Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Click Clack, Click Clack



Naomi woke in the dark and thought that she heard Bill’s heart. She held her breath and listened to the night sounds. A car went by on the road, the headlights making shapes on the ceiling. A dog barked. She heard the steady tick of the grandfather clock. That must have been what she heard.
She listened to the sound of the clock. It was nothing like Bill’s heart. She remembered when he was alive, resting with her head on his chest. The mechanical heart transplant did not beat like a regular heart. It clicked and clacked as the mechanical valves opened and closed. She did not mind that it didn’t sound like a regular heart. The click-clack was comforting to listen to at night. It meant that he was alive.
She smiled as she remembered him making love to her. His heart would speed up, clicking and clacking to beat the band. It would reach a peak, and then he’d sigh, and the clicking would slow down, and the clacking was not so loud. She’d lie there under him, listening to the steady click clack, click clack.
For hours, she tried to sleep, but she was always listening. She could not sleep through the night without the sound of Bill’s heart.
The mechanical heart could last for seven years. The battery would run for a month on one charge. Bill had only lasted two years. His heart worked fine, but his kidney’s failed him and he died. Now, Naomi could not sleep.
She got up from the bed and put on some old clothes. She went down and put on Bill’s old ski jacket. It was too big for her, but it was warm and comfortable. She drove to the cemetery and sat on Bill’s grave.
If she held her breath, she thought she could hear Bill’s heart coming up from the cold ground. She put her ear to the grass and listened. At first, all she could hear was her own pulse, but then, faintly and far, she heard the steady click clack, click clack.
During the funeral, Naomi could hear the sound of it coming from the casket. The undertaker had asked her if she wanted to donate it, but the hospital had not wanted the heart back. It was an older model and not worth anything. She told him to leave it where it was. It had been newly charged, and now three weeks later, it was still clicking and clacking.
Naomi slept until the sky started to turn pink. She got up from the ground stiffly and rode home.
It snowed the next day, but Naomi slept on her Bill’s grave. His jacket kept her warm on the hard ground. She swept away the snow so she could rest her head on the earth. The frozen ground made the sound a little louder and she fell asleep listening to the click clack.
A week later the heart stopped. The batteries were dead. There was no click clack and Naomi went home to her own bed. She stared at the dark ceiling and listened to her own heart, waiting for it to stop, too.
The snow melted and the daffodils bloomed on Bill’s grave. She spent her afternoons whispering to him, hoping to hear that old familiar click clack. She slept sometimes, but mostly she didn’t. Her friends stopped calling and she often forgot to eat.
In late April, she got up one night and went to visit Bill. She wore his old ski jacket, but the night, although cool, was not cold. She thought that she would die soon if she didn’t sleep, but she didn’t care. She didn’t want to live without Bill. She thought about his heart. All it needed was a quick charge. She still had the charger.
The next night she came home from the cemetery and washed her hands in the sink. They were covered with mud, clay and something else. She put a bundle in the drawer next to her bed and then plugged it in. She smiled as her head hit the pillow.
She reached over to the drawer and opened it a little, in order to hear better:
Click Clack, Click Clack. 



Return Tomorrow for another treat  
Many Silvered Moons Ago
by Tim Fezz
on the FREEZINE of
Fantasy and Science 
Fiction  


3 comments:

  1. Good storytellers often hit close to home when they write as in this short gem. It closely echoes my own experience from 10 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was taking the bus to work across the river about 10 years ago. The ride took over an hour and the regular passengers got to be friends. Once, a woman who sat next to me told me how her husband had an artificial heart valve. It was loud and in a quiet room you could hear it going "click clack". I asked if the sound bothered her. She told me that she loved hearing it because it meant he was alive. She would lay awake listening to it at night. After he died she missed the sound and couldn't sleep.
    I did not do much work that morning. Instead I wrote this story. It is very short, but I could not think of a way of making it longer without blunting the impact.
    I often think of that woman and all the interesting characters on the bus now that I am retired.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for writing this story, Keith. It really hits home.

    ReplyDelete

Archive of Stories
and Authors

Phoenix's
AGAIN AND AGAIN

Phoenix has enjoyed writing since he
was a little kid. He finds much import-
ance and truth in creative expression.
Phoenix has written over sixty books,
and has published everything from
novels, to poetry and philosophy.
He hopes to inspire people with his
writing and to ask difficult questions
about our world and the universe.
Phoenix lives in Salt Lake City, Utah,
where he spends much of his time
reading books on science, philosophy,
and literature. He spends a good deal
of his free time writing and working
on new books. The Freezine of Fant-
asy and Science Fiction welcomes him
and his unique, intense vision.
Discover Phoenix's books at his author
page on Amazon. Also check out his blog.

Adam Bolivar's
SERVITORS OF THE
OUTER DARKNESS


Adam Bolivar's
THE DEVIL & SIR
FRANCIS DRAKE



Adam Bolivar's
THE TIME-EATER


Adam Bolivar is an expatriate Bostonian
who has lived in New Orleans and Berkeley,
and currently resides in Portland, Oregon
with his beloved wife and fluffy gray cat
Dahlia. Adam wears round, antique glasses
and has a fondness for hats. His greatest
inspirations include H.P. Lovecraft,
Jack tales and coffee. He has been
a Romantic poet for as long as any-
one can remember, specializing in
the composition of spectral balladry,
utilizing to great effect a traditional
poetic form that taps into the haunted
undercurrents of folklore seldom found
in other forms of writing.
His poetry has appeared on the pages
of such publications as SPECTRAL
REALMS and BLACK WINGS OF
CTHULHU, and a poem of his,
"The Rime of the Eldritch Mariner,"
won the Rhysling Award for long-form
poetry. His collection of weird balladry
and Jack tales, THE LAY OF OLD HEX,
was published by Hippocampus Press in 2017.


David Agranoff's
A PLANET OF YOUR OWN


David Agranoff's
THE FALLEN GUARDIAN'S
MANDATE


David Agranoff is the author of the
following books: Ring of Fire (Eraserhead
Press, 2018), Flesh Trade (co-written
w/Edward Morris; published by Create-
Space, 2017), Punk Rock Ghost Story
(Deadite Press, 2016), Amazing Punk
Stories (Eraserhead Press, 2016),
Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich (Eraserhead
Press, 2014), Hunting the Moon Tribe
(Eraserhead Press, 2011), The Vegan
Revolution...with Zombies (Eraserhead
Press, 2010), and Screams from a Dying
World (Afterbirth Books, 2009).
David is a hardcore vegan and tireless
environmentalist. His contributions to
the punk horror scene and the planet in
general have already established him
as a bright new writer and activist to
watch out for. The Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction welcomes him and
his defiant vision open-heartedly.

David is a busy man, usually at work
on several different novels or projects
at once. He is sure to leave his mark on
a world teetering over the edge of
ecological imbalance.


Sanford Meschkow's
INEVITABLE

Sanford Meschkow is a retired former
NYer who married a Philly suburban
Main Line girl. Sanford has been pub-
lished in a 1970s issue of AMAZING.
We welcome him here on the FREE-
ZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's
THE RECIDIVIST



Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's
THE MEMORY SECTOR

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking currently
resides in the high desert of Phoenix,
Arizona where he enjoys campy horror
movies within the comfort of an Insane
Asylum. Search for his science fiction
stories at The Intestinal Fortitude in
the Flesheater's World section.
The Memory Sector is his first
appearance in the Freezine of
Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Owen R. Powell's
NOETIC VACATIONS

Little is known of the mysterious
Owen R. Powell (oftentimes referred
to as Orp online). That is because he
usually keeps moving. The story
Noetic Vacations marks his first
appearance in the Freezine.

Edward Morris's
MERCY STREET

Edward Morris is a 2011 nominee for
the Pushcart Prize in literature, has
also been nominated for the 2009
Rhysling Award and the 2005 British
Science Fiction Association Award.
His short stories have been published
over a hundred and twenty times in
four languages, most recently at
PerhihelionSF, the Red Penny Papers'
SUPERPOW! anthology, and The
Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. He lives
and works in Portland as a writer,
editor, spoken word MC and bouncer,
and is also a regular guest author at
the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

Gene Stewart
(writing as Art Wester)
GROUND PORK


Gene Stewart's
CRYPTID'S LAIR

Gene Stewart is a writer and artist.
He currently lives in the Midwest
American Wilderness where he is
researching tales of mystical realism,
writing ficta mystica, and exploring
the dark by casting a little light into
the shadows. Follow this link to his
website where there are many samples
of his writing and much else; come
explore.

Daniel José Older's
GRAVEYARD WALTZ


Daniel José Older's
THE COLLECTOR


Daniel José Older's spiritually driven,
urban storytelling takes root at the
crossroads of myth and history.
With sardonic, uplifting and often
hilarious prose, Older draws from
his work as an overnight 911 paramedic,
a teaching artist & an antiracist/antisexist
organizer to weave fast-moving, emotionally
engaging plots that speak whispers and
shouts about power and privilege in
modern day New York City. His work
has appeared in the Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction, The ShadowCast
Audio Anthology, The Tide Pool, and
the collection Sunshine/Noir, and is
featured in Sheree Renee Thomas'
Black Pot Mojo Reading Series in Harlem.
When he's not writing, teaching or
riding around in an ambulance,
Daniel can be found performing with
his Brooklyn-based soul quartet
Ghost Star. His blog about the
ridiculous and disturbing world
of EMS can be found here.


Paul Stuart's
SEA?TV!


Paul Stuart is the author of numerous
biographical blurbs written in the third
person. His previously published fiction
appears in The Vault of Punk Horror and
His non-fiction financial pieces can be found
in a shiny, west-coast magazine that features
pictures of expensive homes, as well as images
of women in casual poses and their accessories.
Consider writing him at paul@twilightlane.com,
if you'd like some thing from his garage. In fall
2010, look for Grade 12 Trigonometry and
Pre-Calculus -With Zombies.


Rain Grave's
MAU BAST


Rain Graves is an award winning
author of horror, science fiction and
poetry. She is best known for the 2002
Poetry Collection, The Gossamer Eye
(along with Mark McLaughlin and
David Niall Wilson). Her most
recent book, Barfodder: Poetry
Written in Dark Bars and Questionable
Cafes, has been hailed by Publisher's
Weekly as "Bukowski meets Lovecraft..."
in January of 2009. She lives and
writes in San Francisco, performing
spoken word at events around the
country. 877-DRK-POEM -



Icy Sedgwick's
THE PORCELAIN WOMAN


Icy Sedgwick is part writer and part
trainee supervillain. She lives in the UK
but dreams of the Old West. Her current
works include a ghost story about a Cavalier
and a Western tale of retribution. Find her
ebooks, free weekly fiction and other
shenanigans at Icy’s Cabinet of Curiosities.


Blag Dahlia's
armed to the teeth
with LIPSTICK



BLAG DAHLIA is a Rock Legend.
Singer, Songwriter, producer &
founder of the notorious DWARVES.
He has written two novels, ‘NINA’ and
‘ARMED to the TEETH with LIPSTICK’.


G. Alden Davis's
THE FOLD


G. Alden Davis wrote his first short story
in high school, and received a creative
writing scholarship for the effort. Soon
afterward he discovered that words were
not enough, and left for art school. He was
awarded the Emeritus Fellowship along
with his BFA from Memphis College of Art
in '94, and entered the videogame industry
as a team leader and 3D artist. He has over
25 published games to his credit. Mr. Davis
is a Burningman participant of 14 years,
and he swings a mean sword in the SCA.


Shae Sveniker's
A NEW METAPHYSICAL STUDY
REGARDING THE BEHAVIOR
OF PLANT LIFE


Shae is a poet/artist/student and former
resident of the Salt Pit, UT, currently living
in Simi Valley, CA. His short stories are on
Blogger and his poetry is hosted on Livejournal.


Nigel Strange's
PLASTIC CHILDREN


Nigel Strange lives with his wife and
daughter, cats, and tiny dog-like thing
in their home in California where he
occasionally experiments recreationally
with lucidity. PLASTIC CHILDREN
is his first publication.


J.R. Torina's
THE HOUSE IN THE PORT


J.R. Torina was DJ for Sonic Slaughter-
house ('90-'97), runs Sutekh Productions
(an industrial-ambient music label) and
Slaughterhouse Records (metal record
label), and was proprietor of The Abyss
(a metal-gothic-industrial c.d. shop in
SLC, now closed). He is the dark force
behind Scapegoat (an ambient-tribal-
noise-experimental unit). THE HOUSE
IN THE PORT is his first publication.


K.B. Updike, Jr's
THE GOLDEN THIRD EYE


K.B. Updike, Jr. is a young virgin
Virginia writer. KB's life work,
published 100% for free:
(We are not certain if K.B. Updike, Jr.
has lost his Virginian virginity yet.)