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Lost Hearts

For reasons that No Mortal May Know, there's this thing called Storygasm. It involves prompting a writer to create a little story. The prompt has to be sufficiently clear to suggest something, but not so precise as to cripple the old creative impulse. Anyway, I went to the site and prompted 'Lost Hearts'. Anyway, the story is by Nathaniel Lee, who sounds like he should be a sailor in a Victorian poem, but probably isn't. The story is remarkably perceptive, as this actually happened to me in 1987. And again in 1996.

She answered the door on the fourth ring.
“I want it back,” I said.
She shrugged one delicate shoulder and turned away, leaving the door ajar. I stepped inside. Racks of cages lined the hallway, full of hearts. They were limp, despondent things, gazing out at her with hopeless longing. Three more, a bit better groomed, lurked nervously on the couch. She shoved them aside and seated herself.
“I don’t have it,” she said, crossing her legs.
“You… how?”
She shrugged again. “It got lost. You should take better care of your heart if you don’t want it getting lost.”