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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2216545
Circa 2011 Daily Slice Entry

Sparkling Heart (1000 words)

"Where did you get that?" Matty asked Jen, pointing at the new necklace she wore around her neck.

"Smith's," Jen replied, smiling. "You like it?"

Smith's was a jewellers in town, it was a pretty expensive shop, but it usually had a sale on and sold a lot of stock at good prices. Most of the time you didn't need to break the bank to get a nice ring, bracelet or necklace.

"Yeah, it's nice." Matty told her, honestly liking the little sparkling heart at the end of the gold chain.

Jen wore the necklace all the time in the following weeks, only removing it when she slept at night. Overnight, the necklace would hang on a little mannequin that stood on the top of Matty's bedside cabinet. Her own cabinet was always full of stuff ranging from water bottles to a Nintendo DS and charger.

Matty stopped noticing the sparkling heart that she wore. At first he looked at it whenever she left the house, hanging there, dangling just above the bosom. Soon though, he stopped paying it any attention.

The days and nights turned into weeks, and night after night, the necklace hung on the mannequin. It would sparkle in the morning as the sun found gaps in the curtains and its light shone directly onto the heart. Jen would then look into the mirror as she placed the jewel around her neck, smiling every time she did so.

Jen was the reason that Matty stopped noticing the glittering heart. She stopped talking to him. Well, not stopped entirely, but having a real conversation was becoming a chore. They had always had heated arguments in the past. They would argue about everything, never serious arguments though, they had conflicting views on most things. This as part of the reason they were together.

Now though, the arguments had stopped. Instead of arguing her viewpoint, Jen would just stand up and leave the room with a huff when things got hot. If she didn't get up, she would go silent after pointing out that she wasn't interested in Matty's point of view.

She had also changed in other ways. They had both always done the housework together, but now she wanted him to do a lot more. They had split the work down the middle. One dust and one vacuum and then swap in the next room. Jen now insisted that they do separate rooms and do them completely.

She would work longer each day and not go out at the weekend with him. It was as though she was no longer interested in Matty. He felt that way at least. He confronted her about it and she told him that she was stressed out with work. Social workers were being given more to do, but they weren't getting any extra pay or overtime to cope with things.

Matty understood and the night after asking her what the problem was, she cuddled into him while she slept and told him that she loved him. Matty held her close and whispered back that he loved her too.

The next morning, Matty's life changed forever. There would be no going back to how it used to be.

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Morning came and the sun found the gap in the curtains as it always seemed to. The light shone directly onto the necklace as it dangled on the mannequin. It threw off light against the wall behind it, the sparkling light moving on the darker areas of the wall.

The alarm clock went off at seven forty five. Matty reached across to press the button, to turn off that irritating sound. He hit something and heard a clatter as the mannequin and everything hanging on and attached to it fell to the floor.

The carpet dulled the noise a little and Jen didn't wake up. This gave Matty time to pick everything up quietly and place it back on the miniature person

He lifted a couple of rings and bracelets without a problem. He placed them where they belonged carefully, keeping the noise to a minimum so as not to wake Jen. At one point, she turned over breathing deeply and sighing in her sleep. He though he was caught, but he wasn't.

He lifted the chain with the heart on so he could hang it around the mannequin's neck. The clasp caught on the carpet and there was a clicking sound as the thin gold chain snapped. The sparkling heart slipped off the chain and fell back to the carpet.

Jen turned once again in the bed, this time more than a sigh was emitted from her mouth. It was more of a low yelp. She turned onto her back and began to snore.

Panicking slightly, Matty tried to fix the chain, pushing the links that had fell apart back together. He couldn't see so well in the low light of the bedroom, the only source of illumination being the beam of sunlight coming through the gap in the curtain.

His fingers felt sticky. He held them up in the beam of light and could see they were coated in a red substance.

Jen continued to snore. She moved, grunted, the snore became a gurgle.

Matty held the chain up into the light. Blood was running from the chain and dripping. He looked at where the drops fell, they were landing on the sparkling heart. Except now it wasn't sparkling.

Jen began to cough in the bed. Matty felt something wet and warm on the back of his neck as she gurgled in the bed.

Jen sat up suddenly. Her mouth opened and liquid began to pour out. Matty ran and opened the curtains. He stood on the now black heart on the floor, cracking it.

Jen fell back, her suffering ended. She choked on the blood she had been coughing and spewing up.

Matty stood there, looking aghast at the scene in the bedroom in front of him and began to cry.








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