Excerpt for The Heart to Heart by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Heart to Heart

A Short Story by Jeffrey Allen Davis

Smashwords Edition

Copyrighted Material

©2018 Jeffrey Allen Davis

This book is a work of fiction. Places, events and situations in this story are purely fictional. Any similarities to actual persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

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Published by GCD Publishing

Cover Design by TW Johnson

Christian Fiction

The Heart to Heart

She sat alone in the cell, staring at the blank walls. A shiver ran up her spine. It wasn’t fear. It was simply the temperature. It was always cold in here. Fear wasn’t an issue. There was no uncertainty today. She knew where she was going.

She climbed from the lone chair and paced the room. Why was it taking so long? She glanced up at the flat-screen television that hung from her wall to see a camera crew and rescue vehicles around a familiar area, digging through metal rubble. She approached the T.V. and used the remote, hanging from the wall, to unmute it.

. . . -quake, with a magnitude of well above ten on the Richter Scale. An estimated sixty people inside lost their lives when what geologists have named ‘The Quake Felt Around the World’ destroyed the St. Louis Arch. This number is minor when compared to the sheer numbers that we are getting from all over the planet. Scientists are at a loss as to what could have caused every fault line on the planet to convulse at the same time. The destruction is the greatest that we’ve seen yet in the strange phenomena that have plagued the planet these past seven years. Our own Barbara Winters lost her life when the quake dropped ninety percent of the state of California into the ocean, tidal waves claiming the rest of the state and half of Oregon.”

She sighed and pressed the mute button again. “’Birth pangs.’” She turned to walk back to the single table that stood in the center of the room, taking a seat in one of the uncomfortable wooden chairs. She had sat in that same chair many times over the past year as psychiatrists, politicians, and so-called ministers of the One-World tried to reason with her. The goal was always the same . . . to get her to turn her back on the One Whose Name was now outlawed above all other things.

She turned to look at the television. She had been told, at the beginning of her incarceration here, that she was allowed to see all that she was missing on the outside. It had done the trick, alright. She knew that she wanted no part in what was going on out there.

After a year of trying to change her, the warden himself had visited her. “You’ve been a model inmate,” he had told her. “But I can’t help you anymore. Your execution date is set.”

This had been a week ago. They had wasted no time. Now, she had eaten her last meal and waited for them to come and get her. She thought numbly of all the television shows she had watched as a child, where a minister would be brought in for a last confession.

Unnecessary now. Especially given that any minister that they sent in would offer to give her one more chance to pray to Simonem Bestia.

Footsteps coming from down the hallway caught her attention. Is it time? She wondered to herself as she climbed to her feet.

The metal door opened with a groan and the warden stepped in. He looked at her sadly and clasped his hands behind his back. “Patricia Angelus, the lord has been more than patient with you.”

She smiled sadly. “If he’s been so patient with me, then why should he care who I pray to?”

His eyes lowered to the floor. “He has kept this world together for the last seven years in a cosmic storm of coincidences and just wants a little gratitude for what he’s done . . ..”

“His appearance on the world stage marked the beginning of these tribulations,” she explained patiently. “It won’t be long now . . ..”

The warden’s eyes met hers. Was he fighting back tears? “Please, Patty. He only asks that you symbolically renounce this fairy tale of yours. Nobody’s going to say anything to you if you just pray to your Jesus in private.”

“You ask me to deny my Lord before man . . .,” she met the warden’s gaze evenly, “. . . and, despite all of Bestia’s signs and wonders, he is just a man. I cannot . . . and WILL NOT!”

A tear broke free of the warden’s eye, tracing its way down his cheek to fall off the ridge of his chin. She knew that he was not an evil man. Like so many others in this terrible time, he was duped. His confusion and fear had led him—and far too many others—to follow a false promise.

He nodded. “I see. Well, if you won’t listen to me, maybe you’ll listen to someone else.” The warden stepped to the side as a woman walked into the room.

Patricia’s breath caught in her throat. The brave stature, the brown eyes, and the cleft in her chin . . . those all belonged to Patricia’s late husband, George. But the soft smile and the wheat-colored hair—those were Patricia’s.

“Hello, Mom,” whispered Julie with a weak smile.

Patricia’s lips pressed together in firm resolve. So close. She reminded herself. It’s almost over. She glanced at the warden, who would not meet her gaze as he turned toward the door. “I’ll let you two ladies talk.”

Patricia turned and seated herself in the chair that she had been in moments earlier. “You’ve changed a lot over the past year,” she said to her daughter warmly.

Julie took the seat across the table from her. “I’ve been keeping myself busy. I’m an assistant DA now.”

Patricia nodded sadly. “I heard.” Her eyes lowered to the table. “Your first case was to try the underground church in St. Charles.”

“Mom,” began Julie, “I know you have strong beliefs . . ..”

“I used to think they were your beliefs, too,” interrupted her mother.

“I thought so, too . . . once,” returned Julie, gently taking her mother’s hands in her own.

Patricia closed her eyes as tears slid down her cheeks. “Something as important as faith has to be made real to each individual. I could raise you and talk to you about Jesus but, unless the Holy Spirit opens your heart to Him . . ..”

“Mom, please.” She pulled her mother’s hand to her mouth and kissed it. “I don’t want to see you give your life for a fairy tale.”

“Jesus is as real to me as anything in my life,” explained Patricia.

Julie jumped from the chair. “How can you say that? Look at all that Simonem Bestia has done in the world! He brought every nation together . . ..”

“Just as the Bible predicted he would,” replied her mother.

Julie seated herself across from her mother again. “He’s healed the sick and brought an end to poverty.”

Patricia took her daughter’s left hand and turned it over to reveal the bar code on the back of it. “Only to those who are willing to call him god and put this mark on their hands. If someone doesn’t agree with him, they starve.” She looked around herself. “Ironically, being in prison this past year has been a paradise compared to the prior six years. I’ve been given three meals a day and had a roof over my head.”

“How many times have you been beaten by the guards in here, mother?”

Patricia smiled, her raw eyes settling on her daughter’s beautiful face. “It’s nothing, when compared to His sacrifice for me.”

“But I’ve seen Bestia’s miracles.” Julie’s eyes now filled to overflow. “You haven’t seen Jesus’s . . ..”

“But I have.” Patricia stood. “Your father was once a drug-dealing alcoholic who used to hurt me in ways that made what I’ve experienced here pale in comparison.” She smiled, glancing at the ceiling. “Jesus changed him into a wonderful, hardworking family man who spoiled me with affection and who adored his daughter.”

“He died of cancer, Mom,” argued Julie.

“But he left a legacy of love and generosity that Bestia could never understand.” She looked back at her daughter. “I’ve missed him so much. I’ll be seeing him soon.”

“What if you’re wrong, Mom?” demanded Julie. “What if this life is all there is? Then you and dad both wasted your lives with that shelter of yours. You could have done so much more . . ..”

“Helping my fellow man is not a waste,” Patricia explained calmly. “If Bestia has given you that impression—that life is all about getting every indulgence that we can get—then that only proves that he’s no savior.”

Julie glanced down at the Mark on her hand. “I . . . I don’t want you to die.”

“What’s the worst he can do to me now?” She reached out, placing her finger under her daughter’s chin and gently lifted her face to look her in the eye. “My life is just a speck of dust in history. But, to Jesus, it’s so much more valuable. I tried to instill that in you growing up. I tried to help you understand how much He loves His children. I failed you. And, for that, I’m sorry.”

Julie climbed to her feet and lunged around the table, throwing herself into her mother’s arms. “You didn’t fail, Mom. You were the best mother that a child could have ever had. Despite how much you did for others, there was never a moment that I didn’t feel loved.” She wept into her mother’s shoulder bitterly.

“I’m so sorry that I couldn’t make you understand in time,” returned her mother, her own tears soaking her daughter’s hair.

“You didn’t fail, Momma!” wailed Julie. “I did!”

The door swung open and two guards stepped in, followed by the warden. “I’m sorry, ladies,” said the latter, his eyes lowered. “It’s time.”

Patricia climbed from her seat, but Julie held her tightly.

“Please,” begged her daughter, “just a little longer.”

The warden’s uncomfortable countenance turned away from the two women. “I’m sorry . . . I have my orders.”

Patricia embraced her daughter, who continued to wail for all to hear. “I love you, munchkin,” she said, referring to her daughter’s childhood nickname. “But my suffering is almost over. Don’t be sad for me.” She gently—but firmly—extracted herself from her daughter’s arms. Then, she leaned forward and kissed Julie gently on her forehead. “Goodbye.”

The two guards, apparently realizing that they would not need to force Patricia out of the room, parted silently to let her pass.

As the Christian woman stepped into the hallway that would lead her to the guillotine, she could still hear her daughter weeping. She knew that most of it was for the woman who was about to give her life for her faith. But she also knew that some of it was now for herself, coming to realize . . . only when it was now too late . . . the Truth.

About the Author


Jeffrey Allen Davis is an award-winning novelist, armchair conservative pundit, and travel agent.  He lives in St. Charles, MO, with his wife, daughter, and two stepchildren.  A licensed minister, Davis’s fiction tends to take place within a Christian worldview, even when the story is not overtly religious.


Visit him online at



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