Gilt

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A short story inspired by the Imaginarium House One Word Prompt -- Gilt.

Submitted: June 25, 2017

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Submitted: June 25, 2017

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Gilt

 

He said he loved her. He gave her a pendant, a golden heart on a golden chain, their initials engraved on the back. It looked expensive, valuable, she thought. He must really love her just as he claimed to do.He did not discourage her from believing that it was a precious gift, even though it had cost almost nothing and meant as much to him.

 

She wanted to make him happy, could not bear the thought of being a disappointment. The idea of letting him down was almost painful for her. Whenever he suggested she change – her appearance, interests, cultural tastes – she was happy to oblige. After all, he really cared about her and she.....well, she was nothing really.

 

She started to know herself less and less. The girl in the mirror was almost unrecognisable; her face was different, her hair a shade lighter and a lot longer; she had lost so much weight. That was okay! It was what he wanted, after all.

 

The chain around her neck became tighter; started to tarnish. She might not have been clever but she knew that was not meant to happen to gold. He must have been tricked when he bought it; she knew he would not have tried to deceive her. It could not be denied though that as his interest in her waned, the pressure around her neck grew stronger.

 

Eventually he no longer bothered pretending. There would be days, then weeks, where she did not hear a thing from him. She was lucky if she saw him even once a month. It was not gold, that pendant; he had led her on about that, just as he had pretended to care. Gilt, that’s what it was. Gold over wire. The wire was rusting as the covering decayed, digging in, piercing skin, making her bleed.

 

The clasp that held the chain together had become damaged somehow. It would not open and she could not remove it from around her neck, no matter how much she tried. It would not take long for the corrosion to take hold, to set in, poisoning her body and soul. He, and the rust he brought with him, would be the death of her.

 

 


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