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The Human Heart

 It is odd, that strange terrible beauty of the human heart, abruptly turning friendship into something more, and love into a pile of barely warm ashes. 

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It was with great pain that He watched Her run.

To the churning maelstrom thundering just beyond the edge of the icy lip of the cliff. He watched helplessly as She laughed triumphantly, reaching the vortex which resolved itself into its true form: a tree-like form which fashioned itself a hand, somehow. Her terrible, bright, painfully brilliant beauty shone out to the world: a queen of the elements running from His love. Lifted gently, softly, to the lowest layer of branches, gracefully did She climb up the smoky wisps of dark collected into an imitation of nature's beauty. Reaching a flat, branchlike structure, She stopped—she always stopped. And Her lover, swathed in garments which no light could illuminate, stepped out to meet Her. Every word exchanged between the two was somehow audible—always audible—to His ears, every look which passed between them visible to His eyes. 

"You were long in coming, my love," whispered the shade in his silkily seductive baritone. 

"I regret the loss of our time together, yet it makes our meeting all the sweeter," said She, laughing exultantly. 

Catching her around her slim waist, the shadow pulled her close as He looked on in agony. The soft, slow caresses of two pairs of lips were almost worse than the animal abandon which followed, as kisses hardened, deepened. She bit the shade's lip as he fumbled with the fastenings on her clothes, groaning softly with eager anticipation.

Gasping, cold sweat trickling between His shoulder blades, He swallowed hard as sleep abruptly slackened its hold, granting His plea to swim from its black depths. Holding in tears threatening to break from the prison of His eyes, silently did He swallow them, so as to not wake His child, sleeping in the curve of his body. Rose—tender sweet, dependent Rosie—murmured as her face creased into a slight frown, eyes still closed tight. perhaps the dreams of a two-year-old were too invaded by unwanted memories and imaginings, like His.

Gently, carefully easing Himself away from His baby girl, He rolled out of bed, to the floor waiting below. Lying flat, forcibly did He try to calm his laboured breathing. Even after all these months, after the mourning period, after He should have properly tried to move on—He couldn't. Every night since the one which had shattered His reality to millions of shards, shards which were irrevocably lodged within his heart—every night was the same.

Every night He had the same dream, helpless to prevent it, helpless to rescue Her. And She was gone, gone, lost to him, lost to the world. She had gone into the ground, her beauty only scarcely less palpable in death, muted by somber garb, but it was no longer Her. Only a husk remained. She was gone: forever lost to the realms of the dead. 

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