“WHO DID THIS?!”, Father bellowed, pointing to the heart on his nearly finished work.

I thought it was beautiful… that it’s what the man in the statue needed…

Father’s face was distorted with rage, enough to make the four year old me sob hysterically.


I closed my eyes, anticipating the familiar pain of his riding crop…

It never touched me.

I opened my eyes to see Mother clutching the sculpture, her eyes wild.

Father lay limp on the ground, his head creating a crimson pool.

51 thoughts on “Heart

  1. Ouch! Now there’s a mom with “clout”. I wonder how many times she’d experienced his riding crop. I hope the jury will let her off. Kudos on a sensitive story, KZ.

  2. now there’s a man with his priorities out of whack. (I didn’t write that with a pun intended, but I’m not going to change it now. 🙂 ) It’s a great use of the sculpture and the heart both.

  3. Sheer utter brilliance – it doesn’t matter if you like the story r not, it is told with such vivid imagery, and that extra key ingredient, use of rhythm/timing and pacing, that it is an example of great story telling – but I did like it, very much.

  4. I was wondering if it was plausible that the mother could lift this sculpture and that perhaps something else had happened to cause the ‘crimson pool’. She might have been clutching the heads as they sat on the bench. Then, a mother protecting her children, children not strangers to the father’s brutality. The rage of ‘one last straw’ can I think empower a person with immense physical strength. Pushed over the edge into a moment of utter madness. So the story offers up two roads for me. I like mystery!

  5. Truly and unexpected end. The child believed that the dad needed more love, just as his or her father did. The sculpture may have been destroyed but the child now has a brand new picture that will be in his or her memory. Sad but it does happen.

  6. Well, THAT’s going to show up in every biography of the great artist! Seriously, I like the way this story builds from an innocent childish scribble to the shock at the end, and the way you made use of the whole picture.

  7. I like the idea here – you might see a few echoes in mine, although I promise I hadn’t read any of the others before I wrote it.
    If I can offer one crit – I’d have liked a slightly subtly key to the narrator’s age: “four year old me” seems a little expository. Maybe you could have mentioned something else to indicate a young age – crayola, perhaps? Or something in the narrator’s language.
    Just a suggestion, the last few lines are a great reveal from the POV of an adult looking back.

  8. Wow, you are great at finding a twist, I had this image of a slight grumpy father who had paid a lot for a sculpture, as a child most of us had crayoned somewhere we shouldn’t have! I thought the mother had picked the sculpture up to keep it safe, so the ending hit me fast! How rose tinted my view was!

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