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Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day

A short story

By Cathy holmesPublished about a month ago 2 min read
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

This is my entry for the "Valenhog" challenge on the FB group Vocal * Voices in Minor. The prompt is to write a story combining Valentine's Day and Groundhog Day.


For twelve straight nights I have relived that magic moment in my dreams. The moment when Joe, on bended knee, presented me with a ring, and asked me to be his bride. For twelve straight mornings I have awoken to the sight of the beautiful rock on my finger, a new one each time.

For twelve straight days, Joe has looked at me like I’ve lost my mind each time I asked him why my ring is different every morning.

“Are we doing this again, Anna?” He groans. “I never gave you a ring. I’ve told you that a dozen times. You’re just dreaming.”

“What are you talking about?” I scream back at him, as I raise my hand to show him the ring on my finger; just as I did yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.

“I’m wide awake, I am standing in the kitchen with you, Joe. Obviously, I’m not dreaming.”

“You’re crazy Anna,” Joe replies with a shake of his head and an annoying eye roll before turning away to make himself a coffee.

I can’t help but wonder if he’s gaslighting me, but I can’t think of a reason he would. We didn’t have a fight. We just recently got engaged, committing to spend the rest of our lives together. Why would he be attempting to make me believe I’m crazy? It just doesn’t make sense.

I guess these things never do, but I can't think of any logical reason that he would behave like this. It’s not like my family has any money. If it were another woman, why would he propose? I feel like I don’t know anything about him anymore. It doesn’t make sense. It hurts, and it scares me.

As I stand watching Joe make his coffee, his dark curls hugging the back of his neck, a little sweat glimmering on his bare back in the morning sunlight, I feel the need to be close to him. I need him to tell me everything will be okay. I move toward him and place my hands on his back in a warm caress.

He turns toward me and smiles. I see his face. It’s covered in blood.

I am jolted upright into a sitting position on the bed. My heart is pounding, I can’t catch my breath. I notice the empty space on our bed, on Joe’s side of our bed, and I start to cry. Just like I did yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.

It was all a dream. I know that now.

I lift my left hand, as my tears fall onto the ring I’m still wearing. The ring he gave me on that Valentine’s Day two years ago. I remember the moment, that incredible moment when Joe, on bended knee, presented me with that ring, and asked me to be his bride.

I remember how excited I was, how happy I was. I remember how happy we both were on the drive to the restaurant that night, and how we were already planning our future together.

Then I remember the truck, and I wonder how much longer I will be forced to keep reliving this horrendous nightmare.

Short StoryMicrofictionCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Cathy holmes

Canadian family girl with a recently discovered love for writing. Other loves include animals and sports.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (20)

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  • Poppy 25 days ago

    This is so well written but utterly heartbreaking!

  • Cathy, this is masterfully written, but so heartbreaking. Beautiful but heartbreaking.

  • Mother Combsabout a month ago

    heartbreaking wonderful!!

  • Real Poeticabout a month ago

    This is heartbreaking!!! I thought she was being gaslit at first and then when I realized he was dead….. wow. Amazing, sad story.

  • sleepy draftsabout a month ago

    oh my LANTA this was amazing. I was completely enthralled - and the twist at the end! You crafted this beautifully - the experience of reading this was dizzying and then heartbreaking. Incredible. 💗

  • Tiffany Gordon about a month ago

    Lord that was some amazing storytelling! Cathy you flame-broiled this prompt! Stunning work my friend!

  • L.C. Schäferabout a month ago

    Oh, ouch! 😣

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    The little details you've included inthis story really bring it to life. I love the way you tied it to "Groundhog Day." That was the first thought I had for this challenge. Heartbreaking and beautifully told!

  • Celia in Underlandabout a month ago

    You broked me. Again. Brilliant!

  • The Invisible Writerabout a month ago

    This was one of your best Cathy! You did such a great job with the challenge

  • ROCK about a month ago

    Howdy from an old fan; it takes a LOT to get my attention these days even from my faves! Reading your entry and ironic take makes me wonder if Hallmark made for TV films is on your tail:) Good stuff, Cathy!

  • Caroline Janeabout a month ago

    Oooo. I was wondering where you were going and then...Ooof. What an ending!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Poor Anna 🥺🥺 She needs to see a therapist. Gosh I cannot imagine her living with this recurring nightmare for two years now. Loved your take on this challenge!

  • Mark Gagnonabout a month ago

    Cathy, you took this story to a place I wasn't expecting. Well done!

  • J. S. Wadeabout a month ago

    Great story Cathy. Brutal but great!! 🥰

  • Caroline Cravenabout a month ago

    Oh Jesus. I didn't see that ending coming at all. Goodness that was sad and a brilliant take on the competition.

  • Julie Buchyabout a month ago

    😲 well done!

  • Painfully compelling, Cathy. The nightmare version of "Groundhog Day".

  • Stephanie Hoogstadabout a month ago

    So tragic! What a heartfelt and heart-wrenching tale. A very interesting take on the prompt as well.

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    This is so sad, and we all know that moment of waking.

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