This was a piece of Flash Fiction I wrote during October many years ago. I took a great amount of inspiration from writers like Poe, Lovecraft and even RL Stevenson, though I am sure you can guess this by the dark tone of the piece. I was asked to perform this piece as part of a Halloween literary event on Halloween Night, 2010.
Heart Of Stone
By Austin Durose
This disease rages on. Already it has taken my arm; cold, unmoving, inhuman. And now I feel it spreading towards its goal with vile purpose; to take this once warm, beating heart, and turn it to stone.
What manner of monster shall I become when all humanity is stripped away? This irreversible curse that does not usher in death but an eternity of unholy anger, bitterness and resentment. A life without light, without hope or love or even death to lift this dull depression. Surely such a life is worthy of all the woe of the world. A life of hell! Disfigured, detested and devoured by burning hatred! This, the life of a man with a heart of stone.
Yes, I once loved with this heart. I once cared, laughed, cried. I gave my all for that which I deemed forever unobtainable; a happiness transcending all others, beauty in its purest form. My heart would call her by name, my intellect cherish her company. However, I was wrong. In all that I had come to believe I was wrong! She held no love for me! And after all I had sacrificed! My home, my career, my friends! All for a hollow lust which leaves me now cursed! This disease which has taken my arm, taken my joy, soon to take my very heart, leaving me with nothing but bitterness and contempt.
For this reason I have forced myself to the solitary confinement of my lonesome chambers. Here I may feed that which eats away at my flesh, turning me into the detestable monster. Here I may entertain my twisted thoughts, filling my mind with perverse visions of violence, a lust for blood. Here I may hide from the pain of light and wallow in darkness.
And you! Do you still feel? Do you still breathe? The rejection, your leaving, another man pressed against your poisoned lips! My blood boils at the thought and wills me to spill that of another. Like a dark, dry wine the blood to stain the sheets where you lie, and with that, surely I shall soak up the very thing you have stolen from me. The blood is the life, but you cannot squeeze it from stone.
But oh how I long to be free from these walls. This mocking cage of my chamber. How I long to be rid of this disease which turns gentleness to anger, peace to pain. Rids me of my joy and leaves me with sorrow. I wish not to do harm or dwell on these dark matters, but instead to be patient, self controlled, exercise love and taste of the sweet fruits of my Lord’s spirit against which there is no law.
My heart prays – save me from what I have become! My soul cries out – take this heart of stone and give a heart of flesh! But my mind laughs a wicked laugh and with earnest sincerity pleads – release the monster.
© Austin Durose 2010