art by Steven R. Stewart
Heart of Gold
by James Valvis
He was born with a heart of gold. The doctors stared at X-rays, slack-jawed, not knowing how it could beat, let alone pump blood, so they scribbled notes and prescribed unnecessary medicine, just to seem important, and sent the boy home.
Soon the child fell ill. He recovered, but he remained fragile all his life.
The general consensus, even among family, was that a heart of gold was not all it should be. A man was better off with an iron lung, kidney stones, and even a set of brass balls would help him survive better in the world.
Still, despite being susceptible to anyone with a sob story, not to mention country-western music, the man did the best he could and made his way in the world... until the hour the man without a heart found him. And the heartless man cut him open, snatched the golden heart, and stuck it into his own chest.