Short Story – Caged Heart

This little story came out of a conversation I was having with some friends about rib cages being literal cages for a heart.  This concept then entered my mind and I had to write it.  It’s not a story with a plot or characters, it’s just a short surreal piece meant to create imagery and feelings.  So please enjoy.

This story was also featured on the blog The Author’s Lair.  Go check it out!


My chest rises and falls in a constant rhythm. I dare not open my eyes, dare not look at the room around me. The muffled sounds are enough to disquiet my mind, I don’t need the images to go along with it.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

I lie as still as I can, my arms stretched straight on either side of me. I’ve lost all feeling in my body, and now it’s as if I’m just floating in nothingness. If I were to concentrate hard enough, I could feel the surface below me.


Soft, comfortable. A bed beneath me with a pillow under my head. Blankets cradle me, holding me as if to say that nothing will hurt me. The sounds around me do not reassure me of that fact.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

I slowly lift my eyelids to see the hazy red dark around me. The muffled sound of a beating heart echos through this room. The walls move in and out with the movement. Please, make it stop, make the noise stop.

I want silence.

I glance around the room slowly and notice an opening, as if the red of this room is but a curtain to be pulled back. I slide out of the bed and walk toward the opening, peering out of it and into a dark hallway. The hall is narrow, but I run through it all the same; anything to get away from that room.


On either side of me are large ovular shapes which contract and relax, pressing around me more and more. My range of movement seems to become smaller and smaller. Oh, help me, please. I can’t breathe.

Help me…

I squeeze past the things and slam into hard horizontal bars. They seem to curl around me as I reach my fingers through them. I want out, I want out. But there’s nothing on the other side of these bars. Nothing but blackness. Emptiness.

Please, I want out.

The cage is getting smaller, curling more tightly around me. No, no, no, what is this? Why is this happening to me? The sound of the heartbeat is growing louder in my ears. Stop, stop this, please. The pulsating lungs press against my back, making me squeeze between them. Oh please, help me, I can’t breathe.

Let me out.

I’m pressed back into the heart room, fall back into the bed, become ensnared in the blankets which won’t let me go. The cage continues to shrink until it’s only around the bed now. There’s no escape, and the heart continues to beat.

Thump. Thump. Thump.


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