Tales Hearts Tell as the Pendulum Swings
Macabre modernized mashup of my favorites of Poe.
The grandfather clock clucks its paternal tongue as it gongs the precise time. His hands wag, pointed finger, at the passing of every second. His face darkens at the late hour. No ropes bind her yet she is restrained. She waits; bound by invisible threads and an innocuous shackle: precious metal sears the skin of her left hand. And with every swing, the pendulum slices into her heart.
Swish Blood pools around the cooling, rare steak with perfect grill marks. It merges hesitantly with the golden, melted butter and pearly sour cream that slip over the skin of the baked potato. Swoosh Crisp, vibrant lettuce wilts under the weight of ruby tomatoes and homemade dressing. Swish Fats congeal over the surface of the meal in a grisly slick sheen. Swoosh A second glass of wine: clear and sparkling. Perfectly penciled scarlet lips stain the crystal as she drinks.
Her paternal time keeper has since scolded twice. She abandons the rotund decanter: empty and rocking on its side. Forsakes the lip stained glass. Manicured nails dig into the fleshy palm of her hand as she grasps the neck of a fresh bottle. A broken heart’s invisible ichor trails behind as she ambles towards the den.
The fireplace casts eerie shadows over her face. Its light reflects in the pools gathered in the corner of her eyes. The grandfather’s scolds take their toll: empty bottle, paled flesh, mascara trails; death by a thousand cuts. The overstuffed chair cradling her body curled in fetal position. The warmth wanes with the passage of hours.
The sun plays at the edge of the horizon as his boot clad feet finally reach their home. He stands looming over her fragile frame. Thump- thump “Where have you been?” The heart cries. Thump-thump “Look what you have done!” Thump-thump “You have killed us.”, it sobs. Thump-thump. He turns abruptly on his heel. The green, satin clad, bleeding heart shrinking at his back. The comfort of an empty bed awaits and he blissfully buries himself in it.