[WP] You wake up in a dusty library. Pale light filters through the grimy windows. A man sits upon a sill, admiring a jar, a human heart inside. "I'm going to hang on to this for a little while."


He puts down his book and steps down from the windowsill. A glittering sunbeam reveals the dancing dust in the air his movement disturbs. “Well, you already stole mine. It’s only fair.”

“Really?” I look at my hands. In one hand, my place in my paperback is being kept by my thumb. In the other, a warm heart is gently beating. “Oh no! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.”

He smiles. “Don’t worry, it wasn’t your fault. I think it was the way your hair had fallenl across your face. It basically leapt from my chest.”

It’s awkward to hold a heart. If you grip it too tightly, you’ll squeeze it to death. But if you let it sit too loosely, it might fall. I reach over to my backpack, and pull out the jar I keep my butterfly in. It’s a monarch. I raised it from a caterpillar, feeding it the leftovers from my salads. But, it’s probably time for it to go anyway. It flutters out as soon as I unscrew the cap. I gently place the heart inside, where it has just enough space to beat. “Is this okay? It might bounce around a little bit.”

“That’s perfect. It should be tough enough to handle a bit of jostling. And you even have air holes.”

I nod. “I can’t just put it back, can I?”

He chuckles. “I don’t think that’s how it works.”

“Too bad.” I look at the dust. It’s funny how you can rarely see it, even though it’s always dancing everywhere. “What do we do now?”

“I guess I’ll see you here again. Tomorrow?”

“Well, I guess I’ll probably be here.” There’s a disappointed look in his eyes. Why? Oh, I see. He’s asking me on a date. “Sure. Tomorrow it is.”

“Great.” He rubs his thumb across his forehead. “Great. See you then.” He starts to walk away.

“Wait!” He turns around at my call. “Don’t drop it,” I whisper.

He pauses for a second. “I won’t.” He smiles. “I won’t.”

/r/WritingPrompts Thread