Response to the Valentines Challenge


Characters: ,


Genre: ,




Length: words

Notes: I wrote a story! And not a dialogue! Well, it does descend into dialogue at a couple of points. And I must say, it’s not one of my better ones.

Pete by cailenbraern


Howard rubbed a tired eye with his hand and yawned. Missing a step he lost his footing and grabbed the rail to prevent the breakage of his neck. When he had made it to the bottom of the stairs in one piece, he looked at his watch and squinted. There were some numbers there, but they could have been anything.

The doorbell rang four more times in impatient hurry. He winced.


He unlocked the door and glowered at the idiotic man wearing his idiotic uniform, smiling his idiotic smile.

“Morning, sir! Post’s arrived!”

“What?” Howard blinked in confusion.

“The mail, sir. You know, letters? Cards? Bills?”

“Yeah, I know what post is alright? Why can’t you just shove it through the letter box?”

“Six sacks, sir.”


The postie gave a sharp whistle, earning another wince from Howard. Two more idiotic men in idiotic suits appeared and heaved six sacks, bursting at the seams, and dropped them at Howard’s feet.

“Special delivery, sir. For Vince Noir, sir. If you’d just sign here please sir.”

“I’m not Vince.”

“I think it’s blatantly obvious you’re not, sir.”


“Never mind sir. Just sign here.”

Desperate to get rid of the idiotic men and get back to bed, Howard hastily scrawled on the keypad.

“And print here please, sir!”

Fighting the overwhelming urge to insert the pen somewhere about the posties person, he printed his name and threw the pad back at him.

“One last thing, sir?”


“Something for you, sir. A card. No postmark. I wonder who that’s from, sir?”

Howard eyed the postman up and down disapprovingly before accepting the envelope reluctantly.

“Good day, sir!” The Postie called as he headed back to his van.

“Yeah? Good day to you! You great, big…sir!”

He made faces at the retreating van and all but kicked the sacks indoors. Once inside, he closed the front door and climbed over the sacks, leaving them at the foot of the stairs. Once Vince emerged from his Vampire obsession and woke up later that evening, then he could get rid of them. At the top of the stairs he remembered his own card in his hand and glanced at it. That was all he need, a valentine from Peter the Postman. He shoved it in his dressing gown pocket and headed off in search of a cuppa.


Howard looked up from his book at Vince, giving him a look of utter disbelief.

“It’s half past nine, Vince!”

“Really? Only it looks pretty dark in here.”


Vince exhaled in relief, splaying his hand across his stomach.

“Thank god for that. I thought I’d woke up to early again.”

“Vince, when are you going to stop this vampire nonsense?”

“What do you mean? The goth look’s coming back in now. I can’t keep putting pale foundation on, can you imagine what my skin would feel like? I’d be all leathery and horrible. You could put my head between a sliced bun and sell me at a burger bar.”

“But do you really have to sleep all day?”

“Absolutely. I’ve gotta avoid natural light. Lighten my skin up.”

“You’re already lighter than an albino ferret.”

“I’m not. Look!”

Vince walked over to the sofa and rolled up his sleeve to the shoulder. Howard focused on what was being shown, his eyes glazing over.


“There!” Vince continued to wave his arm in front of Howard.

“There’s nothing there, Vince.”

“That is a definite tan line there. It needs to go.”

“Who needs to see it? Goths don’t wear vests!”

“Look, whatever, alright? Did I get any post this morning?”

“Erm…post…Did you get any post this morning, let me go back…”

Howard tipped his head back, his eyes crinkling in deep thought. Vince’s face fell at the thought of not receiving at least 28 valentines cards…No wait…29.


“Ah yes! Post. It’s at the bottom of the stairs.”

“What’s it doing there?”

“It was 6 o’clock in the morning. I was feeling the bad juju. As for that idiotic postman…”

Howard’s face screwed up with irritation as he mimed strangling Pete. Vince ran down the steps.

“Is this all mine?” Vince called up from the front door.

“Yes sir! Six sacks, sir.”

“That is excellent!”


Vince looked up from sitting cross-legged between two piles that towered above him. To his left was a pile of ripped and torn envelopes, and to his right were hundreds of cards.


“This room is a mess!”

“Don’t worry, I’ll sort it out later.”

“How? With a bulldozer? The one you keep in your wardrobe? Where are you going to put all these cards?”

“Look, I’ll sort it alright?”

Howard tutted and slowly edged around the pile of envelopes and flummoxed on the sofa.



“Did you get any cards?”

“Did I get any cards?”


“I got cards. Yes sir. Yeah, I got a few.”



“How many? One?”


Vince looked at the carpet, trying not to laugh. Finally he looked up, a cheeky glint shining in his eyes.

“So who’s it from?”

“Hm? Oh that stupid postman.” Howard’s voice increased in pitch as he mocked the postman. “Oh look sir, a card sir, Hand delivered sir. Three bags full sir.”

Vince’s smile was wiped off his face, but Howard was too caught up in his impression to notice.

“You did read it though, right? I mean, are you sure it was even from him?”

“No, I just shoved it in my dressing gown. Why?”

“No reason. Oh look at that!”


“This one’s unsigned.” Vince held up the card for Howard to see. “Wonder who that’s from.”

Howard seemed unfazed by the card. “Knowing you, it could be anyone. Perhaps it’s from Gary Numan.” Howard picked up his book from behind the cushion and started to read, missing the second disappointed expression from Vince.

“Yeah. You’re probably right.” Vince dropped the card into the pile and stood up. He picked up the two bin bags on the coffee table and started filling them up.

“What are you doing?”

“I’ve had enough.”

“Aren’t you going to open the others?”

“I don’t need to. There’ll all be ones from people on the street. No one I really know.”


“I’ll just tidy this lot up and get out of your way.”

“Right.” Howard looked confused for a minute. “This isn’t the book I wanted. I must have left it in my room.” He stood up and disappeared down the corridor to his room. Once inside he walked over to the dressing gown that he had slung on the floor before crawling back to bed earlier that morning. He found the card in the pocket and ripped off the envelope.

“To Howard Moon, Jazz poet and musical maverick. Be my valentine. Love Electro poof.” Howard smiled and held the card to his chest for a minute. He placed the card on his bedside table and went back into the living room. Vince had finished tidying up and was just about to leave.


Howard smiled and sat back down on the sofa.

“Never better, Vince. Never better.”

“Where’s your book?”


“You said you were going to get a book.”

“What? Oh right. No, I read that card I got.”

“Really? So…was it from the postman?”

“No, Vince it wasn’t. It was from someone much better.”

Vince studied Howard’s face for a good two minutes before giving up trying to read it.

“Well don’t just stand there, Vince! You want me to be your valentine? Come and get me.”

Vince grinned, then laughed, and pounced on top of Howard, kissing him fervently.

“Happy Valentines Day, Vince. Or night, whatever.”

Vince pulled back from Howard, looking at him with hurt puppy dog eyes.

“You didn’t get me a card.”

“Didn’t I? Just call me Gary Numan.”