Valentine Short from Catherine Astolfo

Rodeo and Harriet
By Catherine Astolfo   

Email to: Rodeo
From: Harriett
Subject: Bull
Date: February 14, 2014

Since I never did get your name, I thought you’d love the comparison to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette. Or do you study Shakespeare in Mexico?
Plus, we did meet at the rodeo. I still have the vision of you on that white horse, tipping your hat in my direction, like a knight from a romantic dream. Your brown eyes were so deep and sexy, how could I not fall in love with you? You tossed that red rose in my direction like a medieval knight!

I’m sorry about the fight in the stands. How was I to know your girlfriend was right beside me? I probably wouldn’t have had the nerve to confront her if I hadn’t drunk from the bullhorn every time it came around. I thought you had to gulp the entire helping of tequila, not sip and pass.

It was very sweet of you to rescue me. Being lifted up onto your horse, into your arms, your luscious lips pressed against mine. Defying all your relatives and neighbors and your girlfriend’s family to run off with me instead. I had no idea my vacation would turn out so perfectly. And on Valentine’s Day no less!

Email to: Rodeo
From: Harriett
Subject: Bull2
Date: March 14, 2014

If my dream really had come true, and you actually had rescued me the way I thought you should, things would not have escalated. You and I could have ridden off on your steed. I could’ve brought you to Canada as my husband.

Instead, when the ruckus started, you turned to look and made no move to save me from your insane girlfriend and her violence-prone family. Even her old abuelos got into the fray. They all insisted that you hadn’t aimed the rose at me!

I certainly didn’t start the hollering. Spanish is simply a very loud language. It may be sexy on the mouth of someone with your ruby lips, but it was also made for shouting. My protests barely registered, whereas that girl and her relatives shook the rafters of the wooden seats, the rickety rooftop…none of that was my fault.
If you could speak, I am sure you would clear everything up. The quaking stands sure did spook the horses but the bulls were even more disturbed. The fact that you had turned to look in our direction just as that one bull charged…well, you have to admit, that was the fault of the people making the most noise.

Email to: Rodeo
From: Harriett
Subject: Bull3
Date: February 14, 2015

We don’t get very much news here, so I just received word now, a year later. I am sorry to hear that you are still in a coma. Those bulls were out of control. Again, I have to point the finger at that aggressive family of your girlfriend’s. You’d think they would’ve known better. Regardless of the court decision, I truly did not mean to push her over the side into the arena.

I still have the diamond that you hooked to the stem of the rose. How did you know my ring size? (I’m sure your “girlfriend” would’ve claimed it was her size too, ALOL.) Despite the media hype, Mexican prison is not that bad. I’m quite sure I’ll be shipped back to Canada soon. In the meantime, I’ll keep hoping you’ll awaken and take me away on your steed. Happy Valentine’s Day, dear Rodeo, from your Harriett.

Catherine Astolfo is the author of The Emily Taylor Mysteries and Sweet Karoline, published by Imajin Books. In 2012, she won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Crime Story in Canada. She’s a Past President and Derrick Murdoch Award winner for service to Crime Writers of Canada.

Coming up...

February 10: Lyn Horner

February 11: Ginger Simpson

February 12: Morgen Bailey

February 13: Liz Lindsay

February 14: Alison Bruce