina Denza on Tuesday, October 26th, 2004 at 11:33 AM
I love this, Michelle--and I'm wild about the last line!

Posted by jocelyn johnson on Wednesday, October 27th, 2004 at 5:37 PM
thank you for sharing this succinct, well written peice. I enjoyed the use of dialogue. It might be interesting to further explore the visceral quality of ripping out one's own heart, and why the narrator is so eagar to comply to the boy's dreamy request.

Posted by Ashley Minihan on Thursday, October 28th, 2004 at 5:10 PM
Very enjoyable! Thank you.

Posted by Diana Losciale on Saturday, October 30th, 2004 at 10:40 AM
The first three sentences are adjective-heavy, which lead me to expect some bit of pop romance writing. But then boom, she rips out her heart. Nice surprises (including the end), good writing, and the length is excellent giving the piece some nice pop and power, as well as originality. It's well wrought.

Posted by Sharon Hurlbut on Sunday, October 31st, 2004 at 10:08 AM
Michelle, this is a wonderful flash! I love that silent, awkward moment when he's holding the heart and neither one of them is sure what will come next. And the token heart is a brilliant contrast to the real thing. You've summed up an entire failed relationship in this with honesty and irony. Well done!

Posted by Carol Novack on Monday, November 1st, 2004 at 8:12 PM
A wonderful, tight mini mini! So visceral and yet so lyrical; also a mix of irony and whimsy. Great job, Michelle!

Posted by Russell Bittner on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 at 11:44 PM
Brava, chica! True daughter of Bulkakov, flying up and out into the SURreal, then coming down to perch on the TOO real. The Master and Margarita...and Michelle. Russell

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