The Darkness of Hearts

A church bell rang in the fog. It was hard to be absolutely accurate, so I guessed it must have been about five hundred meters away. I was too tired to walk any further then, so I just lay where I was. Strangely, the hardness of the pavement was exactly what my muscles needed to help soften them. My body really hurt. Footsteps. Three people. Approaching from behind. I closed my eyes and slowed my breathing so that no part of my body moved visibly when I inhaled and exhaled. There was enough blood on my clothing, both fresh and old, that injury was indisputable. How plausibly fatal, I did not know. My camera was hidden under the body of a young boy ten paces in front of me, whose blood was also somewhere on my person. He was dressed poorly enough for them not to inspect. The footsteps halted. Not a sound beyond the church bell. In the darkness behind my closed eyes, I could feel their body heat hover over me. I was terrified. My logic informed me that I was already in the best position to survive, but horrific fantasies of what they would do to me if they realised I was still alive made me want to jump up and run away. Screaming. I reminded myself to take shallow breaths. And not to move my eyes. One of them stepped over me and the other two followed. They moved cautiously on. When I felt they were a safe distance away, I squinted open my eyelids. I saw the silhouettes of a grandfather, grandmother and their grandson dissolve into the gray swell. How the hell had they survived so long?

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9 thoughts on “The Darkness of Hearts

  1. somethingnewplease

    “…the pavement was exactly what my muscles needed..”. I like that image.

    It’s good to know someone who enjoys the same brevity of subject that I do.

    Enjoyed, Scribbla.
    D

    Reply
  2. Find an Outlet

    OK. How does the man know it’s a grandmother and grandfather and grandchild? How does he know it’s not some old people who found a kid, like refugees?

    Reply
    1. writingsprint

      I love the contrast of his terror of the strangers, only to see that it’s three people who really shouldn’t be alive — probably like our hero.

      Lots of possibilities here. Our hero is exhausted from walking, so he’s come a long way from… somewhere. Where’s he going to, and is anywhere safe???

      Reply
      1. screen_scribbla Post author

        Glad you enjoyed it! And that the questions raised are precisely the one’s raised in my own mind. I love the image of a church bell possibly drawing survivors of horror to yet another horror – a trap? It speaks volumes to me of our current state of society worldwide.

        Reply
    2. screen_scribbla Post author

      A very good question. The most honest answer, though I don’t know if it is true, is most likely the simplest. Which would be that I wasn’t focussing on what I was writing. I missed that very important detail. The next most honest answer – probably the truest – is that I was lazy and had a vision and assumption in my mind that I did not convey effectively. See, I live in Africa, where I set the scene (in my mind without informing the reader). If two elderly figures are walking anywhere with a young kid, it will be considered their grandchild, whether this is factually so or not.
      Nonetheless, I prefer the possibility of your proposition over what I wrote. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

      Reply
  3. screen_scribbla Post author

    Thanks for pointing out my unclear writing on the About page. I will change that.
    Thanks for the comment! And yes, I absolutely encourage discussion. Not only about what is written, but also thoughts about writing. Again, I should have made that clear and will correct the way in which I have phrased it.

    Reply
  4. Find an Outlet

    I read this a couple times, felt like I was right there. Scary. I’m not quite clear on whether you welcome readers questioning aspects of the stories after rereading your About page. Can you enlighten?

    Reply

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