Mind Short Story Touching

Heart Full Of Coal

I’ve already posted an initial version of this piece, this is a revised and slightly longer version. It’s a short and simple mystery story but the mystery is not of the usual kind. That’s all I can say. I’m not normally one for writing romance but this is bitter-sweet. I hope you don’t find too cheesy/corny, if you do let me know!

You know there’s something not quite right about her but you continue anyway, the tequila slammers don’t help.

She’d caught your eye on the dance floor. Well, she grabbed it with a smile and a flick of her long hair. For a moment you looked behind you, was there someone beautiful behind?

Then her delicate hand was on your shoulder pulling you around. It felt gentle and smelt of spicy vanilla. Somehow you ended up dancing together.

You look to her now and wonder. Does she feel sorry for you? You can’t even remember how you ended up here. Alone. 

Well, not alone now. 

Somehow, you are dancing with a beautiful woman. Isn’t this what you really wanted? You’re having fun, yet, there’s something not quite right.

Well, it feels mostly right, but, still, there’s something bothering you about her.

She’s dancing in front of you. You feel like you are in the movies with the hot chick at the club. It’s all in slow-motion. Blurry. Not a cool filmic effect though, it’s blurry because you are drunk. Do you look too drunk? Is she taking advantage of you? Luring you into a trap? 

Through beer goggles you notice she looks similar to her, dark long-hair and olive skin, but, much less butch—much more sleek and bubbly. A newer younger model. You can’t work out why she is interested in you. 

Is it the cuddly rolls on your belly? 

The fact that you can’t be arsed with salons? 

The stench of pain following you? 

All of the above?

Or, none of the above…are you a target? A victim? 

You’re an easy target, that’s one thing you are certain of. But, as she turns and slides herself against your body, you stop caring. You’re a willing target. Everything begins to become blurred—half of it will be forgotten by tomorrow. You still haven’t said a word to each other, you’ve been talking with your hips.


Somehow the lights are switching on. Is it really that late? Everyone starts hurrying towards the doors like cockroaches, scattering to the darkness. You are frozen, she looks stunning. You cringe, dash for the doors but she holds your hand back. It’s been a while since you took proper care of yourself, you barely even bothered with make-up, but, still, she looks at you with a smile, plants a kiss on your lips and leads you outside. 

She’s hailing down a late night/early morning taxi. If you’re going anywhere further, it’s back to hers. There’s no way you’d take anyone back to yours. It’s a wreckage site, filled with broken things—leftover trinkets that you can’t let go of. It’s haunted. You can’t face bringing in an outsider, an intruder. Where are we going now? She asks. Not to mine. Okay, mine then? You feel nervous but you reply. Okay. 

She’s giggling and flicking her long dark hair around as you head towards your ride to hers. She nearly trips in her stupidly high heels so you jump-in and hold her up. Sorry, oh gawd, I’m so ditsy. It’s easy to hold her up, she weighs half as much as you and you don’t ever wear heels. No, you’re not ditsy…you’re drunk and wearing stilettos. Together you bundle into the taxi. You’re laughing together but your mouth feels stretched, shaky at the edges. Smiling has felt uncomfortable for a while. Like it doesn’t belong on your face. Like you don’t deserve it.

The city flashes by with all of its colours in a blur, yellow lights, orange lights, red ones, dark-grey buildings trapped in between the lines. Past hoards of drunken zombies stumbling home for bed, or, ready to ravish each other till the early hours. You still don’t feel safe, but, you can’t place what’s wrong with her. You’re both smiling slightly but not saying a word. There’s static in the air, it passes through your hands. You can sense the sexual energy but there’s a dangerous static too. You don’t really know her.

Maybe she’s a murderer.

Maybe you’ll arrive at her house and she’ll have lamps made of sewn together nipples.


You arrive at her flat and it’s okay. Nothing special. Not really your kind of thing, too polished…unnervingly clean. A typical modern-artsy-bohemian crib. She must be an artist. Like her. Ouch. The reminder hurt, but it’s better than being in a house still marked with another lover’s history. There’s no fleshy lamps or a shrine of skulls, which puts you more at ease. There’s no small talk. She’s all over you. You rush into the bedroom together to have sex. Well, try to rush, but it’s not so sexy—your feet are like heavy wads of gammon.

The sexual tension was not false, there is a connection there. You were both hungry for each other. You were nervous but, actually, it was okay. Not amazing. Just okay. Better than finishing sex and feeling like you guilted your absent lover into trying it. Convincing them that the “spark” can be ignited but instead you finish and feel like your heart is full of coal. Coming to a realisation that they don’t feel the same and it hurts. Wondering how long had they been pretending?

You lie down in silence, nothing heard but your heavy breaths. She puts an arm across your breasts, you can feel she is smiling. You can stay, she whispers, I make a pretty good omelette. A timid hopefulness in her voice. There’s no danger here. Just another lonely person who wants a connection. You still feel odd, like she might have a knife under her pillow, like she might stab you as you try to leave. 

But, then she rolls over. She’s fast asleep, making a little snuffling sound, but she doesn’t snore like her. That was like a 30-wheeler truck passing by your head as you tried to sleep. It always drove you mad. It was one perk you found to living alone again. Silence to sleep in peace. Except the peace is always filled with the noise of your own thoughts. Was it me? Was it my fault they did it?

You look at the sleeping woman next to you and you realise you don’t even know her name. Her sleeping snuffles are really cute. You don’t even know if she will be slightly hurt by you. You will just know her as the hot snuffling woman.

You realise, she’s no danger—you are. You realise the weird feeling you still have about her has no truth. The truth is you’re not okay and sleeping with a newer model won’t replace what you lost. You aren’t ready to trust someone else yet. You’d suffocate her with your baggage. Although she’d asked you to stay, quietly, you leave while she sleeps.

You swear at the stars as you walk home in the dark, cursing your ashen heart for still spitting embers into the night.

Yet, still, you hope one day it’s ready to be alight.

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