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This work is from the collection of short stories called “The Secret Heart”, ©1995, published by HMS Press.
THE SECRET HEART
Once upon a time there was a little girl who wasn’t born a boy. She did not know why She wasn’t born a boy, because this seemed like what everyone wanted Her to be. So She tried to be a boy, but She was a girl. So She tried to be a girl, but she didn’t know what a girl was. So She grew up and became an artist.
She decided to be an artist because nobody listened to Her when She spoke the truth. But She found that when She took the truth and built around it so it looked like a lie, people looked at it alot, and paid her money for it. She got so good at this that it became much easier for Her to talk in pictures, so She forgot how to do this in words.
She had a Special Friend when She was small, one who would do anything for Her, and gave Her everything She needed. She loved him more than anything, and gave him Her Secret Heart, the one that all the lies were built around, because he could see through them to the real Heart. Then one day he bit someone, and was killed by someone She trusted. She tried to discover what She had done wrong.
She lived in a beautiful house by a river. One day there was a big storm and it swept Her away to a place She could not recognize. She found Her way back to Her house, but it was so wrecked by lightning it wasn’t recognizable either. So She went to look for Her home. She never found it.
She went back to the unrecognizable place, and worked on building Her lies so more people would buy them. She made alot of Her lies transparent so that She hoped someone would see through them. She knew that once someone saw the Secret Heart, they were Her Special Friend come back to Her. But no one saw it.
Then one day She met a girl. At first, when She met her, the girl didn’t look like anyone She’d want to know. But they started to get along, and they became friends. But She was still looking for Her Special Friend, and when the girl told Her that she loved Her, and the she was Her best friend, She thought the girl had seen her Secret Heart, and that this was Her friend. Her Special Friend. Then the girl left for awhile.
She was upset, and went and found new friends. But She always thought the girl was Her Special Friend, so She never forgot her. Then She met another one who She thought was her Special Friend, and She was confused. Then one day this friend was taken from her and killed. She tried to figure out what She had done wrong. And Her lies became a little less transparent, as She decided She didn’t want anyone to see Her Secret Heart but Her Special friend. Because it had started to hurt.
She went to the Big City where the girl lived, and they became friends again. The girl gave Her lots of pretty things to wear, and She wore them, because She thought that if She did, Her friend would love Her and it would make Her more like Her friend. She was also very poor, and Her friend was rich. She thought Her friend was amazing, because she was always discovering new things. She thought the girl could find her Secret Heart. So She made Her lies transparent again. Then She met a boy.
This boy thought he loved Her, and She fell in love with him, even though he couldn’t see Her Secret Heart. They loved each other so much, She wanted to share this with the girl. The girl thought this was wonderful, but was jealous, because She was wearing his clothes instead of hers. Now the girl had discovered a crystal ball, and she showed it to Her. She discovered that She could make this crystal ball work, so She started to play with it. This also made the girl jealous, as She was better at making the ball work than the girl was. So one day the girl used the crystal ball to cast a spell over the boy to make him love her, and he ran away from Her thinking he loved Her friend. She was heartbroken, but decided the She loved them both so much She would forgive them if they came back. And they did, and everything was fine.
She married the boy, and they moved away, but She was still in love with Her friend, and missed her very much. So when the girl met different boy, She was angry. Her friend had always told Her that if She was a boy, the girl would have married Her. But the girl was lying.
So one day, She went to the girl and She gave her Her Secret Heart. But the girl was not Her Special Friend, and could not see the Secret Heart, and she gave it back. The girl was laughing, but she pitied Her, because she had a boy who loved her now, so the girl didn’t need Her anymore. She learned She was replaceable. But She had never figured out how to replace friends that way. So She cut out Her Secret Heart and She buried it under a tree in a black forest.
The tree grew leaves, and had a nest in the top branches where a bird came and laid three eggs. But the eggs would never hatch because they were made of stone. She would never know this, because only Her Special Friend could show Her how to make stone grow, and She still hasn’t found him yet.