The following short story is my entry in Susannah Leonard Hill’s Annual Valentiny contest. Entries this year have a theme of hopeful and must be 214 words or less (mine is 209).

Won’t You Be My ValenSPINE?

Glubb planned to give Peggy the perfect Valentine. What could he write that would get her attention?

“Won’t you be my ValenSPINE?”

Too generic.

“My heart monSTIRS when I think of you?”

Too cheesy.

Glubb was going to have to try poetry.

“Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

I really hate flowers,

So here’s an old shoe.”

Only, he didn’t have an old shoe to give her.

Glubb doodled a picture of Peggy. Her long tail. Her shiny scales. Her sharp spikes. That gave him an idea for a new Valentine.

Glubb scribbled his poem on a paper heart. Then, he added some red slime to make it look more realistic. At last, it was ready.

Glubb ran to Peggy’s cave and bashed on the door.

“Oh, hi Glubb.” Peggy grinned.

“This is for you.” Glubb shoved the Valentine into Peggy’s hands.

It read:

“Blood is red,

Bruises are blue,

Roses have spikes,

And so do you.”

“This is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen!”

Glubb blushed.

“I love it!”

Peggy planted a huge kiss on Glubb’s cheek.

“Yuck!” Glubb ran into the forest, wiping the kiss off as he went. He wasn’t sure what he’d been hoping for, but an icky, sticky kiss was definitely not it.