Matters of the Heart
Jessica Verday started the QueryTracker Blog Chain topic this week. To my delight, it was a creative writing project rather than our usual fare of personal writing process disclosure.
She began the assignment with a poem written by Stephen Crane she discovered quoted on Kate Quinn’s blog.
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said: “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter-bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.”
The challenge Jess assigned was to write a short story–in my case, very, very short– 250 words. The only stipulation was that a heart must be a feature somewhere in the story. The post preceding mine is Terri Rainer’s. Thank you, Terri, for suggesting the title for my little story.
Crimson drops splatter the stark white surface. He blinks back tears and consciously slows his breathing to keep his hands from shaking. So much at stake. No room for error. No, this won’t do at all.
He realizes he must apply what he knows about her in order to succeed. She loves the sunshine and is afraid of dark places. Her favorite color is green. Yes. That’s it! The answer was here all the time. He washes his hands and the swirling water fades from red to pink to crystal clear. He has removed all evidence. She will never know.
Barely able to contain her excitement, she peeks under the lid of the box. She reaches in and wraps her fingers around his gift. One of many, but it caught her eye. This heart wasn’t like the rest of her offerings. It was misshapen, as if hacked out in haste. Ripped out, perhaps?
She glances across the room at him and he lowers his eyes. She loves his shyness. After turning the heart over in her hands several times, she examines the others in the box. His heart is by far the best. Her favorite. It is crafted from green construction paper with “Be my Valentine” penned in black crayon. Although his name isn’t on it, he’s the only person in second grade who knows her favorite color. Her own heart feels pinched as she holds his and watches him pick red tempra paint from under his nails.
Heather Dyer is next in this chain. Click here to read her story.Explore posts in the same categories: QueryTracker Chain comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.