Flash Fiction: Heart Shaped Box

This week, no rambling, left-field Joanne thoughts, oh no. I’m in at 294 words in another Flash Fiction piece inspired by one of my earliest FPs. The original FP is at the end of the piece. It’s not my best work, I’ll happily admit, but it was a challenge I set to myself to write something and publish it in an evening. So here it is. Hope you enjoy.

Heart Shaped Box.

Jim scrutinises the plain brown, paper wrapped parcel sitting on the counter top. What on earth have the hospital sent?

The news the night before that Donna had died was shock enough, but when a motorcycle courier turned up that morning with a parcel from the hospital she had passed away in, a cold chill ran through Jim’s spine.

I could just throw it away – not open it. The thought plays over and over in his mind as he thumbs the thin paper covering the box.

Finally, unable to look at it any longer, Jim seizes the parcel tape and tears it off in one decisive motion. Removing the outer paper reveals a blue gift box with a well fitted lid and a neatly tied bow.

Tucked under the ribbon, he finds an envelope bearing his name, written in capitals. He hastily discards it in favour of lifting the lid.

But even two hours procrastination can’t prepare him for the contents.

His stomach somersaults. Bile rises and settles somewhere in the back of his throat.

There, packed in ice, lies the unmistakable mass of a human heart. The raw redness of the aorta and ventricles, the veins and arteries, clearly visible through the translucency of the cold storage.

Confusion floods every synapse. Jim seizes up the letter and rips it open.

A donor card flutters to the floor.

Unfolding the letter, Jim finds Donna’s distinctive scrawl, still recognisable after five years apart.

‘Dearest Jim,

I gave this to you long ago. This time, I hope you won’t reject it.

Yours forever, Donna.’

 

The above story originated from this Friday Phase which I wrote back in January.

He knew she’d died; he’d read the obituary. But it was a shock when he opened a parcel from the hospital to find her donated heart there. 

 

6 Comments

Filed under Writing

6 responses to “Flash Fiction: Heart Shaped Box

  1. Clever and a great play on words!

  2. I remember that FP! It’s still as good as it was then and I love the way you elaborated on it!

  3. Wonderful! I love that ending, Joanne.

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