Time for the WEP Valentine’s Day blogfest. I have written a flash fiction in letter form to suit the theme. I hope you enjoy it.
“To my darling Valentine…
“There is no end to things of the heart.”
I’ve believed this ever since the words passed your lips when we declared our undying love at twenty years of age. I took those words, rolled them around my head until they became reality. Not being of a romantic bent, nevertheless I tried to understand, to make sense of those words. My conclusion was that if you took someone or something – a person, a place, a dream – into your heart, brought it inside those red velvet folds, it would reside there forever. A strength. A comfort. Forever. Something to rely on in this capricious world. And it did work that way. No matter what happened, love was there.
Those secret folds protected it. Always. Every time my heart beat, it reminded me of the precious secrets it kept.
Today I am approaching fifty years of age. I still try to believe there is no end to things of the heart. When I woke this morning, my beating heart comforted me for a time, recalling how I took you into my heart those many years ago in complete trust. You are still somewhere hidden in those red velvet folds along with those I have added over the years – people I have loved, people I have hurt, people I have helped. When I take time to examine my heart, they are alive in me, as familiar as my beating heart.
But you were always the best of my secrets.
As the sun rises over the far horizon, I hear the beat.
Time means nothing when you are alone in a *humpy in Australia’s Simpson Desert, surrounded by stunted trees, wild animals and rocky outcrops. There is water here. Old **Jacky Jacky could find it in a heartbeat, but what’s the point? My water is long gone and I’m not someone who is going to drink the blood of animals to survive. Why bother? I comfort myself that I will not be found in this godforsaken place.
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. Here’s a Polaroid I took when I arrived and was still in control of my senses. This is my view each morning. Not godforsaken like me when I think about it. Quite beautiful, really, even when seen through a haze.
You, my love, will never know that my heart ceased to beat on Valentine’s Day 2016. I can hardly place my letter in a bottle and cast it upon the waves. See, a sense of humour to the last. My parched lips crack as I smile. No, my letter will be hidden in the secret folds of the desert sands.
Be still my beating heart. I always loved those words. I resist the urge to smile. I can taste the blood from the last attempt.
What will become of the secrets hidden in my red velvet folds? Will they die with me? Or will they fly away, released from the prison I have guarded these many years?
You lied to me that golden day when our love was young and forever and ethereal. You said, “My darling Byron. There is no end to things of the heart.”
Pfft! I will prove you wrong.
There is an end to things of the heart.
The red velvet folds cannot hold duplicity. Cannot cover love that is no more. Cannot beat when its life-force has shrivelled and died.”
I hide the picture under a rock. Maybe someone will find it and wonder.
I lay down my imaginary pen and prepare.
Goodbye, my precious Valentine.
* A humpy or gunyah is a small, temporary shelter made from bark and tree branches, traditionally used by Australian Aborigines, with a standing tree usually used as the main support.
** Jacky Jacky was a paternalistic name given to helpful Aboriginal people in the old days.
WORD COUNT: 600
Full Critique Please
- Thank you for coming by! I appreciate your taking the time.
- Please click on more Valentine’s Day entries with a DL (Direct Link) next to the name at the website WEP.