AN: For him. For her. For me. For you. Based on a true story.

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There is a beginning. There is a present. But it has yet to end.

For a monster was born, and a monster is living, and he has not yet died.

He breathes, and the oxygen in his lungs is of arrogance, greed. There is no love that passes through his veins.

He is not tactless, like other monsters. Nor does he even look like one. But that does not make him any less cruel. Like other monsters, he is a predator, always raging, always hungry.

He is not filled unless he partakes of one thing; human flesh, human tendrils, human hearts.

He stalks his prey; the innocent, the naive, the unknowing. He hears their pulse echo in his ears and their salty, red life smell sends a tingling in his nostrils.

He salivates. He sharpens. He waits, and he springs.

He opens their chest and rips out their hearts with his talons, and they notice only when their blood stains their footsteps.

It's too late when they realize that the loss of their hearts have turned them into monsters too.

They breathe, and the oxygen in their lungs is of arrogance, greed. There is no love that passes through their veins. Eventually, they are swallowed by the abyss within themselves until they simply cease to exist.

Surely it is only a matter of time before there would be too many monsters, and too few people with human hearts to feed on.

But wait.
Stop.
Rewind.

We cannot delve into this future without knowing the past.

Where did he come from, this monster, who survives on indifference, who thrives on hate? What is it about the heart that sustains him, but keeps him unsatisfied so that he yearns for more?

Perhaps we must return to the part where he wasn't a monster. Not yet.

When he was a person. A boy.

A boy with a name.

Sijaun, they called him.

A boy just like anyone else.

He liked to play games, he liked to smirk and not smile maybe a bit too much, and if no one teases him about it, he can admit to liking music.

But he only liked these things.

What he loved were his parents.

He loved to impress them. To make them look at him in wonder and awe, like when he was younger.

He liked to think he made them proud.

Even when his father's hand descended and suddenly he was kissing the floor, with something stinging on his cheek. Even when his mother only watched with shiny eyes and crossed arms.

He thought it was normal, anyway; Father did it to Mother all the time.

But something new, happened one day.

One day Father reached for Mother, like he often did, but his fingers dug deep into her plush torso, slicing into it a magnificent gash and taking out something whispering and beating.

Mother fell onto her knees, gaze shimmery as always, and Father took the thing and buried his teeth into it, and a moment later it was gone, with only the red droplets on Father's chin to prove it had ever been there.

Sijaun, for he had a name then, saw Father's eyes flash to him next, and he kind of wanted to back away but his feet didn't seem to allow him.

He stood, still and tall, as Father did onto him the same terrific act as he did to Mother before disappearing into the distance.

It was not painful, at least, not until later. Suddenly there was an heavy, overwhelming feeling of nothingness, and it made him clutch at the hole in his chest, grasping for something long gone.

The hurting was so terrible he simply wanted to lie and close his eyes and rest.

Then he remembered Father, who might come back and devour what was left, and though his eyes were beginning to resemble Mother's, he proved himself stronger, and he walked away.

Sijaun hoped that the blackness in his chest would fill up, that somehow his heart would be restored, replaced, but as the ache intensified everyday, it soon dawned on him. The only solution to his problem.

To take what has been taken. But how?

Father wasn't there. Whatever he'd stolen from his son, could not be returned.

But, perhaps, there are others to take it from?

The first time was not clear in his memory.

There were three of them, strolling down a carved path. Two boys and a girl.

It took only for Sijaun to feel the vibrations from their bodies to the ground, that alive thing in each of them to remind him of what he'd lost, of what he might regain again, and suddenly what was left were four monsters in that patch of urban forest and the ever-growing nothing.

But his heart never came back.

As Sijaun grew colder and vicious, the number of human hearts dwindled, and it seemed that he destroyed the world to equal the destruction of his soul.

So is this the end?

If so, then the prophesied apocalypse of this tale came in the form of a girl.

A girl with a name he never asked for.

One with a heart, just like anyone else.

Perhaps what mattered was what she did with it.

She was the prey, for that hour; it was when Sijaun stretched his talons toward her turned back that she halted in mid-step and spoke.

"Hello." She greeted, and smiled, at him.

She faced him and put her palm over her heart, the edges of her lips still curled upwards.

"You want my heart, yes?"

Sijaun's snarling jaw dropped as he nodded.

She put her hands at her sides and cocked her head.

"It's yours."

She stepped forward and offered her chest to him, and as he plunged his fingers into her, tugging at the remnants of soul as he pulled out her moist, soft heart, the nothing pain seemed to throb less and less.

When he had fully cupped the heart in his hands, it occurred to him that something was different about this one. It had been given, not taken; it was an offering, and not a stolen prize.

Thud, thud, thud, it swelled, and though for some reason he knew it was meant to be his, somehow, he did not, could not want to accept it.

As the ever-hurting nothing began to heal, for the first time, he did not want to have something he never deserved.

He glanced at her, seemingly confused, his face posing a question: Why?

The girl, who'd been trying all the while to remain standing, closed his fingers around her gift of a heart and fell against him. Then, with the saddest kind of happiness, and she said something so gentle, it could break a butterfly wing.

"You need it more than I."

And the dulling ache of nothing receded until it was no more.

The end.

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Or not!

Because Sijaun then gnashed at the heart with his ferocious teeth, tearing out every single little vein, like a fat guy in some hotdog eating contest, and licked up all the blood that pooled in his hands, complete with a grotesque slurping sound, and so instantly died of a fatal heart attack from all the cholesterol he's been stupidly eating all that time.

THE END!

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AN: Please review.