A Substitute Valentine

February 14, 2019





It's been a while but I've been working on so many other projects. Then this came my way....


Susanna Hill (susannahill.com) put up a Valentine Day writing challenge. It has to be for kids (my favorite) and somewhere in there, someone has to experience guilt.


Guilt?! Yikes. I had to pull a story together in a matter of hours, then post it here and then the link on her site. So here it goes:




The Substitute Valentine     179 words


Willa placed a Valentine card on everyone’s desk.

Except Mina’s.

Willa had good reason.


Mina was rude. “Willa. Your socks don’t match your outfit.”

Mina was mean. “Willa. You can’t share my markers. Ever.”

Mina said hurtful things. “Willa, no one likes you, you know.”


So Willa didn’t think she deserved a beautiful lacy card full of I-Love-You hearts.


Mrs. Valentina noticed that Willa skipped Mina’s desk. In fact, Mina didn’t have any.


“Willa, I know Mina is not always nice.”

“She’s never nice.”

“Sometimes sadness in a person can show up as anger. Did you know that her father is in the army? And that he’s been gone since before Christmas?”

Willa did not.


That would be awful if her dad missed Christmas with her, and New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day. And every day in between.


Willa dug into her backpack and found the extra Valentine card. Her mom always packed extra. “You never know who needs extra love,” she would say.


Willa signed it in her best handwriting and crossed her fingers,

                                                “Happy Valentine’s Day,



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