Teddy looked at the calendar. “February 14, 2016. Fucking Valentine’s Day.” He looked at the crossbow on his sofa, and the thirty odd bolts he had for it. “I won’t be bringing a single bolt home.”
This was his year. His Valentine’s Day. The day he celebrated love his way, the way the world taught him love worked. All those guys who had all the girls had better be ready. Teddy was going out on Valentine’s Day.
He picked up the crossbow, and the bolts, carried them to his car. He heard the voices in his head again, endlessly, like he always did. “Poor Teddy. Can’t get a girl. Sits at home alone. He’s such a geek. No girl would be caught dead dating Teddy.” He turned on his car, his tiny little Toyota, with its hatchback, as he listened to the laughter in his head, “Teddy bought a car! Look, it’s so cute! Looks like one of those Hot Wheels cars. The kind you have to push to get it to go anywhere. Not a real car at all. But it works for him, right? After all. Who’s going to be riding in it with him?”
Always, it came back to Teddy being alone. Everyone he knew, everyone he worked with, spent time celebrating Valentine’s Day. Except him. They all knew it, and the never let him forget it. Not for one minute.
“So, Teddy? How was your date Friday night?”
“So, Teddy? Was your $50 spent well this weekend?”
“So, Teddy? Is Miss March worth the cost of the magazine?”
“Shh, guys. We can’t talk about that kind of stuff around Teddy. He doesn’t understand it.”
On and on it went, day after day, endlessly. “Just because I don’t have a girl!” He turned the volume up on the car stereo until it hurt his ears to listen. But he didn’t care. He didn’t care if he went deaf, all that meant was he wouldn’t have to hear what they said to him.
Teddy drove to the movie theater, the “Regal 24”, where he sat in his car, and waited by the theater exit doors. He knew what he had to do, what he needed to do. He had to show them, show the world, he was a real man.
When the first of the doors opened, Teddy got out his car, picked up the crossbow, and a hand full of bolts. He’d practiced hours on end, for weeks, for months, in the woods where he’d set up a small range. He knew how to use his crossbow. How to set it, aim it, fire it. He knew he wouldn’t miss.
He set the first bold, picked a target, fired. “One less person who thinks I’m a failure!”
He fired again. Then again. And again. Until he ran out of his hand-full of bolts. Oh, the panic. Oh, the chaos. People running. Screaming. Hiding behind anything. Tripping. Running over each other. Girls, screaming over the bodies of their boyfriends.
When he ran out of bolts, Teddy got in his car, and drove off, to the next theater, to wait for another movie to end. He had more bolts to get rid of, and the night was young.
“Fucking Valentine’s Day my ass.” He grinned, and laughed. “No one’s gonna forget me!” He laughed harder, “Cupid’s got nothing on me!”
Teddy made sure it was a Valentine’s Day no one would ever forget.
Thus ends my entry in Ink After Dark’s Love Bites 2016 flash fiction challenge. It was entertaining to write, and I hope it was fun to read. Now, go read all the other entries in Love Bites 2016. There are some amazing little stories, well worth reading.