The Heart Eternal – Austin L. Wiggins

heart_underground_by_gray2red.jpg
photo courtesy of deviantart – gray2red
The wind blew through the tall grass as Bethany walked through the cemetery. Despite the tears threatening to overflow her eyes, Bethany smiled. She inhaled, drawing the cool air deeply. The chill assaulted her face and body and the grass brushed across her calves, causing goosebumps along her leg. She was looking for a name, but already knew where it was. She looked at one of the cookie-cutter gravestones that read “Darnell Lawrence.”

Darnell died working in the mines. The mine collapsed and killed him instantly, or so the story went. The company was found to be guilty of negligence, but the financial compensation didn’t soothe the pain of losing her love.

Bethany collapsed to her knees, sinking into the damp earth. The tears welling in her eyes spilled over and rolled down her sorrow-creased face. The wind blew harder and the grass danced rhythmically in the breeze. She lowered her forehead to the dirt, showing no concern for the hour it had taken to apply her makeup.

Her head was still on the ground when a sound stirred her. She lifted her head but no one was around. Silence shrouded the cemetery, and she prostrated herself once more over Darnell’s grave. She wanted to feel closer to him. When she pressed her head back to the dirt, the sound came once more. Bethany lifted her head again, and when she did, she realized the sound was coming from underground.

The ground was cold but she pressed her ear to it anyway. She heard a slow but steady thumping. It was faint, but she knew she wasn’t imagining the noise. It was only after a moment that she realized what she was listening to. It was a heartbeat.

“Even if I die my heart will continue to beat for you,” Darnell had said to her one night. It had been a part of his proposal. With all the romance in the air it had seemed hyper-romantic , but sweet nonetheless. Now, as Bethany embraced the cool earth and the wind blew and the grass danced, Bethany realized Darnell had told the truth. Deep in the earth his heart was still beating just for her.

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