Ten Heartbeats

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It was a beautiful evening for a walk. A walk along the quayside. Plenty of other pedestrians enjoying the still warm evening air, the bars that line the historic cobbled riverside busy with noise and activity. We hadn’t reached that stage of the evening. We had not yet sat beside the smooth waters of the river and ordered drinks as we talked and watched. We had not reached that favoured bar. In fact, it was the bar that we had first met in some fifteen months ago and now here we are over a year later and the throes of the despicable devaluation surging around you, although you have yet to understand what it signifies. This evening though is meant to be some respite from the machinations and manipulations, a return to the golden period, so long as you behave and comply.

I watch you stumble on the cobbles. Your choice of heels (my choice of heels as I directed earlier what you should wear) is elegant and fashionable but ill-suited for venturing across this section of the quayside. I of course suggested that we should take a taxi to the bar direct (at least this is what I will say during the post mortem which will invariably arise) and then walk a different way, but you wanted to promenade along this particular section and look what has happened.

I watch you stumble, ankle twisting as the sharp stiletto heel slides, like a young fawn’s spindly leg on the smooth stone, polished like ice by the passage of so many booted feet. Your left leg shoots out as down you go, unable to maintain your balance. I have not reacted quick enough to grab hold of you as you stumble despite being stood close to you. I was distracted by somebody passing who happened to smile at me and furnish me with a dollop of fuel. I will, as I so often do, revise history to explain I was further away than you thought and therefore unable to prevent your ungracious fall.

I watch you stumble as your right knee strikes the cobble and you give a sudden cry of pain. The twist of your ankle and the laceration of your knee both causing you hurt. I stare at your features, twisted in pain, mouth open and eyes starting to well with tears no doubt driven by a combination of injury and embarrassment. I feel the first surge. It leaps inside of me as the contempt soars. Look at you, useless and pathetic, slipping over the cobbles in those stupid heels, a testament to your vanity. Why am I with someone this clumsy? But is not these thoughts alone which drive this contempt. No, it is the fact that the emotion which is now etched across your face, the twisted pain, has been caused by something other than me. Such wasted emotion. The watering eyes, the cry, the anguished features. Ordinarily I would be the catalyst for this but I am not and this irritates me. You are so pointless you cannot even get upset in the right way.

I hear someone give a short gasp and realise that others have witnessed your tumble. The façade! The façade! I ought to do something in front of this gaggle of strangers. I look at you as your almond eyes turn to look at me. I know I should feel concern for you at your mishap. I know I should care that you have slipped and hurt yourself but other than the contempt I do not feel anything. There is nothing there to propel me into assisting you, no innate desire to act. It would be instinctive for others who are not me, but I am me and therefore I must assess and evaluate before I decide what should happen next. I know I should be reaching down to you, lifting you up and making suitably concerned noises as I reach for a handkerchief to apply to your bloodied knee. I feel no compulsion whatsoever to do so. Why should I help you? Will it profit me? Perhaps it will but I know there is a chance for fresh, delicious negative fuel first. The situation has been assessed and my response has been determined.

I watch your eyes alight on me and then it happens. The flames leap as I see that the physical hurt has now been joined by your emotional injury as you give me a puzzled and then hurt look at my failure to act. There it is. That is what I wanted. Your emotional attention as the surge of contempt becomes mixed with the rising sense of power as your response at my inaction fuels me. Your irritated hurt has been caused by me and thus the fuel flows. That is good. I let it hit me, racing upwards, my eyes still fixed on yours as those blue eyes shift from hurt to puzzlement at my continued hesitation. This remains good. How long can I hold this for? The fuel flows but I am mindful of the façade. A damsel is in distress and needs a knight and no interlopers shall be allowed here. No crusading passer-by shall intervene and steal my scene.

In the corner of my eye I see a gentleman move forward making to help. Not today sir, not today! I burst into life and dart to you.

“Goodness me, are you alright?” I ask as my hands take your arm.

“Is she okay?” asks the man who is still pressing his claim.

“She will be, I will help here,” I answer turning to him and flashing a short smile at him. The teeth have been bared pal, the smile is there but the stare says back off, not that you can see my hostility to this intervening hero. He gives an uncertain nod and moves away. Message received and understood.

I help you to the nearby bench and produce my handkerchief with a flourish, dabbing at your bloodied knee as you wince slightly. I continue with soothing noises since a couple of people continue to look. I turn and see the two women smile in reassurance at my chivalrous action and the fuel is gratefully received.

“That hurt,” you say softly. I see the two women move away.

“It was your own stupid fault, “I hiss quietly. I catch your hurt gaze and drink up your reaction as more fuel is provided.

Observe. Assess. Evaluate. Act. Fuel.

This is our world. This is our perspective.

The repeated reward of fuel has been obtained.

And all of this was done in just ten heartbeats.

25 thoughts on “Ten Heartbeats

  1. Nina says:

    It is really so sickening this scene to visualise. A supposed human to treat like this another human . .. goodness!!
    Now I realise why spontaneously I was addressing some of my observations to the N using the word ” your species” even long before I officially diagnosed his disorder.
    I could feel deeply in every cell of my body his deep seated inhumanity.
    I also had noticed this small delay in his reactions when an unexpected situation would rise. As he was trying to choose which is the best suited reaction .. a certain latency in his reactions as H.G describes… first to asses and then to perform..
    After he admitted the disorder to me he told me that since he was around about 10 years old he had noticed that his reactions to certain situations were different than other people , he didn’t know how he should act as he felt nothing inside.
    He then started to closely watch and imitate other people’ reactions so to blend in. And he told me that by time he perfected his performance.. at high school he reveled in the way he could ” play” the teachers so well with his various masks.
    Every teacher fancied him as he was charming very intelligent and very good in this grades..

    He had revealed so so many things to me, I still wonder why H.G. ??

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I would need to know more about the individual concerned to ascertain what this person is and from there I would be able to explain these revelations of his, to you.

      1. Nina says:

        Ι have posted my big big story in another thread .. I suppose it is in moderation. So I suppose that you can form a more i formed opinion Mr H.G.

        Thank you very much for your work .


        1. HG Tudor says:

          Correct, Nina.

  2. Miss Fortune says:

    I’d like to hear what you believe.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Such behaviour is sadistic.

  3. Miss Fortune says:

    Could you elaborate on how above mentioned behavior differs from sadism?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Do you believe that it does Miss Fortune?

  4. Leilani says:

    No wonder my father always told me, “At the end of the day, it’s ALL about you baby. You will conquer the world. Never think with your heart. Think with your mind.” And there’s the makings of Leilani. Great post HG. Did the narcissist ever achieve an exchange of numbers from the two women passerby with smiles for future fuel?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Your father knew what he was talking about. Thank you. There was no need for their numbers, their proximity of supply and method of delivery is easily replicated by others so it is just as easy to charm new providers.

  5. 1jaded1 says:

    HG, you should go on circuit if your current job ever becomes unbearable. People need to learn from the best.

    It’s like the pro hacker who hires into the security firm or regular business to prevent breaches, or the fraudster who hires into the bank to protect it from having fraud (if I were a judge that would be my sentence for those savants). There was an article that said some security firm was paying 150-1500 USD if people could find bugs in car software. I guess hackers found a way to hack into cars and do things to the radio and ac. Seriously? Yep, what’s the point in hiring the best when you can make a contest out of finding a bug that someone could use to drive your car off the road?

    If I haven’t said it before, I appreciate finding your blog, even if it is a difficult read sometimes.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you 1jaded. My job isn’t unbearable but I would rather enjoy going out to the masses at some future point,but if I did, I would have to resign from my current profession first. Thank you for your kind comments.

      1. 1jaded1 says:

        You are welcome. Maybe the future will be the present with respect to that, some day.

  6. I too was there. I was the elegantly dressed young woman who passed by you, in my very stylish, but sensible shoes for such a path, and scoffed when I saw her go down.

    I remember thinking to myself, “What a twit – why on earth would she be walking on this path in shoes like that??? What was she thinking??? Serves her right.”

    I glanced over at you and in addition to being quite taken with your apparent good looks, amazing sense of style and beautiful dark eyes, I was annoyed that someone as dashing as yourself was having to deal with such an embarrassing and needlessly dramatic incident. A gentleman of your caliber should not be forced to bear witness to or have to deal with the consequences of such an obvious lack of common sense.

    Our eyes locked for a moment. I saw the fire burning behind those eyes and I understood. And I found myself wanting to understand even more.

    1. HG Tudor says:


  7. 1jaded1 says:

    So Sad. Yes, it’s all about control. The more I read HG’s enlightening blog, the more I realize that we are the ones who are in control. We just don’t see it. It makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach and not powerful at all bc we are unwittingly causing distress to another person. I hope there is never a next time for you, but if there is, take the invite.

  8. 1jaded1 says:

    I’m warning all of your future gfs to wear tennis shoes.

    1. 1jaded1 says:

      Not missing the point at all. It could be shoes on a cobble walk or slicing one’s finger at a cooking class at an acclaimed restaurant. Assess the fuel toward you from her but also toward her from others. They can’t have her because you have her, even though…you are kinda sorta in the process of being done with her…maybe.

      1. So Sad says:

        How right you are 1Jaded,

        He didn’t want me , but made sure no one else could either .

        I had a note popped through my letter box from a guy asking me out for drinks , he left his mobile number & asked me to call if I fancied going .
        Ex found the note & the number & the consequences were not pretty .

        At the time I thought he actually cared so much for me he couldn’t bare seeing me with another man .. I know now it was all about control . He was in the process of love bombing his new target at the time while I was well into discard , but still wouldn’t release his grip on me . If I’d have known then what I know now I would have gone . .. 🙂

  9. nikitalondon says:

    Ouch!!! No!! I dont really know what is in the background that you could really get fuel from that episode with that lady but it must be intense. I see pain and hurt everywhere…. 😢
    Your writing is fascinating. I was almost there… The person who crossed and smiled at you😜.

  10. Miss_stress says:

    Is that all we are to you, stupid, pathetic and useless, truly, is that the underlying consensus of your kind. Yes, we provide fuel, which is deemed useful… but otherwise, we are useless and tedious and bothersome and boring.
    His parting words, were that and perhaps I feel a tad jaded at being called a stupid fucking woman!!!
    Chivalry is almost dead, not quite, as it holds on by life support.
    I would have taken the shoes off and walked barefoot, beofre I fell like that. I am not vain.
    I could visualize that scene, effortlessly, it appeared to be such a promising night. Wonderful writing, as always HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

      1. Miss_stress says:


  11. anaerok says:

    “In the corner of my eye I see a gentleman move forward making to help. Not today sir, not today!”
    I was mentally there, in your moment, and I chuckled.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Always good to know there was a chuckle to be had.

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