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Be My Anti-Valentine

   I’m sort of in a mood this year when it comes to Valentine’s Day, probably from having to make my son-who-hates-to-write fill out twenty three cheesy cards for his kindergarten classmates. Good times, that. When I decided to write a short story for the occasion I wasn’t exactly brimming with sweetness and honey and I ended up with this instead. Happy Anti-Valentines. Hope you enjoy.

Secondhand Cowboy

Valentine’s Day was a crock of shit. Every adult male in Blaize Sanchez’s acquaintance had told him so at one time or another, but for twenty nine years he’d managed to sidestep the emotional black hole now yawning before him. It was as easy as entering a rodeo. San Antonio. San Angelo. Yuma. He’d always had a place to go, bucking horses to ride during the second week of February.
      Until now.
      He flexed his knee experimentally the way he did a hundred times a day, testing the strength, feeling the ache, the tight pull of scar tissue. Three more months, the doctor said, and the reconstructed ligaments would be as strong as the original equipment. The rest was up to Blaize.
      Meanwhile it should be healthy enough to navigate the tunnel of red and pink carnage ahead of him. Being out of town on Valentine’s had also forced him to plan ahead, so he’d never shopped on the day itself. He should probably be thankful they’d dodged the herd of ravenous goats that had ransacked this aisle just before they arrived. Cards dangled every which way from the racks, a couple of stray envelopes trampled on the floor, shelves stripped bare of candy. The scattering of heart-shaped boxes still left were dented and torn at the corners.
       And no, Blaize was not setting the toe of one boot on that metaphorical path.        (click here for the rest, cuz yeah, it ran a little long for a blog post)

Kari Lynn Dell – Montana for Real


7 Responses

  1. Kari, this is so great. Loved it! What a reversal on a Valentine story!

  2. A homerun, Kari. I seriously awesome story!

  3. How fun, Kari! I’m on the anti-VD bandwagon with you!

    I didn’t know kids STILL passed around those stupid valentines!

  4. Thanks, guys. I’ve had these characters in my head for a long time, they’re going to force me to dig deep when I finally get to their book.

  5. Awesome – I loved it and would definitely love to read more.

  6. This was fantastic! And I didn’t find it anti-VD at all. It was perfectly VD. 😉

  7. Fantastic!

    and ugh. I get the fun of Valentine Cards this weekend! Luckily, just 16 of them.

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