Secret Admirer

Rachel hated Valentine’s more than any other day. It was a constant flow of interruptions as the elevator dinged in front of her desk. Repeated deliveries of flowers, chocolates, teddy bears.

This Valentine’s was no different. Mary got roses. John got chocolate penises from the erotic bakery. Rachel shook her head. Then an odd man stepped off the elevator, curled his lips when he saw Rachel, and left a small plain, red box.

“Me? A Valentine?”

She opened it. The blood soaked wrapping around the fresh heart made her smile. The card read, “Your secret admirer.”

“Ah, that’s sweet.”

Written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge

It Started With One


Eddie and James had been dating only a year when they invested in the old Cooper place on Route 9 just past Biker’s Tittie Bar. Yes, that was the name of the place and it served as the town joke for many years. It was neither a bar nor featured women’s breasts. When Biker opened his family tea house no one in town had the heart to tell him that it was called a hot toddy and had alcohol. That’s just the kind of place it is and is why the population only decreased when someone died.

Moving day was chaotic but with sixteen family and friends lending a hand, it didn’t take them long to get moved in and settled. The house was small and well worn, but they got it dirt cheap and they loved the idea of fixing it up to their liking.

“I think we should start with the kitchen first,” James said.

Eddie nodded. “Yep. Can’t afford to eat out every night.” He tossed the pizza crust back into the box and grabbed another slice.

James picked up the crust and started eating it. “How about a country kitchen instead of stainless steel?”

“Ugh. Seriously?” Eddie dropped the pizza on his shirt.

“My grandma had an amazing kitchen –“

“Fine.” He picked a pepperoni off his shirt and ate it. “You get the kitchen if I get the living room.”

“Deal.” James laughed and handed Eddie a napkin.

Eddie waved his offer off and walked toward the bathroom. A loud, shrill filled the house. James ran to see what happened and found Eddie flapping his arms around like a manic.



James chuckled and returned to the living room. He rejoined a panicked Eddie, who was now leaning against the door frame hyperventilating, with a rolled up newspaper. Eddie hated spiders of all shapes and sizes, so James was the spider killer in the relationship. When James peeked around the corner, he saw it sitting there staring at Eddie.

“Holy shit! That’s a big spider.”

“No! Really! I didn’t know that!”

James looked at Eddie, then focused on the spider. He had lived out there his entire life and had never seen a spider that large. It was horrible. Terrifying. He took a deep breath, aimed, and lunged.

The first attack missed and sent the spider flying off the toilet paper roll toward Eddie, who promptly screeched and bolted for the front door. Two more attempted strikes in the tiny bathroom and four in the hall leading to the living room.

“Got it, Eddie. It’s safe to come back in.”

Eddie tentatively opened the front door and glanced around. “Oh, gross!”

Eddie and James looked at the cheese and sauce covered corpse and couldn’t help themselves. They laughed the rest of the night as they pictured what they must have looked like. Two grown men against one spider. That night they decided to call the exterminator in the morning.

When the morning sun seeped through the bedroom curtain, it was James who screamed the loudest.

Billy, the exterminator laughed as soon as he arrived. “Thought everyone in town knew about old Cooper’s place.”

“Yeah, yeah, it’s haunted, we know.”

Billy looked at James with a blank face. “Nah man, it’s infested with Huntsman spiders. Can’t get rid of them.”

Eddie fainted. James stared at Billy. “What’ do you mean, can’t get rid of them?”

Billy scratched his head. “Yep, can’t. Tried over three years ago after that Australian guy moved back home. They’re not harmful though, so that’s a good thing.”

“What are we supposed to do?”

“Live with ’em or move.” Billy returned to his truck and left James, Eddie, and their non-paying roommates to settle it out themselves.

Sparks from a Combustible Mind tagged me for Tell a Story and provided the photo prompt. Now it’s my turn to pick three and provide a prompt. So, let’s see what Chris, Kristian, and Paula can do with the following prompt: