A Tricky Little Valentine

Cowgirl valentineHello everyone.  Thanks for coming back.  During the past four weeks we’ve all been playing with my mini-series on the five senses.  However, since Valentine’s Day is this weekend I decided to write a short story for the occasion.  Next weekend I’ll be back with the fifth and final part of the mini-series.

If you know me at all, then you are not expecting a romance, certainly not a typical one anyway.  This is an odd little story I jotted down on impulse, but I hope you’ll enjoy it.

The narrator made one previous appearance here at Teagan’s Books in a short story called Kokopelli’s Daughter.  It’s just a little flight of fancy.

Kokopelli’s Daughter and Valentine’s Day

Moments after sleep blanketed my tired mind, my eyelids sprang open.  I shot out of the bed and ran toward the kitchen in a state near panic.  As I skidded around the corner I flipped on the light switch.  I stumbled to a stop at the calendar that hung beside the refrigerator.  A moan escaped my lips when I saw the date — February 13th, but only for a couple more hours.

How could I have forgotten?  Being Kokopelli’s daughter I unconsciously exert a unique magic on Valentine’s Day.  It’s a very tricky sort of magic too.  My father is a music spirit, but also the eternal trickster.  The magic of that genealogy is a dirty trick forever played on unsuspecting people through me.  The joke is also on me as often as everyone else.  It’s uncontrollable, and it gets stronger and stranger each year.1955 February Valentine calendar

The picture on the calendar should have been a good enough reminder.  A bewildered boy holding one heart-shaped box of candy, greeted by two identical girls — it was a painful reminder of one year’s disastrous Valentine’s Day.  That year desires doubled on one side of a couple, but were cut in half on the other.  I was surrounded by angry twosomes… not to mention my own overly amorous date.

Another year I happened to be in Japan on Valentine’s Day.  I had no idea the gender roles for were reversed there in that women bought chocolates for men.  The magic that surrounded me on that day wreaked havoc, and not just roles, but men and women themselves were reversed for miles around me.

After that year I made a point of taking myself to some remote corner of the world on Valentine’s Day.  Yet somehow the date had escaped me.  The best I could do would be to simply get as far away from civilization as I could manage in the short time remaining before midnight.

I jumped into a pair of jeans and threw on a leather jacket.  I ran out of my “painted lady” Victorian home on Haight Ashbury.  I hurried down the stairs and vaulted into my yellow 1928 M-Type MG Midget.1929 MType MG Midget

I headed the Midget up the coast to Highway 101.  Even if I “helped” the car travel faster, I couldn’t get far enough away before midnight.  However, at least humanity would only be on one side of me.  The ocean would be on the other.

When the clock struck twelve, I felt it deep inside without even looking at my watch.  I pulled the MG off the highway and walked down to a deserted beach.  Sitting down on the sand, I gazed up at the cloudless sky.  With a groan I saw that fate conspired with magic to make things worse.  The moon was full.  There were formations on the face of the moon that some people referred to as the “rabbit moon.”  However, I knew the truth of that.  The shape on the moon was not a rabbit, but Kokopelli!

Vintage Rabbits MoonI glared at the luminous orb.  Soft chuckling emanated from the heavens in return to my spiteful stare.  Then the trickster appeared beside me.

“Do you know, hija,” my father began.  “It was the twisted magic of this night that brought your mother to me.”

I answered with a silent gaze, waiting for him to continue.  I thought of my mother, Themis, the Greek goddess of Justice.  The odd mix of my parents gave me constantly warring impulses.  Because of Themis I was forever compelled to see justice done.  Yet my nature was also to be a trickster like Kokopelli.

“Play for me, hija.  Play upon the beautiful flute your mother gave you,” he urged offering me the flute I had left at home.

“You play far better than I could ever hope to play.  If you want music, then play for yourself,” I said irritated.  I turned my head toward the moon which was suddenly and suspiciously devoid of “rabbit” like formations and shadows.  Abruptly his duplicitous intent sprang with clarity to my mind.  “You would have me bring her to you!  Themis would never forgive me,” I admonished my father.

“If you play for me,” he urged purely devious.  “I will mix my greater magic with your accident riddled, enchanted emanations.  You could have a Valentine’s Day the likes of which mortals can only dream,” he pressed and then smirked when he saw the sharp expression on my face.  “And by dream I do not mean nightmares.  How hurtful that my daughter would think such of me,” he added with such a preposterous pout that I rolled my eyes.Kokopelli

“No?” he asked again proffering my multi-colored flute.

My answer was a loud snort.  Kokopelli began to play the flute himself.  He danced slowly on the beach as he played.  Fish began to summersault out of the ocean, flipping seafoam into moonlight glittered heart shapes before they splashed back into the sea.

I felt movement at my side.  Turning, I was stunned to see my mother beside me.  Themis smiled at me gently, but fire smoldered in her eyes when she turned toward my father.

“Just one dance,” she whispered.  “Just this once.”

Kokopelli and Themis danced.  The flute appeared on the sand beside me.  Though it was untouched, the music continued.  I knew their dance would soon progress to movements no one wanted to see their parents make.

I strolled down the beach and out onto a jetty.  I heard the loud noise of something large as it slapped the water.  A great fishtail with scales shimmering in the moonlight, arced down to again slap the water.

Music from my magically played flute wafted to my ears.  I rolled up the legs of my jeans and strolled into the ocean.  Hundreds of tiny fish jumped into the air, also making heart shapes in the reflected light of the full moon.

heartI continued to walk and soon the water was hip-deep.  Then the large shimmering tail slapped the surface again.  A merman beckoned to me playfully.  I looked back down the coast and saw that Kokopelli and Themis still danced.

The magic that was part of me twisted fitfully on Valentine’s Day, but my father’s enchantment was holding things in place, at least for that span of time.  So I decided to seize the moment.

As I took the merman’s hand the tune of the flute trilled.

 

The End.

***

I hope you’ll come back next time for the fifth and final installment of the mini-series on the senses.

Mega hugs!

Teagan

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

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122 thoughts on “A Tricky Little Valentine

  1. Hi Teagan, Hope all has been well with you and that you aren’t freezing out there. Our winter has taken a spring break so we’re enjoying nice temps – except when the wind is blowing. Take care. Cheers, Lorna

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  3. How very seductive to tie in the southwest character with a goddess. I guess these deities or gods/mythical creatures are all the same just different names. Kokopelli certainly is like all men – “just one dance”, “I promise to behave” and then silly, strong women still fall for it. Anyway, it was a nice Valentine story.

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    • Hi RC. You’re probably the busiest person I know, so thanks very much for taking time to read and comment.
      Yes there are too many women like that still — today. But you know jaded me better than that. 😀 Just because a strong woman doesn’t buy a cheater’s line of BS, that doesn’t mean she has to sit chastely on the shelf. :O Pairing Kokopelli with Themis is poetic justice; the joke is on the trickster! Everything is on *her* terms, even having a daughter. So if Themis is weak in having “just one dance” she is weak in her resolve to be kind.
      You’ll notice that even though the daughter thought things would quickly go further than a dance, when she looked back they were still dancing. Yes, the joke is on Kokopelli where Themis is concerned. 😈
      Wishing you an enchanting week, full of hugs!

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  4. The appearance of themis here, dancing with Kokopelli is such an amazing introduction of Greek Mythology…
    Plus… I am wondering if Pan, pr maybe Apollo Himself were also playing the flute as the partners danced…
    I was caught by the image of the Moon speaking to the female character… It seems Selene could be also related to the Moon, at least if we keep it up with the greek analogies… She was the Goddess of the Moon, indeed… But I have never heard of her good abilities to speak spanish – `hija´- 😉
    I love this story, dear Tegan… truly nice, my friend… Sending hugs. Aquileana 💫✨🌟 –

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    • Dear Aquileana, it’s such a pleasure to see you. I’m happy that you enjoyed this whimsical little tale.
      I truly admire your expertise in mythology — your knowledge as well as the fluent way you share it with us. I’m delighted that your knowledge and imagination could add such depth to my humble story! ❤
      However, I don't pretend to share your gift — or even have much knowledge of (particularly Greek) myths. So, for me, this time "a cigar is just a cigar." The rabbit moon is just one of many Native American stories about Kokopelli. So no, even though I have brazenly mixed my mythologies, I didn't send Selene the gift of the Spanish language. 😀
      Thank you for commenting, my friend. Your insights delight me. Mega hugs!

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  5. I see I have to get in a LONG line to commend this creative, imaginative piece! It is rare to come across a writer with such an easy, natural handle on words, but you have this here! There is a certain effortless magic you wield that tells me you don’t strive, for it is who you are. So thrilled to meet you, Teagan. My antennae would have gone up upon reading your middle name, but on the strength of this piece, I’ll be hanging on your coat-tails! Slainte, my compatriot!

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    • Welcome Claire. I’m honored and humbled by your comment. Thank you. It’s my pleasure to connect with you. The fact that you are another southern author — moreover one who “gets it” is the delight of my day (not to mention the coincidence of where you’re from and are now, with where I’m from and where I’m trying to be). I’m looking forward to exploring your blog, books, and other works. I appreciate you taking time to read and comment. Thanks again, and happy Valentine’s Day. 🙂

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    • Haha! I think I would look for that merman too, Gerlinde. But if you find yourself on the east coast, down around Savannah… “Pip” must have met a sub-species, because that merman was very dangerous. Tempting but deadly.
      Have a very happy Valentine’s Day. 🙂

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  7. Teagan what a wonderful Valentines gift you have given all of us. i thought it was a beautiful story, your descriptions are so vivid I feel myself there with the characters. I can literally see everything you talk about in the story like a theatre in the round. I would like to read more of this story I feel there is more, your imagination knows no bounds. Happy Valentines Day!!

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    • Dear Suzanne — you encourage me so much. I’m honored, yet amazed that so many enjoyed this story. I have a hard time imagining what I could do with this character. Maybe because there are already so many books i need to finish. But you can get another dose with the original story. (Link in intro.)
      Heart-felt thanks for reading & commenting. You made my evening!
      Your Valentine cupcakes are wonderful. Happy Valentine’s Day… and mega hugs. 🙂

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  8. Teagan, wonderful story! I’m on the west coast in that MG Midget driving up highway 101…Yep, I’d hear the flute playing & for sure I’d seize the moment, and take that merman”s hand. After all Mom & Dad are happily dancing on shore. You can tell I got right into the story with all my good sense(s). Happy Valentine’s Day. 💛 Elizabeth

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  9. And you said this one wasn’t about the senses, Teagan, but I felt like I was in that car, hair blowing in the warm salty ocean breeze, thinking of melty chocolate, the tunes flowing through the air…and hoping to not worry about the merman’s icy stare. You just can’t help weaving us a story that makes us feel like we’re right there. 🙂
    Happy Valentine’s Day, dear friend and I hope this week treats you kindly. 🙂
    Megahug nontricky hugs. 🙂

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    • Dear Donna, I so look forward to your visits. Thank you my friend — I’m delighted that I could take you on a little joy ride. 😀 Worry not about icy stares, because this one is a good merman. In fact, with Kokopelli’s daughter seizing the moment, *he* is the one I’m worried about! 😀 Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well. Mega hugs right back!

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  10. Teagan, I love your story so much! Kokopelli is my favorite god, and I have many images of him, and two pendants to wear in summer. What else to write on Valentines day about if not Kokopelli! Exquisite story. Hugs!!!

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  11. I thoroughly enjoyed your quick whimsy of a story! So much packed into so few words, that is some powerful writing! Now about that merman…. You just MUST do a sequel to this!!! Hugs Teagan and Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxoxo

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  12. Never being one to fall in line and do what I’m supposed to do on a certain day, we’re having Valentines Day next Tuesday week. Don’t ask!!! But I have to say, this is one lovely story, Teagan. Thank you.Jx

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    • Why thank you so much, Judith! That means a lot to me, especially coming from you — someone who has read and reviewed so many books. 🙂
      Why not reschedule a holiday?! The US government did it to most of ours here. I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day — no matter when you have it. 😀 Mega hugs.

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    • Dear Trisha — I’m sorry to seem late. I know I replied to your kind comment, but I don’t know what the WordPress gremlins have done with it. Thank you very much for reading and commenting. I hope you’ve had a wonder-filled week. Huge hugs.

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  13. What a wonderful story to share with us Teagan. I love the way you bring your imagination to life on the page. This was a good story to place inside your “senses” series ss you had many of my senses at work today. Have a wonderful weekend !!

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  14. Gorgeous story. And you were saying yesterday you’d forgotten Valentine Day! (Or did you write it very quickly?) I must go and check the original story. I’m not sure I read it….

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    • Hi Olga! Ha! Actually our conversation about that was in my mind when I suddenly felt compelled to write a Valentines story — during my lunch break on Friday. So it was that spontaneously written. I’m delighted that you liked it. Wishing you a truly lovely weekend my friend. Mega hugs!

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  15. You have given me all the ingredients for a perfect Valentines Day – Driving up Highway 101 (one of my favourites) in an MG Midget (don’t have a car now but if I did this would be my choice) flutes, dancing fish and Mermen! Oh my what a day that would be. Only you, dear Teagan could write such an imaginative story for this day of ‘love’:) The Magical hummingbirds are soaring with glee….Have a wonderfully, colourful and loving weekend, and please do give your kitty kats a big hug from me…Janet. xxx

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    • Dear Janet — thank you so very much! I honestly didn’t know if anyone would enjoy this little jaunt (though of course, I hoped everyone would). But during my lunch hour yesterday it suddenly became important to me to write a Valentine’s story. So you have the spontaneous result…
      I’m absolutely tickled that you liked it. Crystal sends silken kitty hugs back 🐱 Mega hummingbird hugs! 😀 ❤

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  16. I love your imagination Teagan. This was a sweet story with a real twist. I hope her Valentine’s day romance was at least filled with tenderness for as long as it lasted.
    xxx Humongous Valentine Hugs xxx

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    • Dear David, you are so kind. Thank you from my heart. With the daughter of Kokopelli and Themis… I’m more concerned about the merman! 😀 Hopefully she didn’t play a trick on him that broke his heart — and then spend months judging herself about it. Mega hugs my friend. ❤ 🙂

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      • Happy Valentine’s Day, Teagan. i hope you go out and get yourself a treat. It was an enjoyable visit, but like I said an interesting mix. As you know, we have images of Kokopelli in the Petroglyphs, so I have never really associated him with anything other than ancient drawings on lava boulders in the escarpment on the west mesa below our volcanos. You expanded my formerly narrow point-of-view on the flautist.

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        • When I first moved to Albuquerque, I was fascinated with the Kokopelli story — and everyone I met was very tired of it, even as they told it to me. He’s a naughty fellow so I try not to be too sympathetic to him.
          In writing this, I saw him as the actor who plays the father in “Jane the Virgin.” It’s a show I’ve been watching on Netflix; a send-up of Hispanic tele-novellas. Charming show. Hugs!

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    • Oh that’s right — your recent trip to San Francisco! I’m still hoping for a post about it with a ton of pictures! 😀 Thank you, Christoph ~~ and the same to you and yours. And Crystal sends kitty hugs to the Labradoodles! ❤ 🙂

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