Fantasy, Fiction, Short story, Uncategorized

The man with the iron heart.

 

Within the expanse of a certain crag, beneath a certain door in a stone house, I once certainly, quietly, assuredly spied a man in a room that had one window that was permanently and firmly shut on principle alone, and many drapes hung high up to the rafters. They hung dead without the breeze like summer sails pulled down for winter, and a pair of them draped every one of the stone house’s octagonal walls. White, they fell from the ceiling and onto the floor, puddling at the man’s feet as he stood in the very middle of the room.

The man was neither tall nor was he short, and neither handsome nor plain, but rather frumpy indeed with shoulders both narrow and round. He was wearing a simple tan overcoat and hung his orange umbrella from his trouser pocket. The man was not wearing any shoes at all. He  sighed and turned himself round and round, and spinning in slower and slower circles, with his eyes closed, just clutching and clutching at his chest. He was clutching at his heart. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the hole, or rather a square, on the man’s left breast where his heart should have been. He sobbed never lifting a lid, and turned his slow circle once again.  It was then, I decided that the man needed help, so pulling my eye away from the key hole,  I tried the knob of the door to see if it would open.

No budge. No creak. No Give.

I tried again.

No luck.

I twisted, wrenched and pulled, and fought with the knob, my desperate need to help the man becoming greater and greater by the moment. Until, no longer thinking about whether or not the man would hear me, I cried out to the door, ” OPEN!”

In response, a great gust of hot air knocked me completely over  casing me to fall forward, the door flew ajar like a hatch in a vacuum, and though I could hardly see a thing for the ferocious gust, I tumbled into the room and became tangled with a drape.

The curtains lashed against the unwanted currents. A window previously hidden, opened on both latches and came apart, banging against the exterior stone walls. The man face down on the floor was still clutching, and clutching at his heart, looking winded and anguished.

But why?

Was it because of the hole, err, square?

The man lay on the floor, splitting at the seams of what had previously been a perfect square hole. It tore with the wind, and grew larger, and larger still. I watched, cringing, waiting for the moment he’d be wrenched in twain, but the moment wouldn’t come. Instead, the wind sucked the halves of his tan coat right off his body, and the man still made no sound.

I tried to stand and released myself from the strangling fabric as the wind blew me further into the room and almost out the window. Fortunately, I had gotten caught on something. It was the orange umbrella,  still  clung to the man’s trousers and he had taken a hand off his square heart hole to grasp it, and as he did, he looked me square in the eyes.

They were magnificent.

Like a storm his eyes glowed with blue lightening embers. They crackled with energy and pain and seemed to change the colour of the room to a deeper more violet hue. Distracted by my own sudden realization of the man’s beauty, my grip on the orange umbrella slipped, and I was sure to be sucked out the window, when the man let loose his square holed heart entirely, and grabbed onto both of my hands with his.

“Hold fast.” He ordered, not in the desperate tone I had imagined, but in a deep and growling thunder. The air sizzled and whizzed by our faces. He was heavily anchored to the floor, but my whole self was quite airborne.

All of a moment, but seemingly much longer than that, a square of  iron slowly began to rise from the man’s square heart hole. It oozed and slid with an efferent ache from the man’s chest and rose promptly into the air.

He looked at me again, and Shuunk! We were lifted off the floor and out of the window. The second the iron hit the floor the weightlessness had caused us to be rendered from the stone house and into the air.

My eyes fastened to his like a harness, and forever we flew onward, tumbling over until we gained some composure above the thermals.

Over the city streets the wind carried us. Beyond the walls of the town we were blown; past hills, farms and fields, and rivers, to the very edge of everything I knew, until we landed upon a cliff.

The sky grew to a deep purple, it was so dark with clouds. The cliff-side rolled and edged off to the sea.

It was endless.

Everything was endless.

I simply gazed out to my left and scanned over the vast aubergine endlessness until my eyes alighted on the man’s eyes. They shocked me once more, though the lightning was gone from them. The crackling had ceased. The sparking violet storm had calmed itself within the soul of the man.

“I-,” I tried to begin.

“I know who, and what you are, Girl,” he said to me.

Taken aback, I glanced at the place on the man’s left breast. It was healed, and he had transformed. He had grown taller and more graceful, with silver curling hair pushed back from his face by the wind. He had become broad shouldered and strong, yet slight, with a handsome face and sharp dark eyes. His serious mouth had said something to me I just realized, but I hadn’t caught it.

“What, was that you just said?” I inquired.

But before I could gain my answer from him, everything began to rush around me, so I closed my eyes, trying to clear my head.

When I opened them, I was back in the stone house, lying outside the door of that certain room.

I stared at the ceiling, trying to grasp whether or not what had just happened, had indeed happened, so I quickly flipped over and peered within the expanse of that certain crag, looking for, but not finding any billowing curtains, nor the orange umbrella, nor the man who held it. ”

No,  I would not have found them for they  would have been sucked out too, but how-” I thought.

The room was still, simple, and dark.  The window once closed, was now ajar, and lightly tapping against the outside of the stone house’s wall as the curtains billowed promisingly.

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