There are twenty-nine hearts in all.

Each has something written on it.

Most likely a blessing or a pithy saying, like you’d typically see on the slip of paper curled inside a fortune cookie.

Rarely, a command.

One, only one, has a curse written on it.

You can open the door to the other side only if a heart chooses you. And then its destiny becomes yours to carry, whether a blessing or the curse, or a vague aphorism that remains open to interpretation.

They are fickle, these hearts, and there is simply no way to tell whether they’d like you enough to let you through the door.

But if they do, don’t think twice. Even if the curse is yours to bear, you are better off with a heart than without one.