29 May 2010

Hollow Heart

Title: Hollow Heart
Author: Silver Ink
Writing: Horror
Wort Count: 866
Warning: Murder, excessive blood.

There was something about killing that makes it hurt.

My hand was still around the dagger when the blood began to flow. At first it was just a trickle, a faint perception that the figure was not yet deceased Soon though, the crimson stain oozed its way through the gaps between my fingers and poured out it mineral-rich cherry waters.

So the warm liquid engulfed my hand in sanguine color. It moved over my hand quicker, implying there was still something quit alive with the corpse. Then as the skin’s color turned cadaverous and as the head from the body transferred into the crisp air, as the vivacious color stained my murderous hand., the life of my victim seemed to return. And though devoid of any vital signs, the figure was now very much alive—possibly more so than when the body had breathed and the now-pierced heart bled—because the cruel victim had taken up residence in my mind, my personal reality, and was now, dead, more alive than it had ever been; now that this dead haunted my every thought and ghosted along with my every move, it was a greater threat than it had ever been alive.

Of course, what does one do about threats? Eliminate them of course. Except there was no plausible way to injure this threat without putting me or my welfare in great peril.

It was many years after that first murder before I picked up the assassin’s role again. The first time it had been for revenge. The guy had killed an ex-crush and a good friend of mine.

The second time though, it was for the money; my wife was about to give birth, and I was nearly broke. A rich nobleman wanted his adversary killed off and offered a wealthy sum for it. With no other choice, I accepted, planning to kill the guy from a distance; maybe then I could avoid the brutal bloodiness and horrid haunting that followed.

Following the target was an easy matter. Setting up a trap was simple as well. The intended day, I set up myself in the upper loft of an abandoned barn and loaded my rifle, thinking about getting this done with quickly, collecting my payment, and returning home to my wife. I didn’t let bad thoughts overcome me, nor did I let the ghost of my first victim haunt me. I had long learned to block out that voice and wasn’t about to let it bother me. This would be done quickly, easily. Nothing to it.

As if on cue, the target strolled into the barn and dealt with the necessities of the trap. As he was about to leave, I shot him, a clear, clean shot to the head. To be sure, I crept to the other side and delivered a second shot to the chest before he was completely down.

He died.

There was something surreal to his death. Something strange. Unexplainable. To me, he just fell. I never knew if he uttered a sound that last moment, or said any last words. Probably not. It was instant. Instant death. Just a muffled bang and a fall. Fall. A final gasp of breath. And then thud. Fall.

It could have even been the wind.

I packed up my equipment. I went home. I was glad there was no haunting sensation. There would be no moths of recovery after this. I could concentrate on my kid. The client examined the scene. He paid his bill. He even gave me a tip for being swift about it. He gave me another tip for making it clean. It was, at the time. By the time the police arrived, a puddle of scarlet formed, but the client was gone and I was gone. I left. I walked home. Still there was no haunting. 

But the moment I inserted the key to the door, a ghostly sensation crept upon me. Two of them. They swirled around me in a strange ghostly dance, gray dust fogging up my sight. I brushed it away. The dust didn’t cool. The pair of ghosts continued their dance, weaving a tornado of gray around me. I tried to ignore it and opened the door.

It was a mistake. The moment I stepped in, the ghosts whisked away from me. They whirled to the master bedroom and hovered over my wife.

Then I saw the first streaks of red. Crimson splatters shooting through the gray storm.

When the dust cleared, I saw my wife kneeled by the bed, blood pouring out of her. A bloody, lifeless little corpse was lying on the ground next to her. As I passed it, a glop of thick ruby spilled out of it and spit a few droplets onto my feet. I paid no attention to it, such was my concern for my wife.

She clenched the bed with one hand, and her chest with the other. She looked me in the eyes and her face paled slightly. A soft sound escaped her, the sound of a warm breath of air on autumn morning and she collapsed against me.

Around her, the pool of cherry water grew deeper.  

Artist's Note: So I found an excerpt in my random-stuff notebook from a few months ago (paragraphs 2 and 3) and got the inspiration to elaborate. And this is what came out of it. 

In case it's unclear: The wife of the narrator (I don't dare call him a protagonist) had a miscarriage and died of blood loss. I'm sorry if it's cliche >_< 

I haven't throughly edited and revised, it, but as I was writing it, I was conscious of the elements I put into it. THIS, is why AP English Language was so wonderful. If I had written this a year before, it would have been pretty very pathetic.

More about the writing itself: Um... As a whole I think I was influenced by Sandra Cisnero's manipulation of syntax in House on Mango Street and Margaret Atwood's blunt, graphic descriptions in  The Handmaid's Tale. Both are wonderful books and I recommend them to anyone who hasn't read them ;)

So, thank you for reading and please comment! And don't forget to express your opinion on the character mini-poll if you haven't already done so! <3


Minsat said...

Whoa. Just whoa. :O

Lyra said...

Parallel organization, manipulation of syntax, and vivid descriptions--Impressive.

Although I do say the paralleling of the murders and the deaths could be done better--maybe paralleling the diction or detail?--the effect is there, however subtle.

I love _House on Mango Street_! So cute syntax! My favorite section was the one about her name. =)Not so much the _The Handmaid's Tale_ though. That I don't have a precise reason for. Your AN makes me relieved; I'm taking AP Language at my school next year.

But about the writing itself, graphic. Brilliantly, perversely graphic.