Stella's cloak whispered around her legs as she walked through the forest. Her blonde hair bounced on her shoulders due to a skip in her step and a smile on her lips that was brightening up her whole face.
The woods seemed to be empty as Stella gathered flowers and herbs into her basket. Her mind wasn't on her task and she spent several moments daydreaming about the proposal she had gotten earlier that afternoon. The love of her life had finally proposed and how she would be soon whisked from her dreary life to one of luxury.
She looked down at the herbs she was gathering, thinking how soon she would no longer have to do this dull task for her mother. But just then a shadow fell over her. She looked up and saw a man dressed in rags over standing her.
Stella hurried to her feet as her heart began to beat loudly in her chest. The man had stringy blonde hair that was falling over his gaunt face. He looked Stella up and down in a way that make all the blood rush to her cheeks in a blush.
"What a pretty young thing," he said, his voice gravely, "You look good enough to eat."
She looked at him in shock and he advanced on her. She screamed as he grabbed her arm and swung her basket at his face. He was stronger than her and just laughed as he pulled her closer.
Stella continued to scream and struggle, but the man continued to pulled her in closer. He drew a long knife out of his belt sheath once she was held down tight. He put the knife point to Stella's heart and began to slowly push it into her chest.
The screams became more frenzied as the blood began to pool up. The man was so into his work that he didn't even hear the sound of horses getting closer. Stella had fainted out of shock by the time her fiance and several of the men from the village came riding up to this horrible scene.
"Unhand her, villian," Stella's fiance cried as he vaulted out of the saddle after he saw the limp form of his love in the ragged man's grip. He let Stella fall to the ground with a thud and turned to the men while licking his fingers which were covered in her warm blood.
"You are the hermit who eats hearts," one of the men said with a hushed voice as the rest of the men drew their swords and dismounted from their horses.
The man chuckled. "The human heart is a rare treat but the hearts of animal tastes nearly as good," he replied. He tried to defend himself with his knife but he was no match against three men armed with swords. It wasn't long before his still form was lying next to Stella's.
They carried her back to the village, where her wounds were bound. She recovered, but her life was never the same after she nearly was devoured by the man who eats hearts.
For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Lilu challenged me with "A Man Who Eats Hearts" and I challenged Francis with "A teeny kitty as a God".