The Heart Inside

Author: Leopard
Rating: Moderate
Status: In Progress

The Stone of Hearts can show what you desire most, but using the stone comes at a price: to see your desires is to seal your downfall. L

Loosely inspired by Neil Gaiman and Macbeth.

Chapter One: Thoughts of a Quest

Many men have gone in search of the Stone of Hearts. Some have found it. Many did not. Most fail in their quest , for the quest to find the stone is laden with hardships. A lucky few realise that the quest is vain and will lead to their downfall and that their true desire is not whatever the stone could show them, but instead simple happiness. However, most who start the quest never come back. Those who do complete the quest, without fail, always come back. Without fail, they also receive their true desire. Without fail, they die. 

Joseph was just such a boy. One could suppose that every story like this could be about a young man like Joseph: hopelessly in love. The story goes just like any other. After another failed relationship with a particularly handsome boy named Gabriel - whose final words to Joseph were "Next time try a girl, seeing as that's the way you go." - Joseph had decided that he would take his ex's advice. Honestly, he had fancied the beautifully dark skinned Scarlett for a while, even though he didn't have a chance. 

Which is why he turned to thinking about the quest for the Stone of Hearts. Surely Scarlett was his true heart's desire? And he knew that everyone who had ever looked into the Stone and returned had got their desire. He also knew that they had all died. And not just died, they had all had a fall from sanity and good. It was worth the risk, right? They hadn't died straight away, some of them had even lasted for ten or fifteen years before the curse took them. 

Joseph was digging the carrots in the field when the idea of hunting for the Stone came back to him. He had always liked carrots though he could not say why. His hair was dark carrot-colour, and Scarlett's hair was mud-colour. In his town, mud-colour was not a bad thing. Mud-colour was seen as a thing of beauty, and dark carrot-colour was strange and unnatural. 

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