The Legend of Heartbeat Mountain:The Blue-Eyed Witch.
By Sergio Casas
Curious children scramble up the side of Heartbeat Mountain. They were told, over many years, that if they placed an ear to the rocks, and listened very carefully, they could hear a heartbeat.
Nobody knows why it is called Heartbeat Mountain.
Nobody knows the real story, my story.
Now, I am going to tell you.
Every night she comes to my dreams. I can see her beautiful face. I can feel her delicate hand on my cheek. Her kisses make me feel like I am in heaven. She stays with me until the first rays of sunlight.
One night, I said, “I love you. Even though this is a dream, I love you.”
She said, “Don’t worry, the spell I cast on you will soon disappear.”
I smiled and said, “Angels don’t cast spells.”
Then, she stopped coming to my dreams.
After a few nights, my dreams showed me a walking path, up a mountain. I was compelled to find that path and follow it, wherever it may take me. Giving in to my instincts, I scrambled up a wooded incline, not sure of where I was until I saw the familiar trail.
As my heart guided me, and then quickened, I felt I was close to the place where my heart needs to be. My breathing became shallow as the mist lifted.
Now I had in front of me a cave where I could feel her presence. I took a deep breath and went inside. The smell of sulfur and coal made my breathing difficult. As I walked through the dark, I could hear murmuring. The dim light of a fire illuminated the rest of the passage. The passage opened to a large cavern and there stood a woman, ragged with her head bowed, stirring some enchanted concoction in a huge cauldron. Everything in my soul knew it was her, my love, my dream. I approached slowly and she stopped mixing for a few seconds and without looking at me asked:
“What are you doing here? The spell I cast should have worn off by now.”
When I looked in her face and heard her voice, even though both were ragged and craggy, I knew it was her.
“I come here of my own free will and I have come to take you with me.”
“Who do you think you are? This is my place,” she responded with an irritated voice.
“You are trapped here, you are not really a witch, you are an angel who dared to get too close to the devil and now you are paying for that.”
As I spoke, she plucked worms, cockroaches, spiders, and scorpions from the floor and wall of the cavern and placed them in a hole in her chest, a dark hole where her heart should be.
Behind her I could make out a huge shadow. A demon with eyes of fire and the tongue of a snake. He silently raised his hand and showed me a bleeding heart, her heart.
With anguish I told her, “I cannot fight this battle. You must fight to get your heart back so you can get out of here with m …”
“Shut up! she shouted. “You don’t know anything. I’ve been in places where you haven’t, I’ve experienced things that you haven’t, so don’t talk to me about what’s best for me “ and she went back to collecting bugs.
“You are right, but I am not blind, and I can clearly see your suffering under that mask of indifference and self-control but let me try.”
In a low, but strong voice, she said: “I have been in your dreams because I felt your heart full of love but you denied it to yourself. That is how I found you. Your heart called me. I was only supposed to be a dream for you.”
The shadow behind her emitted a gutteral sound. She hesitated.
“Even though you told me you loved me, even if I have the same feeling for you, I can’t fight, I’m weak. I need my heart to fight.” She dropped to her knees. The fire illuminated her face and I could see blood tears run down her cheek.
Hearing her words, I sat down on a rock and with my right hand hit my chest with enough force to rip out my heart and so, bleeding and with my hand outstretched, I told her: “now you have one, remove all that loneliness and hatred from your chest, put my heart in the hole and snatch your own heart from the devil, so we can both get out of this cave; I’ll take care of you.”
She slowly shook her head, her eyes met mine, telling me:
“Do you really want to do this?”
“Yes. I believe in the power of love and my heart is full, take it.” I insisted.
“I understand,” she said in a languid voice, “but I don’t know if I can do it, it might take me time, maybe a lot. Will you be sitting there waiting?”
“Because I can still see an angel in your blue eyes, I’ll be here waiting until you take my heart, or until it stops beating,” I replied with my arm outstretched and my bleeding heart, beating, in the palm of my hand.
Now, if you don’t believe me, I dare you to come to Heartbeat Mountain, scramble up through the brush. Nature has long ago overgrown the path and closed the entrance to her cave. But place your ear on the rocks. You will hear my heart, still beating…
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