Heartless : Scary Stories – Short Horror Story

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There’s an old legend in my village, it goes back a long ways to the time of witch hunts and that sort of thing. The story is about a woman named Anne Dyer and her gruesome fate, one that differs slightly depending one who’s telling the tale.

For the most part it usually begins the same; John Dyer married her when she was young and didn’t treat her so well. She was often said to have bruises on her when they were seen together around town. Well, one day Anne decided that she’d had enough of John and his fists, so she did the only thing she could to defend herself and poisoned him. A week or so later the neighbors discovered John, but Anne was nowhere to be found. As this was before a time of science, the wild stories about how she had killed him using black magic began to circulate, and a reward was placed on her head.

Well, after a few months she was spotted in a village north of her old one, going under a new name and living a quiet life. Once the news of who she was hit the village they went to where she was staying with torches and blades and pulled the poor woman out of her home screaming and begging for mercy.

But she would receive none. She did not get a trial, no matter how she called for reason her pleas fell on deaf ears. Poor Anne Dyer was tied to the trunk of a tree, her wrists and ankles bound so tightly that witnesses say they bled, and there the villagers took turns throwing stones at her. During this horrible bludgeoning it’s said that she asked them the same question, over and over:

“How can you be so heartless?”

It didn’t take long before Anne was dead, and her body was taken down from the tree to be burned. A tragic and awful fate for a woman who simply wished to be free.

And then it happened. Inexplicably, one by one, her tormentors were found dead- their hearts cut out of their bodies, their faces twisted in unimaginable pain and terror. It wasn’t long before every single member of the mob who had taken her on that black day had perished.

But why am I telling you all of this? Well, there’s one last part to add to the legend. I’ll admit, until yesterday I never really believed any of it. But in my desperation I was willing to try anything. The tree was easy to find, it was the only one that wasn’t twisted and dead in that dark patch of forest. So I went to it, and I asked for Anne’s help. I said his name, and I left.

I didn’t expect much to be honest. But the next morning he was dead, his heart inexplicably torn from his chest. And finally, my mother and I were safe from his fists.

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