art by Tihomir Tikulin-Tico
The Mechanical Heart of Him
by Cate Gardner
Little Him scooted around Danni's heart, tying his strings so tight that she thought the organ would burst. Watching his dizzying journey made her thankful for the transparency of her skin. It didn't matter that she'd flirted with the waiter and allowed him to touch her knee. It was of no consequence that she'd kissed that guy in the bar when out with her girlfriends, that Holly had told Glenn. Glenn would see how much she loved him.
"I am so full of you, there is almost no room for anyone else," Danni said to Glenn at breakfast.
"Almost," Glenn said. As he raised an eyebrow, the cogs working his brain spun anti-clockwise.
The Little Him who lived in Danni's chest dropped to her stomach and tied it in knots. Danni ached to see what Little Her was doing in his chest, but he wore a Hawaiian shirt, which thus negated the transparency of his skin. She couldn't think where he'd found the shirt. At the neckline, within his throat, a tiny hand grabbed onto Glenn's Adam's apple. Glenn pressed his hand to said throat.
"I'll be back late tonight," Glenn said, standing.
When Danni leant in to kiss his cheek, Glenn pulled away. His sudden jerk allowed her to see the tiny figure hanging from his Adam's apple. Little Her. She looked frail and disheveled.
"I love you," Danni shouted.
The front door slammed. She looked at her belly. Little Him looked up at her before disappearing into the weave of her intestines.
Glenn was right. He did arrive home late.