With no regard for her own safety, Samantha flung herself up and over into
Her one and only goal was to retrieve her precious heart pieces that Professor
Ian had purposely tossed inside.
“Hrumph! Got you!”
Suddenly, Samantha felt a powerful arm wrap around her waist from behind.
“D-Dr. Rationale? Please, let me go! I need to get my heart
Dr. Rationale, who had hoisted Samantha to safety, shook his head as he gently
placed the little girl down on the ground.
“There’s no need to jump in after them, Sam,” Dr. Rationale
“Right, we’ll get them back for you,” a familiar voice said from behind.
“A-Antoinette? You made it out!”
Antoinette placed her hand on Dr. Rationale’s shoulder.
“Yes, a few moments after you got out, the doors opened again and there was my
husband waiting for me. I must say, it was quite a remarkable reunion, wasn’t
“Wait, you mean… ?”
Antoinette nodded in reply.
Dr. Rationale was smiling from ear to ear.
Samantha stared bewildered at Antoinette and Dr. Rationale. Of course, once the
little wheels in her head started spinning, it was actually easy for little
Samantha to put two and two together.
“Sam… it’s all thanks to you that I was reunited with my wife… so now it’s our
turn to help you.”
There was actually a
small pail and a long wooden pole right next to the well as well as some rope.
People would use this to fetch water from the well. Of course, the thought of making use of these items had
never crossed Samantha’s mind when Professor Ian hurled her precious heart
pieces into the well. With a bit of trial and error, Dr. Rationale managed to
recover all of Samantha’s pieces of a heart. They were very wet but none the
worse for wear.
“Thank you very much!”
Samantha clutched her precious items and smiled happily. She
coddled them like a mother would cradle her baby.
Meanwhile Chloe and Milly made a slight nod at each other and crept away
“Hmph! So what does that prove? A puppet will always be a
puppet. You should know that as well, Dr. Rationale. The two of us helped to
create this… this… thing.”
“What? Is that true, Doctor?”
Samantha was quite confused at this sudden revelation – of course, who wouldn’t
Dr. Rationale hesitated for a bit but then he turned to face Samantha. Looking
into her clear, unclouded eyes, Dr. Rationale knew exactly what he had to do –
he had to tell the truth without holding anything back – whatever the results
“It’s true, Sam. We made you… we both did. I was Professor
Ian’s assistant back then. We wanted to create the ultimate puppet. Something
that could walk, talk, think and act like a real human being… and that was how
you were created – but, the one thing that we could not replicate is the
function of the heart.
No matter what we tried to do, we could not replicate human emotion. We
couldn’t program you with the component of uncertainty that is the human heart…
and so, you were…” Dr. Rationale’s voice cracked.
“You were discarded, little girl. What you are is a reject. A human substitute
pretending to be human even though she doesn’t and never will have a heart,”
Professor Ian interrupted.
Samantha sank down on her knees dumbfounded and unable to
fully process everything that she had just heard. As if echoing her feelings,
the sky rumbled with a thunderous roar, and without warning, it began to rain
Professor Ian quickly ran inside his house slamming the door
behind him as he went. Everyone else reluctantly followed suit and began to
walk away to find some shelter. In the end, only Samantha and Dr. Rationale
remained. Even Antoinette had left the scene.
“Dr… Rationale… ”
Samantha looked up at the doctor. He was standing over her in silence; his
bangs cast a grim shadow over his eyes, so his expression could not be seen. He
was trembling, but this was only natural. After all, his clothes were drenched
by the rain. Still, he stood there next to Samantha – unmoving.
A whirlwind of
emotions washed over Samantha. She clutched the five pieces of a heart that she
had gathered – no, the useless pieces of wood that she had worked so hard to
earn. If she had the strength to break them apart at that moment, Samantha
would have done so without hesitation.
PLOP! PLOP! PLOP! PLOP! PLOP!
Piece by piece, she allowed the wooden pieces to slip from her hands and drop
to the muddy ground.
“These things… are really worthless, aren’t they?”
“No, they are not, darling.”
A familiar female voice came from behind Samantha. A soft,
warm, hand gently rested itself on her shoulder.
“Definitely… they are not worthless…” This time, it was the
doctor who spoke.
Dr. Rationale stooped down to pick up the pieces one by one.
“It’s true that I thought you were a failed project… but I was wrong about
that, completely wrong! Sam… it’s not that we couldn’t create a heart for you,
it’s just that we didn’t understand the true meaning of a heart.”
“Ah, as expected of my dear husband, he finally gets it.”
Antoinette closed her eyes and smiled contentedly.
Dr. Rationale smiled as well. This time, Samantha could
clearly see his expression.
“Sam, is a heart really something that beats inside of us in here?”
He clutched his chest.
“Or… is it something beyond that?”
“Something beyond that...,” Asked Samantha.
Dr. Rationale took out a handkerchief and began to assemble
the five wooden pieces that Samantha had collected during her journey.
“Look, Sam… why do you think these five wooden pieces fit so
well together? Don’t you think they almost look like a heart?”
Samantha examined the five pieces carefully and confirmed the doctor’s words
with her own eyes. It was true. While they seemed to be awkwardly shaped and
didn’t exactly match each other in color being all different shades of red, the
five pieces of a heart actually fit so well when put together, that they
unmistakably formed an unfinished heart.
“They really do…”
“That’s proof that these wooden pieces didn’t come together by mere accident.
No matter what their origins were, each piece was deliberately made to fit
together with the others. They are the proof of your connections with the
people you have met in your quest, Sam…”
“Do you understand now, my dear child?”
Antoinette scooped Samantha up from the ground and held her
up to her shoulder – the same way that she used to carry her own daughter.
Antoinette’s dress was soaked with muddy water, but she did not care.
“It is not about the wood and the crude paint from which
they were made, it is about the feelings of the giver that they represent. So
“Don’t just throw those feelings away like they were nothing… umm… is that
right?” Chloe said with much hesitation.
“Chloe? And Milly too!”
“Umm… here Samantha… l-let’s play together sometime okay?”
Milly held a small pouch out at Samantha.
“Go ahead, dear child.”
Antoinette placed Samantha on the ground.
Samantha held out her hand. Milly cupped her hands around Samantha – a hand
that was ever so slightly smaller than her own.
Opening the pouch, Samantha’s eyes lit up at what was inside.
“Why these are…”
As she poured the contents of the pouch onto her hand, Samantha saw that they
were actually two pieces of wood – hastily cut up and sanded down and awkwardly
colored red with a marker pen.
“The last pieces of a heart!”
Dr. Rationale beckoned for Samantha to take the pieces to him.
“As expected, a perfect fit!” Dr. Rationale exclaimed excitedly.
“Umm… but, they’ll fall apart if you try to move them though,” Chloe noted.
“Why yes, that is a problem, is it not…?” Added Antoinette.
“Not at all, I have just the perfect solution. Make way,
The voice had come from a new participant to the conversation: Billy the
Billy crouched down next to the heart pieces and began
applying a liquid substance all over their edges.
“What’s that?” Asked Milly.
“Well… some people like to call it glue… quite a fascinating substance, really.
I mean, it can mend just about everything – perhaps even the most fragile of
broken bonds? “ Billy said with a wink.
Billy stared intently at his handiwork, and being quite satisfied with the
precision with which he had stuck the pieces together, he held it up over his
head as if he were praising some deity. Which made him look a bit silly as
raindrops kept getting into his eyes and he had to squint to hold the position.
“Oh, sorry, got carried away… here you go, Samantha… sorry, I couldn’t do
anything about the color. They’re definitely red, but each piece is a slightly
different shade… but hey, you can think of it as a symbol of your multi-colored
experiences or something?” Billy said sheepishly.
“Well, with that much, my brush should be of assistance… now
give that to me, young man.”
This time, it was Vincent the painter who had joined the fray. Producing one of
his many paint brushes and dipping the point inside one of his paint bottles
strapped to a belt pouch, he painted the entire wooden sculpture a bright shade
of blood-red with a few expert strokes of his brush.
“Here you go, Samantha.
I have painted many things in my time, but this project, as short as it
may have been, was definitely the most satisfying.”
Samantha grabbed the now completed heart with both hands. No longer fragmented,
but one complete piece all put together. It was still somewhat awkwardly
shaped, held together with super glue, and although Vincent’s paint job was
flawless, there was really no way to erase the shades of amateurish colors
scattered all throughout.
She smiled and let her most honest thoughts escape from her lips.
“Thank you for everything. It’s truly beautiful.”
Holding the precious item to her chest, Samantha looked up at the sky. It was
still raining but not so much as before. Beyond the clouds, the sun had begun
Well…? That’s how it all ends. What happens to Samantha and her newfound
friends after this is a story for another day – one that I personally don’t
have to write.
What did you think? If you felt something – whatever it is,
while reading this piece, then I believe that I have done my job as an author.
Of course, I will never know about your thoughts if they are not communicated
to me, so do tell me.
With that said, there are a few things I’d
like to talk about regarding the elements of this particular piece.
What Were the 7 Pieces Of A Heart All
While Dr. Rationale and company already explained the significance of the
hearts, there is also an underlying structure behind Samantha’s adventure. The
use of SIRI was not just a cheap trick or an early “hook” to grab your
attention. I for one do not believe in “hooks,” but if you do, then that’s all
well and good.
The real reason why I used SIRI was to leave a clue as the structure of Samantha’s
quest. This is also the reason why Dr. Rationale seemed to know a whole lot
about what Sam was trying to accomplish. Simply put, the 7 pieces of a heart
represent different stages of acceptance or “how to mend a broken heart.” I
didn’t use one particular source for these, of course. You will not find an
exact match for the 7 different emotional stages of the people that Samantha
encountered during her journey by doing a Google search. The reason for this is
because I used theories from different sources and pieced them together as I
saw fit. To me, their real importance was that they allowed Samantha to
encounter all types of people from all walks of life.
It’s worth noting that the title was actually inspired by a
make-believe story title that my 8 year-old niece concocted once upon a Skype
On “Heartless” and “Heart-Less”
You may have noticed that figuratively speaking, Samantha
was never really heartless from the start – and if you did, then
congratulations! That is what the main theme of the story is really all about.
Everything that was written from chapter 1 and until the finale were all
intended to subtly move the reader towards asking that final question: “What is
a heart, really?”
In Samantha, we have a puppet girl/android without a heart. At the same time,
this apparently inhuman thing has more empathy for others than many real
living, breathing human beings. This is the true essence of Samantha’s story.
Why Didn’t Everyone
Show Up In The End?
You might be tempted to believe that it was a fairytale
happy ending with everyone coming together to support Samantha in the end, but
it’s not, really. If you still recall, Alexia and Melania, the sisters from
chapter 3 never showed up.
The reason for this is because in this story, I wanted to show some form of
realism. Not everything always turns out
perfectly in life, and so, even in a fictional story with elements of the
absurd such as this one, a picture-perfect happy ending would have been hard to
There are other similar elements within the story that depict my view of
reality. The bad guy (Professor Ian) never really got what was coming to him. I’m
sure he at least deserved a good punch from Dr. Rationale, but again, things
don’t always turn out the way we want to in life – so it shouldn’t be any
different in this story.
It Is Still An Idealistic Children’s
With all these dark and sometimes imperfect elements added into the story,
I would like to believe that Samantha and the Pieces of A Heart is still an
idealistic story that can be read and understood at some level by young
children and of course, by full-grown adults. While writing this story, I tried
to pay close attention to my diction and use appropriate wording but while also
keeping it simple and readable for everyone.
Samantha does get her somewhat happy ending in the finale,
but the reality is that people will still continue to judge her if they
know/have heard about her story. Of course, the difference is that Sam has
gained a little bit more self-awareness and self-worth after her journey – and sometimes,
that can make all the difference.
On Inspiration and
The initial inspiration to write this story was an image through a
make-believe title of the same name from my niece once upon a voice chat.
Basically, she mentioned that she had a story called “Samantha and the Pieces
of a Heart” (she was making stuff up on the fly, of course) but the image of a
little girl searching for the pieces of her own heart really stuck in my
Of course, inspiration is one thing but motivation is another. While I had been
brewing the story in my head for a few months, I was never really motivated to
write it until I met a friend online (through my Nagi obsession) who read
almost all of my stories from my Visual Novel Creator days and (I’d like to
believe) sincerely liked them.
This was something new to me and it was both extremely
touching and extremely flattering. It’s not like no one ever liked my works
before, but so very few people are willing to actually tell you how they feel
about your own stories.
If you know someone who is a writer/artist/creator, never forget to pay them a
simple compliment – if and only if you truly like their works. As an author, I
could hope for no greater reward than to know that someone sincerely liked my
works for what they are. Yes, critique
is important as well, but not everyone wants to be critiqued or wants your
advice on how to improve. Let the person decide whether they want your help or
not and don’t unnecessarily volunteer critique unless the person specifically
asked for it. People forget that creators are human beings as well and as
creative individuals, we tend to come with a lot more pride than usual. If
consider yourself creative and you do not happen to have pride, then don’t
apply your personal standards upon everyone else. That is the attitude of a tyrant.
Anyway, this person urged me to start writing again since it had been years
since I actually wrote a story. I felt that I could not betray this individual’s
expectations after that, and thus, the result is this piece: Samantha and the
Pieces of A Heart.
That’s all I have to say for now about this story and I hope
to see you again in future stories to come – lordcloudx out.