The King of Hearts

A thick fog lay across the table.
‘Put your cards down’ she hissed, barely breathing. Thick, sticky red knotted in her hair.
‘You’re going to kill yourself’ he cried, his hands bound across his chest.
The shadow walked behind him; with eyes down, they saw her approaching.
‘Put your cards down.’ Blood pumped out under her clothes. Dark violet stains, browning.
His wrists pulled and burned against the rope. He threw them down, one by one. A King, a Queen, a Spade.
‘You see?’ He pleaded. More red drizzled from her brain.
‘So who is she?’ Her eyes lifted to the shadow ‘And who is that for?’ Her head dropped to his last card.
His arms pulled until the ties loosened. She bled.
‘A spade for my queen.’ He whimpered as he smothered the shadow. His shirt did the job.
As she watched, she bled to death. He used a spade to dig her grave.

By Cate Triner.

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