Wicker Woman

The last few weeks we have been bombarded with hearts – Valentine heart cards, heart decorated wrapping paper, teddy bears cuddling huge red hearts. Hearts swaying from shop ceiling as they join in the extravaganza called Valentines.  How could I fail but to recall a piece of flash fiction I wrote last year and is aptly named ‘The Little Heart’. Romantics be warned – this is not a love story.

The Little Heart

In my bubble I bump against life, insulated from its joys and sorrows. My child gesticulates wildly, his face alight with excitement and there must be words. Such sweet words from that gentlest of voices, but for me inaudible. The fog within me wraps around my nerves, slowly strangling all the senses.

“They’re here to help you,” my husband promised.

“You’re the one who needs the help,” I screamed.

In those days I could shout, argue, feel, love, rage.

“Take it!” The man in white orders. Glancing down in my hand, I obey. The beguiling beauty of the hollowed heart of the blue tablet pulsates reassuringly. I glimpse closer. It’s not a heart, rather a soft-scooped “V”. V for victory to the zombie that in the ensuing days commandeers my body. It overwhelms me and all that remains is a modicum of myself, a spectator to this tragedy.

“She’s much calmer. Happier even.” The words drift painfully to my brain.

My son appears, hugs me and his sad wild eyes penetrate my soul. He leaves – his ghostly presence imprinted on my mind. I was tricked into this hell. Trapped. I’ll fight my way out. For my life and child.

The End

“His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”

From Dubliners by James Joyce

12 thoughts on “Hearts

    1. Tack Marion!
      I am so glad to have you as a follower and it’s fun with your
      posting in Swedish. Your kind words make me blush.:)

      Marion said: So lovely Annika. What a language. I love the way you
      tell your story. So interesting. Am following you with delight.

  1. Barbara

    Annika your words are so vivid and strong. Flash fiction is very interesting. You must capture the reader’s attention right from the start then paint the plot of your story quickly. Well done my dear Author. Not an easy task to master and you make it look easy.
    I love the lady of the woods topiary. Very nice!
    As to the “I am groot” comment….Guardians of the galaxy right?

    1. Thank you so much for your warm and encouraging comments. Flash Fiction is not my normal forte but enjoyed writing this piece. You are so right about plotting short stories quickly and I’m now having to teach myself to slow down, slow down. More about that in another blog. Yep, you’re right about Guardian of Galaxy – checked with my teenage son!

  2. Mirja

    Written with strength and depth your poignant story
    touch me to the core.
    The Lady of the woods is so serene and also lonely.
    Thank you for this post.

    1. Mirja, Thank you very much and I’m glad the story touched you. Keep reading for more like this. The mysterious Lady in the Woods is from a local woodland walk which was surrounded by snowdrops this weekend.

  3. Peter R

    Like the Woodland Goddess; very spring-like, with all the snowdrops. Never heard the term “flash fiction” before. Amazing what you can get out of a couple of hundred words.

    1. Peter, Flash Fiction is all the rage, ranging from a couple of hundred words to about 500 words. Some can be much shorter too, 100 words or even six! It is a challenge that’s for sure.

  4. You had me baffled there! After a quick google think I’ve got it – reference to the photo?? Right? ‘Groot is an extraterrestrial plant monster.’ Glad you popped over to my blog. Cheers.

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