Jack Valentine's Love Hearts

byCleophila©

As I load my suitcase into the car there is nobody watching me as there was when I arrived, but my attention is elsewhere. I am looking forward, anticipating a future in which anything could happen. In this pleasant weather I'm wearing just a more flattering vest top beneath my red hooded coat and even then the overcoat is a little warm.

As I slam the boot of the car and walk back around to the driver's door I reach back into the pocket of my coat for my keys. My heart pumps faster as it closes around a familiar sugary disc. I pull it from my pocket as I slide myself behind the wheel of the car, a yellow piece of candy with a pink heart shape printed on it. Spelled out in pink letters I can clearly see two words:

'Eat me'.

THE END

Author's Note:

- Jack Valentine is a character in the folkloric traditions of Norfolk in the East of England. A kind of Valentines version of Santa Claus, he traditionally leaves presents and candy for children on their doorsteps on the eve of St. Valentine's Day.

- This story quotes from a number of existent texts, all out of copyright and in the public domain, and available in full online. These are 'The Piccolomini' by Friedrich Schiller, 'Goblin Market' by Christina Rossetti, 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll, 'The Land of Heart's Desire' by William Butler Yeats, 'Tristram of Lyonesse' by Algernon Charles Swinburne, 'The Faerie Queene' by Edmund Spenser and 'Sonnet 18' and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare.

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