There Is No Time
By George Gad Economou
Or is it in nightmares?
In rain, at midnight, I’d finished the most gruesome work
of my entire life. It was finally done, but I couldn’t leave. How could I,
after all? I’m still thinking about that fateful night, even now, back at the
same place, standing in bright sunshine. Between now and then, only one thing
didn’t change: the shovel.
I watch solemnly, unable to understand how it all happened.
It had been raining the entire damn day, and our moods had darkened. Weather
influences the mind. We had been talking and crying about wasting nine months
of living, realizing that, although we were in love, we couldn’t be together.
And it all culminated then, that damn rainy day. The flowers I planted then have
now bloomed; they look beautiful. And everything is so peaceful. Perhaps, she’s
smiling; at last, by planting those flowers, I hope I made her smile. I stayed
away for months, leaving her in peace, as promised.
I can’t take it anymore, and must see her, even if it’s one
last time. I still carry around the last present she ever gave me—a small,
metal box. It’s right here in my pocket, safely chained to my belt. And within
it, something’s beating. How did it happen? Where was I? Why can’t I remember
When you dream, there is nothing but the dream. We sat in her
apartment; it was raining, and getting
dark. We were smiling through tears, even laughing. I hugged her goodbye,
tight. I knew it was the last time; she didn’t. I sent her a letter, explaining
it was all over.
She responded three days later. She gave me the box when
she came to my door. Then, I brought her here, to this very spot; it was still
raining, and, in the middle of the night, I did what I had to do. I buried her
heartless body, and planted some flowers over it because she always liked
flowers. I’ve kept the box in my pocket ever since, carrying it around
everywhere; I sleep with it next to me. She told me once that flowers are what
makes a home feel like home. I gave
her a home, and she gave me her heart; we both got what we desired the most.
I’m back. Why? I have the shovel, the same one I used then.
And I’m waiting. The heart in the box keeps on beating; it had never ceased. I
kiss the heart residing inside, and it skips a beat. It makes me smile. It is
still warm and filled with affection. Why couldn’t we be together? I don’t even
remember the reasons now. Alongside her, I buried the past, the memories. Her
heart is the only memorandum, and my most precious possession. Why am I here? I
ruined her home once, and the time has come to do it again. History always repeats
itself; that’s what wise
men say, anyhow.
The dirt is dry and hard, where once it was wet and easy to
dig (but I got all muddy). I’m sweating, the sun is hot, and the day is dry,
with no wind, not even a tiny breeze. At high noon, in mid-summer, I’m here
because I missed her. I destroy the flowers, and can feel the heart beating
slower, sadder. And I hear her cry.
She was never dead. She could have lived without her heart,
for she’d learned not to use it. The dirt was too heavy for her to lift before;
today I let her. Her hand arises, still wearing the ring. I stop. I can’t
withhold my tears; the ring reminds me. She destroyed a home to be with me,
then couldn’t be with me because she destroyed a home. And then, she gave me
her heart as a token, a reminder of what I’d made her do.
was sobbing; she was silent, but her eyes were tearful. She was holding the box
gently, tenderly, as she knocked on my door. She was exhausted; yet, she
smiled, when I answered the door. I wanted to hold her; I was the one who’d
ended it, but I wanted her back. She didn’t let me embrace her, just gave me
the box and collapsed. I took her in, put her on the couch. Memories
overwhelmed me. When I opened the box, I screamed like a little girl.
was petrified, but, impossibly, she was still breathing, and her smile widened.
It almost calmed me down; her smile was what I loved the most. Then, she turned
cold, stony. She was still alive, but wasn’t living. She had given up on her
heart because she couldn’t bear the emotions and the struggle. She wished me to
have her heart, knowing it was what I wanted. I hit her in the head with a
hammer. She stiffened, unmoving. I brought her here, to the middle of nowhere.
Amidst the heavy rain, I buried her, gave her a place to rest, a home. And she
Why can’t I leave her alone? I ruined her home once, and
now I’m doing it again. And she’s crying again. She’s protesting. There she is!
Even in decay, she’s beautiful. Covered in mud, her skin pale and icy, she’s
wonderful. Her eyes remain mesmerizing; if she was smiling, it would still be
She’s screaming, silently. Terrified, I take a step
backwards; then she’s up on her knees, crawling towards me. I can’t stop her. I
can do nothing but stare. We’re reunited, and we hurt each other…just like
I see the hole in her chest, whence her heart came. She’s
in tears and furious that I destroyed the home I gave her. I try to apologize,
to explain; my lips move, but soundlessly. I shiver, and she stops, there, on
her knees, glaring up at me from two steps away. We’re so close, and it feels
right, even if it’s wrong. It’s just like old times, when we tried to make each
other happy, and failed miserably. The heart in its box has stopped beating.
would she have given me her heart? I couldn’t understand. As I stood above the
freshly dug grave, the place where I put her, I couldn’t comprehend. Was it my
words that ended what she too wanted to end? And there I was, standing in the
rain, planting flower seeds in the wet dirt, trying to create a home for her,
the only thing she ever wanted. And the rain was falling heavily, as if the sky
was crying for our separation, for the death of our hopeless love. I finally
drove away, returned home. Her heart safely with me, I was alone; the box
reminded me of her, of all the good times, and I could live, while she rotted
in the dirt, in her tiny home, all alone and unable to feel. It was emotions
that brought her to this end; maybe not being able to feel was what she truly
She’s still there, staring at me, tears in her tired eyes,
her mouth forming a silent scream. Her arms are extended towards me. She wants
something, but what? I raise the shovel because I can finally move again. I’m
scared, but happy. Does she want an embrace? When I lean forwards, she backs
away in surprise. No embrace. Then what? A single beat in my pocket, and I
comprehend. But I refuse to comply.
For months I’d been merely existing, always lost in
thoughts and memories. The rain reminded me of our last night together, the sun
of our happy days. We’d tried to live our love when we attempted to bring our
dream to life. We failed, and I couldn’t move on. I wanted to, but her heart
wouldn’t let me. I held onto it tight, with conviction. We’d wasted nine months
of living, but it was worth it; in the end it wasn’t a waste. So, I drove back,
wanting to see her. And I found her new home, the one I gave her, and it made
I can’t do it, I simply refuse! The most precious gift, the
only true memorandum, and I can’t give it up. I don’t want to live. I glance at
the open grave, and wish to jump in. Then, we can live together, in the home I
made, and destroyed. The flowers lie uprooted on the grass, and it’s over; the
home is ruined. Therefore, she wants her gift back. I took mine away; now it’s
her turn. That’s fair play, but I’m not a good sportsman.
She points at the pocket and pleads, and then threatens—mouth
open, teeth turned sharp. She’s on her feet, arms extended, wicked smile wide,
nothing beautiful in it. The hole in her chest gapes, and I know what must be
done. I can’t. I raise the shovel. I can’t do it. My feet glued to the ground,
sweat runs into my eyes, blinding me. But I know she’s coming close by her
growling. The one sound she can produce is hurting my ears, and my heart. Once,
she said she loved me; now she growls and moves closer, mouth wide open, the
sunlight reflecting off her sharp teeth.
I hit her! I couldn’t control my arms; she’s down, and motionless,
but still alive. In tears, I caress her hair. Despite the dirt, it hasn’t lost
volume or color. It remains lovely—black, thick, and fragrant—regardless of the
time in the ground. I take the box out, and spare one last glance at the heart,
still there and still broken, though beating weakly. There’s one thing to be
I hold it in my hands, tenderly; once, when we slept
together, I felt as if I was holding her heart, keeping it warm. Now, I’m
holding it again, and it’s cold. I place the heart inside the chest cavity. The
hole closes: no more hole in her body, or in her soul. Her teeth are not sharp;
her smile is beautiful. She moans. I put her back in the ground and cover her
with dirt. New flowers are planted. I ruined two homes, but I can fix this one.
Her laughter sounds like music in my ears as I walk away. Tears mingle with a
smile, and I’m gone.
I lived in dreams because time does not exist in them and,
thus, love lives forever. I walk away, and enter reality. She has her home and
her heart. She can once more feel. And I have my smile, my memories, and a new
life. One day, I’ll return and leave my heart atop her home. It will be the day
time ceases to exist for me.
George Gad Economou, email@example.com, of
Risskov, Denmark, who wrote BP #72’s “In Dreams, There Is No Time” (+ BP #68’s
“Angel of the Dark” and BP #64’s “The Day I Started Believing”), is a 20ish
horror author from Greece, whose first novel, THE ELIXER OF YOUTH, was published
in Greece in 2010. He wrote this first novel at the age of 15, and has since
written more novels, as well as short stories, all in the horror genre. See www.facebook.com/GeorgeGadEconomou.