semi-final votes:
1

 

fear
youth

Twisted Heart

by Addy G
New Jersey, United States
genre: Fantasy

I am high above the ground, looking down, as if I am a god. From my window seat I feel like I control everything. 

Gray stone bricks meet emerald green grass at the base of the tower, and leafy pine-colored ivy snakes its  way up. Sawdust-colored shingles on the roof slope down elegantly from a spire. I can’t see it, I know it’s there. 

My long, auburn hair trails down the tower, smooth and silky. I wear a tight dress of red, the color of blood. My feet are bare, like the inside of my tower, just white walls with oak support beams. I have a large white bed with a gray quilt pulled taut over it. There is a desk pushed into the corner, from when I used to make art. On the other end is a large mirror and a table for my brush. There is no one to keep me company. I’ m all alone. 

Except for when he comes. My prince, all regal and good looks, who rides every week to see me. To climb up my hair into the tower. To love me. 

Someday he will take me away from here. He’ll sweep me away from this awful tower to his kingdom. It’s been five years since the first time he climbed up. Each time he visits, he fills my head with vivid visions, promising me we will go when the time is right. I can envision standing next to him before all his subjects, crowned as his queen. I will rule with him. 

Until then, all I have is his company in this isolated tower. It is not much, but I suppose it’s better than being secluded.

As I look out the window, I see him riding towards me on his cream-colored steed. My heart swells, and I hurriedly braid my hair for him to climb. 

I fling my hair over the open window, and watch as he starts climbing. He is not gentle, he pulls and yanks on my hair. I wince and grit my teeth and bear the pain. 

He finishes the climb and swings his leg over the large window sill. I put on my princess smile and pull him in for a hug. He is stiff and rigid, and doesn’t return the gesture. 

I let my arms fall and frown at him. He is a head taller than me, with a dimple on his chin and a curly mop of chocolate brown hair. I look into his gray eyes, unfocused and detached.
“What?” I ask, listening to my sing-song voice. I deserve to be his princess. I deserve to rule. 

He stares at me and wets his lips. His eyes dart around the room, as if nervous. Oh! This will be our true love's kiss! 

I gaze up at him and pucker my lips. I lean in, ready for my happy ending…

He takes a step back and clears his throat. 

My eyebrows knit, but then I realize. There will be no kiss. There was never going to be a kiss. 

He opens his mouth, and I wait for the blow that will break my heart. 

“We can’t do this anymore,” He says, and I feel a pang in my chest. “There is another who will be my queen.” 

A broken heart is something you can never fully fix. If not treated immediately, it will consume you, break your mind. I can almost feel it happening as my heart speeds up. I feel my innocent heart fracturing a delicate web of cracks, barely holding together. 

I focus on breathing. In and out. But what good is breathing when you have no heart left? 

All I ever wanted was love. We were perfect! Instead, emptiness where my heart is supposed to be. 

I feel the change. Slowly at first, and then faster and faster. My mind is breaking. 

The time for sadness is over. My eyes are wet with unshed tears, but I won’t cry. I won’t dwell over things I can’t fix. I can’t change the past, but I can change the future. This prince doesn’t deserve to go back to his kingdom, back to his secret mistress. He deserves to know just how deep his words cut my heart. I press my lips together as I come to my conclusion. My traumatized heart beats only for revenge now. 

I smile at him, and flood my eyes with false sympathy. I stride over to the mirror. Still grinning, I pull my elbow back and jam it with as much force as I can into the glass. It cracks, and I understand how it feels. I break a large piece off and strut over to the prince. Beads of blood dot my elbow, but I hardly notice. The pain compliments my fractured heart. 

The prince backs up, inching close to the window. I follow slowly, a predator toying with its prey. I used to be the prey. Now I am the predator. He bumps his arm on the window sill. There is no glass on the window, it is just a sheer drop to the ground below.  

The prince will die by my hand or his own. 

He cowers, all his regal demeanor and confidence gone. He is a coward. A traitor. 

I draw in close to him. I can feel his warm breaths on my cheek. A moment ago that would’ve made my heart flutter. But not now. 

Now, all I feel is apathy towards the prince that I had trusted with my heart. My life. My dreams. 

“Was it ever real?” I whisper, letting hope seep into my words. 

He stares at me and frantically nods yes. 

But as I search his eyes, I know it never was. 

I raise the mirror shard and prepare to strike. 

I bring the blade down stabbing him in the heart. 

Once. 

Twice. 

Three times. 

I see the light leave his eyes. 

Still, I keep stabbing, wanting to break his heart like mine did.

The sun hangs low in the sky. It made the sky a beautiful shade of apricot pink. The crescent moon was faintly showing in the corner of the sky, waiting for its chance to show the world its beauty. 

I stare at it with a maniacal smile on my face. 

By my feet is the mutilated body of my traitorous prince. 

His blood is on my hands. 

And I am proud of it. 

Frank was a security guard at the Levisay Insanity Asylum. All night, he sat in front of rows of screens, watching the patients in their rooms. He usually watched with glazed eyes and apparent disinterest. Tonight, though, he leaned into one of the screens. The camera was in the room, in the very corner. He could see there was a patient with ratty auburn hair, cut in strange ways. She must’ve been beautiful once upon a time, but now her eyes are sunken and hollow. She’s on her standard issue thin mattress that all the patients have, rocking back and forth and hugging her knees to her chest. Her lips were moving.
Frank turned up the volume. 

“I’m a pretty princess,” The woman cooed, her eyes unfocused, as if she was seeing something else. “I’m a pretty princess.” She weeped. 

She clawed at her face and then collapsed into a burst of giggles. Then another sob escaped her and tears streamed down her face. As the night wore on, she hiccuped with hysteria and ran her hands over her cheeks, feeling the dried tears on her face. 

Frank made up his mind to look at the patient's records. He pushed his chair out, and strode over to the filing cabinet in the corner of the room. 

He sifted through them until he found what he was looking for- the patient of room 14. It was filled with reports and pictures, and newspaper clippings. 

The patient’s name was unidentified, but he gleaned that she had brutally murdered her boyfriend after finding out he was in love with another woman, and continually relived the episode on a loop. 

He rolled his eyes and put the file away. Not nearly as interesting as he thought. 

He looked back at the monitor, quickly noticing something peculiar. The patient wasn’t on her bed, as she had been when moments earlier. He searched the other cameras and saw no sign of her. Panicking, he grabbed his radio and prepared to ask if anyone had eyes on the girl from room 14. 

His heart beat faster as he frantically scanned the rows of screens. Hallways and rooms, but no sign of the patient. 

Suddenly, there was a faint scuffling noise behind him, and Frank whipped around. 

The patient stood there, grinning at him. She looked worse than she did on the cameras, and he shivered. She opened her mouth, still smiling. A smile that must have been sweet once upon a time. 

“You think I deserve to be his queen, don’t you?”


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