Heart Shaped Suicide

Susan’s husband committed suicide. The damning act came out of nowhere. A blow to the heart and soul of those he left behind. A new marriage, a promising career, a happy newlywed family with nothing but life ahead of them. But, like many happily ever afters, theirs carried a hidden, tragic flaw. And in the months following the suicide, the grieving woman searched deep within her soul to grasp that flaw and put to order the chaos in her heart and mind.

But nothing seemed to work. Every inch of the house brought to the fore memories of the happy life the couple shared.

Pictures from the wedding. The first time in her life she was able to look in the mirror and say to herself ‘You are lovely’. And Robbie – so handsome in the black and teal formal. He even wore the tiny silk flower her sister had made for him, pinning it on his lapel and kissing him on the cheek.

Her family loved Robbie. The adoration lofted his way was pure magic. Her sister was fond of joking that ‘Had Susan not caught him first…’ Everyone loved Robbie. But not like she. From deep within her heart, she knew no one had ever loved another like she loved her darling soul mate. And now he was gone. Forever stolen from her vision, but never from her heart.

She vowed on his coffin she would never love again.

Her mind made certain of that vow, slowly bending under the pain of loss until it silently snapped one night as she clutched Robbie’s picture tightly to her breast. She felt it go. Felt the numbing trickle down her arms, and her face go slack. The loss was too much. She couldn’t bear to face life without her darling husband.

Her numb legs allowed her to climb the stairs to the attic. If it was good enough for Robbie, it was good enough for her. The bare bulb swung from the large rafter in the sweltering room. Next to the bulb was the exact spot Robbie’s noose dripped from – his neck broken, his breath and life stolen. Susan’s resolve caved and understood, full well, that spot would hold her own death-necklace. The broken wife would call it a poetic ending and rejoin the love of her life in heaven.

Or would she? Would heaven admit the Suiciders? She wasn’t sure. Confusion wracked her brain and squeezed the very blood from her heart. Could it be her angel was rotting in hell? If that be the case then her quest would be to save him from an eternal struggle. Surely their love could battle the demons of Hades and carry them safely across the veil of sorrow.

The time for questioning was over. All that existed was a dark desire to rejoin Robbie and to Hell with all else.

Susan tossed the rope over the beam and formed the noose. She grabbed the lone chair that her darling dearest kicked out from his very feet and placed it directly under the rope. She climbed onto the chair, pulled the noose over her head, said a prayer, and kicked the chair away. The rope immediately dug deep into the flesh of her neck. The fall wasn’t forceful enough to snap bone and vein. The noose, however, was tight enough to end the passage of life-giving oxygen.

The attic scene faded in and out. A strange whisper tickled her hearing. The words weren’t clear, but the lilt and timbre of the tone was familiar. As she swayed side to side, back and forth, her hands and feet grew unfamiliar – as if they had been lost and reattached.

Again, the voice danced about the space around her head. Susan strained her neck in a vain attempt to discern the words and meaning. Each time she twisted her suffering neck, a thrumming hum overtook every sensation. She tried to cry out, but the serpentine cord prevented sound from escaping her throat.

As she silently swung her feet kicked madly. The heel of her shoe connected with a box. The box tilted and came to rest back in place. Again the foot bumped the aged cardboard, only this time the box upended and dumped its contents to the floor. Pictures spilled out in an array of colors and memories. Pictures of family, pictures of vacations, of love and laughter. Of the many moments spilled onto the wood of the attic floor, it was the pictures of her darling husband and her baby sister that caught her eye.

Kissing. Fondling. Loving.

As her vision began to tunnel, the last memory she would take into whatever afterlife was offered, was the image of her husband and her sister making the shape of a heart with their hands. 

~ Jack Wallen

© Copyright 2012 Jack Wallen. All Rights Reserved.

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About jlwallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning technical writer as well as the writer of numerous works of horror fiction (including the popular I Zombie series). Jack's primary technical focus is Linux and open source -- which he has been working with for nearly twenty years. When diving into the world of fiction, Jack swims in the darker waters or horror, post-apocalyptic, and thriller. For his inspiration to begin reading and writing, Jack thanks the ever-incredible Clive Barker for penning in a genre with words of grace and horror. You can follow Jack on Get Jack'd, Facebook, or Twitter.

16 responses to “Heart Shaped Suicide”

  1. the happy horror writer says :

    First rule of suicide: Make sure you know who you’re dying for before you string yourself up. This means going through all those cardboard boxes. Especially the ones in the attic!

    This story has a satisfying twist that effectively managed to turn my sympathetic feelings of sadness for Susan into irritated anger at her rash act – all in such a short space. I was sure it was going to be a haunting, but the final reveal packed a much more satisfying punch than that would have. Bravo!

    Happy Coffin Hopping!

    -aniko

    Like

    • Jack Wallen says :

      Thank you for the kind words Aniko! I wanted to try to see what kind of effect I could get by writing the shortest possible story, yet still give something of a history as well as a tragic flaw. The blindness that love causes can certainly beget tragedy. 😉

      Like

  2. Joseph Pinto says :

    Jack, as I read Heart Shaped Suicide, it was quite obvious the mood grew darker & more somber with each passing paragraph. Your story is a classic example that horror doesn’t necessarily come in the form of ghouls or creatures or haunts of the mind. Horror, sadly, is found in the normal lives we lead. Tragic & hauntingly disturbing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story!!

    Like

  3. liese2 says :

    Thanks for the great story! I find this subject to be much scarier than monsters, ghosts etc.

    Like

  4. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    I really enjoyed the shock ending on this piece. The subtle clue you offered earlier in the story really helped drive the ‘Ah!’ moment home. And the fact that she still dies anyway, throws her life away for a man that never deserved it, perfectly horrific! Heart Shaped Suicide is a great story Jack! ;}

    Like

  5. Daemonwulf says :

    Hey Jack. That was very nice…if ‘nice’ is a word that can be used to describe such horror. But what a stunning end…in more ways than one…for Susan. This simply dripped of ‘horror’ in the truest sense of the word. Great stuff there Zombie King!

    Like

  6. James Garcia Jr says :

    If I may, I would like to offer my own congratulations to the chorus offered from this fine group. Well done! I was worried about dear sister once the first bit of tease was offered. Isn’t that the way? I thoroughly enjoyed the piece. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy Hopping!

    -Jimmy

    Like

  7. Adriana Noir says :

    Awesome story, Jack! I loved the steady progression of heaviness and horror that crept in line by line. This was such a perfect example of the horror dwelling within the human heart and the conditions we’re so capable of percolating! Well done, sir!

    Like

  8. joliedupre says :

    Yep, there’s no way I’m killing myself over some dude.

    Like

  9. Thomas Brown says :

    Angst-ridden fiction! This is emotionally engaging writing, drawing from one of the strongest human experiences – love – to lure the reader in. We feel her pain and sympathise at the end, when the truth comes tumbling out.

    Like

  10. moondustwriter says :

    what a way to die
    noble until the box spills open

    Like

  11. Tyr Kieran says :

    Love the story, Jack! Great execution (no pun intended). The ending was great, because you either get the feeling of sorrow and regret or that Susan will kick the “living” shit out of him in the afterlife.

    Like

  12. Hunter Shea says :

    Talk about sending a soul into the abyss of eternal unrest! Nice, wicked ending. Makes me wonder how many people have killed themselves over a false love.

    Like

  13. blazemcrob says :

    Great story, Jack! Cheating, deception, and all the little horrors combining to form one great horror came to fruition so well with the strokes of your Damned Pen. A fine Pen it is.

    Blaze

    Like

  14. zkullis says :

    Jack, this story lead me down a dark path that seemed to point to a macabre ending. The closer I got to the ending, the deeper I was pulled into Susan’s tormented mind. Her tragic understanding brought to light in her last moments was an inescapable horror.

    The image of her doomed body flailing in the air was vivid. Well done.

    Like

  15. Copious Corpses says :

    Excellent telling! I was taken into her sorrow and loss, empathetic to her need to fill her vacuum left by his loss. I then was holding my breath as the box tipped, the same empathy now with her outrage. Great story.

    Like

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