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Almost a Valentine

March 10, 2013

My entry to NPR’s Three Minute Fiction Contest.

Almost a Valentine

Hey, Mr. Sammy, it’s Bean. Beanie. Beanie Bradsher. Well, actually it’s Beatrice Louise Bradsher, which you’ll need to know for the headstone I’m orderin’, but like I told you the other day, I go by Bean to most ever’body that knows me.

Anyways, I wanna go ahead and order that headstone we was talkin’ about, the little squat one with the two hearts at the top? Except it’s just one heart, ‘cause there’s just one of me. Never has been nobody else, but that’s kindly beside the point. It’s not that I didn’t like nobody ever, it’s just I’m a little different, as you may remember. Folks make fun of the way I look, but I always like my hat and boots to match my dress. Like Dale Evans, but with a little more flare. A little crinoline never hurt nobody, I always say.

Anyways, I just want one heart up at the top with a little pair of cowboy boots inside it. And then my name, Beatrice Louise Bradsher. My mama always call’t me Beanie Lou, but she’s gone now. Ain’t nobody else to take care of this when I pass, unless you count my cousin, and quite frankly I don’t. There is no tellin’ what she would do if she had to take care of buryin’ me. Prob’ly just stick me in a pine box with one of them tacky roadside crosses for a marker and call it done. Or, Lord help me…What do you call it when they put your ashes in one of them urinal things? Cream something…I don’t know. Cremation! That’s it, cremation. Lord, the very word just makes my butt tense up. I know this isn’t exactly your deal, but just in case it ever comes up, make a note in my file that Beanie Bradsher told you herself she does NOT want to be burnt to a crisp and stuck in a urinal for all of eternity.

Now what was I talkin’ about? Oh, yeah…now the other thing you need to know is when I was borned. That’s February 11th, 1971. Almost a Valentine. That’s the story of my life. That’s why I want that little heart up there, too. Course nobody else’s gonna know the significance if’n I don’t tell ‘em, so maybe that’s a good inscription. Almost a Valentine… I like it. Has a nice ring to it. A nice ring, now there’s somethin’ I never had, neither. They was one guy once’t that kindly went after me, but he wasn’t exactly what I would call discriminatory. Eight to eighty, I always say. Anyways, you can just put my birth date for now and worry about the exit date later. Ain’t no way to guess what that’s gonna be. But you never know about these things. I ‘bout got creamed by a chicken truck the other day. I ride my bike ever’wheres, you know. Never did learn to drive no car. Anyways, them truckers is just plain crazy, barreling through town like they own the road. I don’t know why the sheriff don’t do somethin’ about it. Somebody’s bound to be killed, though Lord knows I hope it ain’t me.

So I just called to say you can go ahead and get things started. I gave you the deposit the other day and I’ll pay you the rest when my lotto money comes in. It ain’t much, but it’s enough to get my affairs in order. I don’t wanna die without layin’ eyes on my gravestone. They’s no rush though, long as I steer clear of chicken trucks.


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  1. “…Beanie Bradsher told you herself she does NOT want to be burnt to a crisp and stuck in a urinal for all of eternity.” BAHAHAHA! What a great line. I loved this story and certainly would have chosen it over that thing they did choose.

  2. Rainsong permalink

    Almost a Valentine has the “bones” to become your next terrific novel. I’d certainly like to read more about Beanie. She sounds as engaging and endearing as Blanche, Ora, Grace and Eddie.

    Thank you so much for sharing the story of The Pecan Man with the rest of us.

    • LOL…well, you’re onto my little secret! Beanie IS my next novel and I am working away on it. In the meantime, I am also turning The Pecan Man into a stage play as well. Life is busy in the Selleck household! Thanks so much for your encouraging post!

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