He liked being a farmer. It was an old trade, an inevitable transition for someone who is endless. You can’t make your way through life with magic alone, after all. Magic was too conspicuous, too unexplainable. Farming was not. Farming was idyllic.
His wife, the last of dozens, eventually left. He forced her out finally, and he sealed any possibility of her return with a binding spell. It was an unfortunate consequence, but a necessary one should the little girl be raised as one who is endless. This was all before the little girl was old enough to remember. So that made it good.
The little girl loved to dance around the farmhouse. It was the only trace of her mother that remained.
He loved her more than the world since the day she was born. They were inseparable.
She was his first – a funny thought, given the fact that he was two centuries old and well able.
He raised her himself. He bore her proud upon his shoulders when they rode into town. She learned her way about the farm at a very young age. She loved her father more than anything else that could possibly exist in her little world.
They were alone together and very happy.
Inevitably, she turned fourteen.
And she met a boy.
She told him that she had fallen in love. He told her that, in time, she would come to find the notion of love ridiculous. Their kind did not fall in love with strangers.
She told him that she did not believe in being endless. There was only now. He forbade her from such blasphemy.
She stopped talking to him about the boy.
Life went on, but quieter. There was no more music. She told him that she had forgotten how to dance.
She didn’t sit with him on the porch in the late afternoons as she had always done. She grew nervous around him at the supper table. He sensed that she had begun to wander away in her soul.
One morning, he woke early to bail the hay.
He found them in the barn. He found her naked with straw in her hair, curled up fast asleep in the arms of the boy that she thought she loved.
He snapped and before he knew it, a good bit of his old self made things known within the world again.
He snapped his fingers and her heart exploded from her chest into his hands before she had time to wake. The boy saw the blood pour from the wound in her breast and screamed like a little boy does until he made a sign in the air and closed the boy’s throat from the inside. He lifted the boy from the ground and threw him so hard that it sent him through the roof into the sky so far up that the boy’s people never found the body.
The girl eventually opened her eyes. They were milky white and sightless. She stared after her own beating heart in his hands, and she followed it stumbling back into the house.
Inside the house he wept for her. He sat in his chair in the dark before dawn and whispered for her to dance and she did, twirling naked around him through the shadows, the gaping hole in her chest empty and throbbing black blood, until the sun began to rise and he felt like things were right again.
In the early hours, he locked her and her heart in separate corners of the barn and went about his chores.
When the sun fell, so did his heart, so he drew hers out again. She followed.
Things went on this way for many, many nights, until he eventually died of a broken heart. She took her heart back from him but the damage was done, so she held it in her hands and she stumbled as she wandered away from him for the last time.
She met a violent end, finally, at the hands of those who do not know magic and are afraid of things they cannot explain—an unfortunate ending to an endless tale.
Jeremy Kelly is a writer who lives in Decatur, Georgia. He's currently writing his first novel. Find out more about him at http://jointhebirdies.blogspot.com/.