Kairos and the Phantom

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Digital drawing. At right, a man in medieval style clothing stands amid patches of grass and looks shocked. He holds his right hand to his mouth as he gazes at the figure to the left, a man with a gray complexion bowing as he catches an apple. The bowing man is surrounded by a wispy glowing cloak and the colors of his clothing appear to be bleeding into the cloak. At his right foot is a platter of food. A stone sits on or in his left foot. Part of a stream is visible behind the shocked man.

Something terrible had come into the world.  Something evil.  Invisible, intangible. Some corruption that could not be perceived.  And therefore could not be fought.  By the time it had a grip on someone, it was too late.  The corruption seeped into every part of that person, defiling their heart, twisting their thoughts, draining the very life out of their body.

No land was spared.  No person was spared, no matter how pure, how honorable, how fit of body, how courageous of heart.  No place was hidden from this corruption. 

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Phantom Heart

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“See for yourself,” Jacob said, stepping aside.

“Oh, wow.”  The young reporter leaned down, her eyes widening.

Jacob smiled at the look on her face.  He glanced at the organ behind layers of glass and smiled even wider.  A beating heart.  An artificial heart.  And he had helped to create it, design it, mold it, and nurture it.  It seemed to beat stronger, as if it were showing off.  It still surprised him sometimes that he found it beautiful.  He’d seen so many hearts in his time with the tissue regeneration research laboratory.  Pig hearts, frog hearts, human hearts.  He had respected them all, but never found them beautiful.  Nor did he feel that way about this artificial heart until three days ago, when it started beating for the first time.

The reporter straightened and though she turned her head slightly towards him, her eyes remained on the heart.  “How long has it been going?”

“Three days.”

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