Yes, this should have been posted yesterday. On the bright side, it’s fitting that it come out today, given what today is. And, no, I’m not buying into the commercialism-ridden holiday of red hearts and chocolate.
The following is something I wrote some years ago, when I was participating in the Story a Day challenge, and it probably still exists somewhere on the internet, but I wanted to share it here, with you, today.
The story is told in a series of short flash fics that can each be read on its own, or together as one story. (The prompt itself involved stories told in 140 characters. This was back when Twitter was becoming a thing. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize then that character count for Twitter included spaces. Not that it matters, since I don’t plan on tweeting them directly.)
Edit: I forgot to mention this in the original post, but I was inspired to write this by Linkin Park’s song “Valentine’s Day”. One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands, sad and beautiful.
Warning: This isn’t fluffy sweet romance. This is darkness, and sadness, and, yes, pain. Because not everyone gets to live happily ever after. Or, indeed, speak the words they long to say.
Valentine — A Story Told in Seven Parts
Thorns tore into her palm but she did not care, indeed, she welcomed the pain of his final Valentine, a single black rose with a center red as the blood from a broken heart.
Standing aboard the ship, he stared northward, unable to watch the receding shoreline of a place he could never return to again, not if he wanted to protect her forever.
Dark was the veil that wreathed her face, hiding the silent tears that would never stop until the day he returned for her, as she believed he would, someday in the future.
Though he kept that locket with her picture next to his heart for as long as he lived, he never looked back, knowing the penalty would be her very soul, far too high a price.
When she died, only one flower would ever bloom on her grave, bleeding hearts that echoed her grief, which whispered through space to find him, wherever he was staying.
He heard it, and spent a long day alone away from his loud companions, knowing they could never understand what he felt when the wind hissed the sorrowful news in his ear.
Upon his long-awaited return, he did not set foot on land for long, just a moment that allowed him a chance to speak the words he never could have said before. “I love you.”