Colleen Chen is a suburban Californian transplanted to a farm in Brazil, where she lives with her family and an assortment of furry and feathered friends. She started writing very short fiction to alleviate the torture of creating a never-ending novel, and she discovered she really enjoys it. For more of her online work, visit her at www.colleenchen.com.
Yolanda was crying on her bed when a bright light appeared in her room, manifesting into a beautiful fairy.
“Why are you crying, my dear?”
“I’ve fallen in love with a man who doesn’t love me,” Yolanda sobbed. “I’ve lost my heart completely.”
“Dry your tears; I can fix that! Take my hand.”
Yolanda took the proffered hand and they disappeared. They reappeared in front of a building with a sign, “Pawn shop.”
A paunchy man with a mullet stood behind the counter, arranging toupees on a rack. “What do you broads want?”
“We’re looking for something my friend lost,” said the fairy. “Have any hearts come in lately?”
The man dumped a cardboard box on the counter. “You can look through these.”
Yolanda sifted through the mishmash of a couple dozen hearts in various conditions. One was too heavy for her to lift; one was bleeding. Several were broken, or had crosses marked on them, and a few of them were made of ice and stone. “Mine’s not here,” she said.
“Well, you might as well change for another, since you don’t want to be heartless for long,” said the fairy.
Yolanda found a heart that was made of gold, but it was too expensive. She settled on a nice healthy one. “I’ll take this one,” she said, paying cash.
“Do you want me to help you put it in?” asked the fairy.
“No—I’ll just wear it here for now, so it can get a little sun,” said Yolanda, pinning it on her sleeve. She was feeling much better, and the fairy dropped Yolanda off back home.
The next morning, Yolanda answered a knock at the door. It was a man who would have been handsome, had he not been so angry. “Those hearts at the pawn shop were stolen,” he said. “I’ve been trying to track that pawn shop owner down for months now. I’ve followed my leads here, and now I’d like my heart back.”
“I bought it fairly, so it’s mine now,” said Yolanda, trying to close the door on him. He stuck his foot in the door and forced his way inside.
“Give it back!” he yelled, and he reached out to grab the heart on her sleeve.
Just then a huge heart ran in the open door. It attacked the man, jumping on him and beating him, rending his clothes. The man tried to capture it, but it was too fast. Finally, when it stood still just for a moment, he grabbed it. He stared at it in wonder. “Listen to it,” he said. It was singing very softly.
“You’ve found my heart! And I think it likes you,” said Yolanda. “Do you want yours back now?”
“No.” The man gazed at Yolanda as if seeing her for the first time. “I think it’s in the right place now.”
He kissed her. And their two hearts, after all the excitement of the past two days, were content to rest.