Jason Webley


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The boy with a heart of string

There was once a boy with a heart made of string. You’d never know it to look at him, because he looked and acted just like most normal boys. But if you watched him really carefully, you’d notice that from time to time, he would twitch or jump a little bit. That was because from time to time, something would tug at the strings in his heart.

Sometimes it would pull him up. Sometimes it would pull him down. And often, the boy would sit and wonder who it was, at the other end of the string, pulling him up and pulling him down.

Now as he grew up, he still looked just like most normal boys. Except, if you looked closely into his eyes, you’d know there was some kind of magic working. And pretty quickly you’d get a funny homesick feeling, and you’d say to yourself: ‘why, this fellow has a heart made out of string! And that string leads back to the place we once were before we all decided to come here.’

And pretty soon, you’d be saying to yourself ‘wouldn’t it be lovely, so lovely to see that place again, just once. If I could hold on to the strings of this boy’s heart, I bet he could take me there!’

And so it would happen. The boy would be walking down the street or sitting on a bus, and someone would see his eyes and become homesick. And like a seed that homesickness would grow and grow in their heart until it finally sprouted out of their chest, like a string. And they would take that string and tie it to the boy’s heart.

Every day more and more people looked into the boy’s eyes, grew strings from their chests and tied the strings to his heart.

And soon the boy was pulled in so many directions, he could no longer tell when a tug came from above or below, or when it came from one of the many people tied to his heart.

There were too many strings. And they were tied too tight. All the boy could see was strings. He couldn’t see the ground or the sky. He couldn’t tell if he was moving up or down.

How many people had tied themselves to his heart? It would be hard to say. How could anyone dream of counting so high?

And they just kept coming. Tying themselves to the boy. More and more and more strings, until finally it didn’t matter where the pull came from, or how strong.

The boy could no longer move at all. He couldn’t see anything but strings. He couldn’t feel anything but strings.

So one day, he just relaxed his muscles.
And let himself disappear.