A Valentine's Day Twitter Short Story

In the spirit of the Authors game played at Camp Lawrence in LITTLE WOMEN, twenty of us—writers, librarians, teenagers, bloggers, booksellers, editors—attempted to write a short story together via Twitter on the evening of 2/11/10.  

Each author tweeted to be in the queue, and when his or her turn came, was allowed up to 132 characters with 8 for our hashtag #shortya to keep the story going. Here it is—enjoy, and Happy Valentine's Day!


by 20 tweeps in 20 tweets

He was sick of trudging to school through the snow behind her. Why couldn't he have the guts to say something? He thought of tossing a snowball, but that wasn't the right sentiment. He couldn't whistle. 

They passed the big oak tree. She paused at the old tree. He stopped, thinking he might say something. Then she bent down and began to dig under a root. He watched her long, pale fingers thrust deep into the forest mulch and held his breath. If only she'd touch his hair that way. The hair on his chest. He pressed his forehead against a cold lamppost and swallowed. Hard.

"Look at this," she said. She stood and looked in his eyes, burning into his brain. Could she tell what he was thinking?

He stood still except for the beating of his heart. "Come here," she said. "I want to show you this." She held out a small box.

He hesitated, running his fingers through his long, dark curls. But when she smiled, he stepped forward. And looked. Inside the box was a little golden heart, surrounded by ruby red gems. The gems were the color of blood. 

"Are you ready? I must give my heart by midnight or..." She sighed. "I noticed you following me for days."

That's when she first noticed the scar on his face. She gasped! She slowly ran her fingers across his cheek, catching her breath as he winced.

"We're alike, you and me," he said, grabbing her hand.

"Oh, really?" She smiled slyly as he reached over to pull the loose piece of hair from her ponytail away from her face.

"We've been cursed," he said, "both of us."

The first bell of midnight drifted on the night air. Her hand shook. "Do you believe in happy endings?" she asked.

"Happy endings?" He reached out and touched her lips. "No. But beginnings..." He trapped her in his steady gaze.

"Wait!" she cried pulling away. The bell chimed. "I must--"

"Must what?" He bent closer, heart pounding. 

She held up the gold heart.

Another chime. "Tell me what to do!" he said.

Shaken, she took a step away from him. The heart slipped from her hand into the snow.

He reached to grab it. The metal was surprisingly warm. Intense happiness filled him as he held it.

"It's yours," she said.

He pressed it over his heart. Each red gem sparked, spiraled, exploded. He gasped, then held out his hand. "As I am yours." 


AUTHORS in order of appearance: 

  1. @mitaliperkins 
  2. @loganberrybooks 
  3. @AudryT 
  4. @liakeyes 
  5. @jennbailey 
  6. @blanchardauthor 
  7. @thatwemightfly 
  8. @juliadevillers 
  9. @junegoodwin 
  10. @marjorielight 
  11. @booktoo 
  12. @treuting 
  13. @allisonosity 
  14. @bhalpin 
  15. @msforster 
  16. @natasharogue 
  17. @rillajaggia 
  18. @lkstrohecker
  19.  @yareviewnet
  20.  @SusanUhlig
  21. Titled by @PlanetAlvina