Love Bites: Anti-Valentine Flash Fiction
I’ve written a little bit of flash fiction for the “Love Bites: Anti-Valentine Blog Hop” hosted by Ruth Long, Lisa Shambrook, Lizzie Koch, and Laura Jamez. You can find more about the blog hop here, or by clicking the blog hop badge, and you can read the other blog stops here. I encourage you to go check out the other entries. They are mostly pretty cynical and twisted… the way Valentines should be…?
He held her hand in his, one thumb stroking her knuckles. The smooth placating motion across her fingers lulled her like the sound of rain on a tin roof and she melted into his words. “Be mine,” he said. “Give me your heart.” But he didn’t know what he was asking.
He wanted her to open up, to tear out something that wasn’t hers to give, to let go.
“I can’t,” she said, intending the words to sound stronger, more assured, to stand up for themselves, but instead they crumbled from her mouth in a stuttered sob.
“Yes, you can.” There was no hesitation in his voice, no question. As though the matter went without saying. As though her heart were already his.
“But I’m afraid.”
There, she’d said it, admitted the truth. She’d spoken those three words that filled the chasm between them.
She held her breath as she waited for his response, but none came. There was no rebuke and no laughing at her fears, though she knew they were the fears of a silly little girl. Instead, he cupped her face between his hands and kissed her forehead.
He smiled when he looked into her eyes. A slow smile that warmed her even as she crossed her arms protectively between them.
“You don’t have a choice.”
He was right, of course. Though she hadn’t understood it until now. The realisation crept up on her, no long slow slide, but a stumbling trip off a cliff.
She’d never had a choice.
She nodded and uncrossed her arms, a single tear trickling down her cheek.
Taking a deep breath, she unbuttoned her shirt, revealing herself with reluctance one button at a time.
The box inside was worn, the front panel cracked and broken, but the hinges at the side held it securely in place. There was no keyhole, though, no lock to protect the precious contents. With a light press of her fingertips, it sprung open.
She did not look as she reached inside to pull out her heart. She couldn’t. Instead she closed her eyes, feeling her way.
It continued to beat, even as she tugged, betraying her with a pulsing that reverberated down her arm in silent protest.
“Mine,” he said, his arms outstretched before him.
It wasn’t his, she thought, but it wasn’t hers either anymore. So she ripped it out, that wicked, torturous, curious vessel. She ripped it out and collapsed to the ground, raising her head in time to see him pick up her heart and walk away.