Fungal Halo

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The Heartless

I fucking hate breakups.

You put your heart and soul into a relationship with someone, and in the end they betray your trust and leave you with a gaping wound in your chest. Every fucking time.

I’d just be better off giving up on love.

I stand—with so much more effort than it should take—and grimace at the blood sizzling through the floorboards. How long was I lying there, wallowing in self-pity?

Doesn’t matter. Long enough for them to get away. I’ll have my dolls clean this up tomorrow.

I stomp through the halls of my house, intent on doing something about the immediate issue.

I seem to still be bleeding from my chest, but the dolls will just have to take care of the trail I’m leaving behind me too.

A big fire: that’s what I need right now.

I am as flamewise as any other properly trained witch—fire lore comprises most of the earliest lessons anyway—and it takes me little time to conjure up a great bonfire outside.

I probe my chest wound and wince. Was that a fucking shotgun? What a bitch.

Reaching in, I pull out my heart, lungs, and several more ragged bits I don’t care to assign names to.

It takes me the better part of a day to pluck out all the shot, but I stab the wriggling passage of time, pinning it in place so that I can finish before night’s end.

Borrowing flame from the bonfire, I cauterize what I must. I stuff my lungs back in—a bit haphazardly maybe, but they figure themselves out—and then take a breath again, calming down just a bit.

My heart, now…

Who needs a heart, really? It’s only caused me pain.

I throw it into the bonfire. It’s not like I’ll miss turning into a drooling idiot over the next pretty thing to catch my eye.

I free time’s flow, permitting it to squirm on ahead once more.

A heartless witch is a productive creature indeed. Without some foul wretch demanding my time and energy on a daily basis, my studies proceed swiftly.

I have my vices, however. There is a café I haunt where they serve a robust and energizing concoction I find invigorating.

The name is Raven Roast. And while I admit that the servers most definitely please the eye, I am content to merely enjoy their aesthetic; I feel nothing for them.

Then a new customer arrives—one I’ve never seen before—with delicate features and a soft, sweet voice.

And I know that I’m in trouble.

My heart pounds in my chest, and—

Wait, no…I thought I got rid of you!