This is my short story that I wrote as part of my Fictional Writing module, which I am now currently illustrating it for my Creativity II module. I am quite proud of this piece as it is darker than the usual things I write, or believe I like to write. However, instead of explaining it all I'd rather you read it and work it out for yourself.
I don’t know her. The only reason why I know she or the necklace exists is because of work events. I see her at business formals, the Christmas Balls, and even charity parties. And each time she’s wearing the necklace. I wouldn’t have said that the necklace, a heart shaped locket to be precise, was anything particularly beautiful or even too expensive, but it always caught my eye. The truth of the matter was I thought it rather ugly. It was silver, but very slightly tarnished around the edges, implying a cheap quality silver. The pattern was in no way intricate, just a simple swirl of flowers around the heart’s point. But for some strange reason I could not take my eyes off it.
Oh, I didn’t want it though; I had no urge to steal it from around her neck. In fact, it probably looked more enchanting because it was around her neck. Its chain glimmered like a spider web on a dewy morning across her collar bone. With grace the necklace fell to lie between the woman’s breasts, leading everyone to desire more. But I did not desire this lady, though I had suspicions of those who did. This woman was not especially beautiful to me but there was something about her that drew men to her. It could have been her easy smile, her shining eyes or the way her body moved as she glided across the dance floor. However, it was irrelevant to me; it was not these things I cared for. I only wished to know more about this necklace. Why was this woman, who many considered to be extraordinary, wearing such an ordinary necklace?
After these balls and dances I would lie at night and dream only of the necklace. It was always there in my mind, reaching out to my innermost thoughts, spreading its mystery to the rest of my mind. Was it given to her by a lover? No. No lover would give her such a cheap looking necklace. Then, did she find it somewhere? In the attic maybe? Or was it an heirloom of some sorts? But why would she wear it to fine balls and special occasions when it looked so battered? Someone of her profession would be able to buy real jewels of finery and would not need to wear a scrappy trinket like the locket. Why then did this woman wear such a necklace? Why?
These thoughts plagued my mind for the many weeks between office events when I could finally see the necklace again. Sometimes there were long stretches of time when I would never see it, and the thoughts began to fade. I could think clearly again without the image of the necklace burning into my mind’s eye. Then another event. Another chance to see it again. It was the same as it always was. Tarnished. Plain. Strung around her neck. I tried to stay away, I tried not to look but it pulled me towards it. Every time I found myself dancing nearer and nearer to her, just to see it more closely. It was calling to me, come closer, come nearer. Each step of the dance was like a beat of a heart and the call of the necklace. It urged me, pleaded with me, begged me. I was nearly there, I could see the little flowers; they seemed to grow out as if reaching for me. And then it was gone; swept away by another song. I had been so close.
The harder I tried to resist the allure of the necklace, the more I wanted it. I wanted to know where it came from, when it was made, who it had belonged to before. But more than anything I wanted to know what was inside. All the time my dreams were filled with its presence. Faceless people wearing the heart-shaped locket closing in on me. Each time they got nearer and nearer. Then one night, I grabbed the chain from around their necks and just as I was about to tear the necklace open, I awoke. Never before had I felt so deeply disappointed.
Only now the dreams had spread to my waking life. I didn’t need to wait for the balls for I saw the necklace everywhere I went. It filled shop windows, rested around ladies’ necks, and even grew on trees. I could never escape it, no matter where I went.
Even though my desire for the necklace was so strong I never dared to ask anyone about it. They wouldn’t understand. My yearning for the necklace was that of my own. The woman especially would not understand. No matter how close I got to the necklace, no matter how fast my heart beat for it, I would not let the woman notice. I’d seen her type before. Stuck up. Rich. Better than everyone else. Oh, yes. I’d seen her type before. No, the woman would never know of my desire for the necklace. She wouldn’t understand. No one would understand.
A party was coming up, and I could barely contain excitement. Another chance to see the necklace. See it glistening in the lowlight, its tarnished silver teasing me, the chain mocking me, the pattern burning my eyes. Oh, I’d see it again tonight.
As soon as I walked into the room I saw it. It leapt out at me. It seemed bigger and brighter than ever before. I couldn’t look away. But I noticed the looks I got. They thought they knew what I was looking at. I could feel their pitying gazes. But I was nothing like them. I wasn’t weak and pathetic. It was the necklace I desired. If only I could reach out and pluck it from her neck, as if it were a sweet and delicious fruit. I dare not look away, lest it should disappear and I would not see it again. My eye was trained upon it. To the right. One step back. To the left. One step forward. It never left my sight.
That night my dreams were more vivid than ever. The necklace was in my hands. It was heavy and cold, like a hunk of ice. My fingers trembled as I reached for the tiny clasp keeping the two halves together. Click. It opened. My eyes drank in the sight. Oh. Oh yes, it was beautiful. I understood now. This was why the woman wore such a necklace. It was for all the beauty inside. Oh, because it was just that. Stunning. Amazing. Fantastic! I woke up.
There was no turning back. I needed the necklace.
I waited. Another party wouldn’t be for a while. But that was alright.
I could wait.
This would give me time to plan. To plot. But that was fine.
I had to wait.
Another party had to be soon. I had my idea.
I could not wait.
It was torture. There was not going to be a party. I had waited and still no party. I needed there to be a party. I needed the release. I needed the necklace. Oh, the necklace. I had seen its beauty. I couldn’t go back now. I couldn’t look at the world in the same way. I needed it. I needed it to live.
Days. Weeks. Months. I needed a party. I needed to see it. I needed the necklace. I needed. I needed. I need…A party! At last. Oh yes. This was it. This was the time. I was going to get it. Nothing would stop me. Not this time.
The room was full. People bustled all around me, dancing their little dances, oblivious to my desire. This was the moment I had been waiting for. Tonight was the night. But, wait. Where was it? I couldn’t see it. My lungs tightened and my heart was thudding against my ribs. Where was it? It had to be here. It had to be. Why wasn’t it here? Please. It had to be here. I had waited. I had waited. Please.
Oh. Now I see it. Yes, it’s there around her neck as usual. It’s nestled snuggly between her breasts and I saw them looking at her again. Their pathetic gazes. Their salivating mouths. It was disgusting. People like them would never see the bigger picture, but I could. I knew what real beauty was. It was right in front of me, lying with the undeserving. That woman thought she knew beauty. She thought she was it. And so did all these pathetic excuses for human beings. It repulsed me. But I had my plan. This was the night. The lure of the necklace pulled at me once more. I felt it in my gut and I knew it was definitely tonight. I breathed deeply and for once I walked right up to the woman. I asked her to dance. She said yes with her tragic smile. I didn’t care what she did; all I wanted was the necklace. It was right there. The closest I had ever been before. I could just drop my hand to her chest and I would have it. Just a few inches. She was talking to me. I didn’t care. I wanted the necklace. That’s all I could hear. It’s beat. In my head. In my chest. It pounded in my skull.
I needed it now. I couldn’t wait. I looked up. She was still talking. I nodded, as if interested in her pitiful life. I just wanted the necklace. That’s all I wanted. All I needed.
Suddenly, she dropped my hand, thanked me, and left to dance with another. And away the necklace went with her. I was crushed. I felt my insides collapse. I had been so close. I could have had it. I wasted my time. I needed it. I had to have it. I had to. My head hurt as I forced myself to keep in an outraged scream. I couldn’t be around these people. They were pathetic. Useless. Scum. I retreated to the darkened hallway.
I needed the necklace. But it seemed I was doomed to only ever dream about it. I would never have it. It was futile. These thoughts plagued my mind and deafened me to rest of the world. Then: Beat. Beat. Beat. I looked up. It was there, walking away from the noise of the party and into the depths of the hallway. This was my chance. It was only me, her, and the necklace. I followed her. The beat of the necklace drew me towards her. Louder and louder. Faster and faster. I was so close. She hadn’t noticed me; she carried on walking, oblivious. I reached out for her, the softness of her hair brushing against my fingers. The beat was so loud; I could hear nothing else, not even my own breathing. Nothing but the beat. Louder and louder! Faster and faster! Beating! Beating! Beating! It’s all I could hear. Could she hear it? She had to. How could she not?
She turned around. I stopped. Scared. Her mouth opened, surely she was screaming, but all I could hear was the beating. I didn’t know what to do. Beat. The beat was so strong. I could see it between her breasts. Beat. It was right there. Inches away. Beat. I could see it moving with each beat. I reached out for it, suddenly unable to control myself. Beat. I lunged. Her eyes bulged and her mouth widened. I grabbed the necklace. She grabbed at my arms. Beat. I pulled on the chain. She twisted; trying to escape my grip. Beat. I pulled tighter. I was finally holding it. It was just like my dreams. Beat. It was in my hands. It burned, but I savoured every sensation it gave me. Beat. I tugged, yanked, jerked. She struggled, thrashed, writhed. Beat. I had the necklace and I would never let it go, no matter what.
And then, everything went still. Her eyes were open but her mouth was slack. The necklace fell from her neck and now lay perfectly in my hand. Its flowered pattern blossomed and the tarnished silver seemed brighter than ever. It was warmer than it had been in my dream, and much lighter. But it was mine. Mine. I needed it. I finally had it. Mine!
My fingers trembled as I reached for the tiny clasp keeping the two halves together. Click. It was open. I stared.
My hands shook. I heard a shout. The locket slipped from my grasp. It landed between the woman’s breasts. They were pale and unmoving, with none of their usual blush. I stared at the necklace; it was as dead as she was. Suddenly, two large hands grabbed me from behind. There was more shouting. Yelling. Screaming. I didn’t care. The locket, it was… it was… I had needed the locket. I had needed its beauty. I needed it. Now I had nothing. I was as empty. Empty.