Dear Broken Heart.

Drink vodka. Drop onto the sofa. Let tears fill up your boots. Pull the stuffing from a cushion. Shred it. Be furious. Tear down the soft sound of hope. Stare at the rug but don’t see it. Flick the TV on but don’t hear it.

Mantra the words … ‘There’s nothing left to lose. There’s nothing to lose.’ Cradle your hundred-ton bruise. Wear pyjamas and forget you have clothes. Open the fridge and stare into it. Peck at last night’s untouched food. Hate the coconut flavour.

Be alone. Whoever rings don’t answer the phone. Curl up your fists. Reach out and feel no one there. Talk to God in curses and prayers, think he won’t hear you and doesn’t care. Play the song that speaks out your sorrow. Put it on repeat.

Walk by water but don’t feel it move. Be a husk. Look at daylight but only see dusk. Spend forty bucks in a noisy bar, watching the others with flamboyant hearts. Hear the songs of a homeless man. Give him a small shiny fortune. Hug his wiry dog.

Buy an anorak – a hooded home. Live in it. Feel safe. Drag the weight of your heart around and fear the load won’t shift. Count the hours. The days. Walk in the park and look at the ground. Stoop. Pick it up. A proud silky feather.

Look to the sky. Look for a blue golden bird. Touch the soft spine with your fingertips and feel the wing it came from. See it as a sign – a defining line – a new mark of time. A symbol of flight. A crack in the sky of your long dark night.

Take the feather home and place it like a crown on your unmade bed. Pull the curtains. Open the window and let the soupy air out. Stare at the world and see it. Drop into the sofa. Let the new day you glimpse fill up your boots.

Australian Writers’ Centre 

Furious Fiction: Feb 2018 winner

The judges said…

What we loved:

The compact style grabbed us immediately and manages to tell so much in so few words (327 to be exact). Seven short-burst, stacked stanzas, with excellent use of repetition and a real understanding for the stages that we go through. It reads as it should, like a “to do list” for a broken heart – hence why this format makes sense here. The ultimate “moving on” manifesto!

Furious Fiction is a monthly short story competition run by the Australian Writers’ Centre, with different story parameters each month.
For the inaugural competition (in February 2018), each story entry had to achieve the following:
  • Have an opening sentence of exactly THREE words.
  • Include the words ‘forty’, ‘flamboyant’, ‘fortune’, ‘flavour’ and ‘furious’ at some point in the story.
  • Involve the prop of a feather” in some way.