Once again, I’m taking the plunge into Susanna Hill’s Valentiny contest, where participants must write a story that is 214 words or fewer (title not included). AND this year, it must contain a character who is curious. They can be curious about anything. No illustration notes are allowed, so even though this is an exercise for picture book writers who depend on the illustrator telling half of the story, in this case the text must provide enough context for the story to make sense.
My entry comes in at exactly 214 words:
By Jilanne Hoffmann
One day when Oren’s sister was being unbearably bossy, Oren asked her, “Mika, what’s a Valentine?”
“You don’t KNOW??” Mika checked to ensure the coast was clear.
“If you get one, you’re DOOMED.”
Oren raised an eyebrow.
“UNSPEAKABLE things happen.”
“How do you know Smarty Pants if nobody talks about it?”
“Okay, I’ll tell you if you SWEAR to keep it a secret.”
Oren zipped his lips and crossed his heart.
“Follow me,” Mika said.
The broom closet was stinky and dark.
“This is creepy!” Oren said.
“Shhh! The Valentine MONSTER will hear.”
“Monster?!” Oren gulped.
“The one that gives out Valentines.”
“What are Valentines?”
“They look like chocolate kisses, but they’re the KISS OF DEATH.”
“At the stroke of midnight, if you’ve eaten the KISS OF DEATH, gremlins will KIDNAP you.”
“What was that?” Oren whispered.
“Then they’ll BOIL you in oil.”
Oren gasped. Something tickled his neck.
“And slip WORMS into your shrimpy ears!”
“Gahhhh!!!!” Oren shot out of the closet and raced to his room.
Mika cackled, chasing after him.
She found Oren chomping chocolates on his bed.
“Oren! What are you DOING?”
“Saving you from the Kiss of Death.”
Mika wailed. “I was just KID-DINGGG!”
“Gotcha back.” Oren grinned. “Here, time for a truce. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Anyone care for a chocolate?
42 thoughts on “Double-Crossed Hearts – #Valentiny Contest”
Very unique take!
Is that a good thing or a bad thing, LOL?
That was great! I was not sure what to expect for the ending. Well done and good luck!
Thank you, Sarah! I hadn’t expected that ending, either, when I wrote this. I think Oren took over and wrote the ending he wanted, and one that would keep his sister from retaliating, LOL.
Love this sibling story, Jilanne! I especially loved the trick ending. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thanks, Patricia! Siblings can have quite the teeter-totter relationship, don’t you think?
Hahaha, nice sneaky ending!
Thanks, Joanna! Aren’t you going to be in my neck of the woods sometime soon?
Ahhh, siblings can be so torturous. I’m not entering this year. I had planned to but other writing took center stage. Good luck.
Hope your other writing is going well! And yes, sibling interaction can be trying, even at the adult level, LOL.
I enjoyed your story. It’s unique, fun and energetic. Loved the ending. Good luck!
You captured the sibling relationship so well! Haha loved it!
Thank you! Can you tell I have siblings, LOL?
What a fun entry about sibling rivalry and pranksters. Sounds like something I would have done to my younger brother.
Ha! Yes, I actually had two older brothers, and I was usually the prank-ee! So it was with joyful glee that I gave Oren his revenge.
What fun! I like that Oren pranked his sister! Good luck.
Turnabout’s fair play, yes? Thank you!
oh, this is a definite ‘ha!’
No one really knows what devilry lurks in the hearts of siblings—unless, of course, you’re a sibling. Thank you for the “definite ‘ha'”! Cheers!
I enjoy the siblings’ interactions, dramatic dialogue, and unexpected ending!
Yay! I’m so glad the ending was unexpected. Cheers!
Haha! The joke is on Mika. This story could literally exist in any family, and now your readers all want chocolate. Nicely played!
Thank you! I know that I wanted chocolate while I was writing it, LOL.
LOL-funny and so right on with brother and sister angst 🙂 Good luck, Jilannne!
Thanks, Charlotte! Siblings are their own unique form of angst, aren’t they?
Oh yes 🙂 Grateful to be a sibling!
Haha, well done! That pretty much sums up how I’ve always felt about Valentine’s Day! The only good thing about it is an excuse to eat chocolates and really, who needs an excuse? 😉
Haha so cute and cruel, ah siblings are the best! My sister made me think I was shrinking at one point lol
I’ll bet you’d appreciate The Chicken of the Family. Have you read it? It’s from 2005, but even though it’s longer than today’s books, it doesn’t feel like it because it is so pitch perfect. It’s a brilliant depiction of the dynamics between three sisters. https://www.amazon.com/Chicken-Family-Mary-Amato/dp/0399241965
I don’t care how old a book is if it’s AWESOME, thank you, I just put it on hold at my library 😍
Amazing. Older siblings scaring the wits out of their younger brothers. But nowadays, the younger are bolder and smarter. I loved this. Well done!
Thank you! Yes, those younger ones have learned a thing or two that come in handy, LOL.
My mother-in-law is always telling her tales when she was the big sister, scaring her little brother. I totally heard her voice in Mika. This was fun to read!
Thank you! It was fun to write, too. Older siblings can be “challenging” to deal with, so I was glad to see Oren step up to the challenge.
I was wondering how this would turn out! I am glad that Oren didn’t fall for all of that nonsense!
I’m glad, too! The younger one should be given a chance to outwit the older, whenever possible.
An excellent ending! Very satisfying!
Thank you, Ingrid! I was satisfied, too, when Oren decided on a truce and sharing. Actually, I think it satisfied both of them, LOL.
Funny, unique and clever, Jilanne, and what a great depiction of a sibling relationship! I love that Oren was onto her the whole time! 🙂 And yes, since you asked, I DO care for a chocolate…perhaps more than one! 🙂 Thanks for joining in the Valentiny fun!
Thanks for your kind words, Susanna! Never underestimate younger siblings. That’s my motto, LOL. Thank you for hosting such a fabulous contest! Cheers!