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For The Things We Never Said

She fits the god's heart, blood dripping gold onto shaking fingers, into the compartment she'd sawed into her golem. It spasms and then slackens, turgid ventricles relaxing into stillness. Her breath catches against the roof of her mouth, pinned in place by a dry, chewed-on tongue.
This needed to work. She was running out of gods, out of options, out of second chances.
To her relief, the organ convulses again. Once, twice. Uneven palpitations that eventually discover a kind of rhythm, not quite right, but not quite wrong. A full minute passes before she consents to shutting the door, stitching skin over bone with careful, deft strokes. She steps back.
Finally.
The automata stares at her with heterochromiac eyes, one blue, one cataract-silver, both plucked from a cyclops' skull. It blinks, a slow lidding of the gaze that seems compulsive, not instinctive, a memory appropriated from some foreign neural cluster. The homunculus sways upright, dangling arms and sloping shoulders, mouth drooling black gore.
It wasn't anywhere near perfect, but it was what she had, abattoir parts and a corpse already half-rotted, all she could do with what she was given, and she wouldn't waste time anymore.
"I love you." The words fracture into a little girl whimper, dust and dried salt on her tongue, a decade of things unsaid.
Recognition catalyzes in the blank gaze, just for an instant, a twitch of vigor that quickly disintegrates, decomposing nerves unable to retain cohesiveness long enough to allow for true emotion. The thing that was her father moans a foghorn note, full of an animal sadness, and she smiles, full of aching, full of lonely.
"I love you," she says again by way of farewell, before she takes back the breath from her creation and watches, silent, as her father fades from her life again.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, November 10th, 2016

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