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'Twas the Day Before Valentine


© hog s head

A short story about Jack's very special Valentine's day
It was the day before Valentine's Day and I, Jack Skellington, was sitting in Town Hall eagerly disusing next Halloween. We were finalizing the plans for our new jack-in-the-box routine. And getting ready to start practice, but there was a problem. Dr. Finklestein was having trouble making a box big enough for The Hanging Tree.

“What are we going to do Jack? We don't have time to come up with another plan.” The Mayor whined. I thought for a moment, and figured it out.

“I'll go see Sandy Claws maybe he can help.”

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“Or course I'll help Jack.” Sandy said with a smile “But it will have to wait until the day after tomorrow”

“Why? We haven't much time.” I asked

“For heavens sake Jack it's Valentine's Day tomorrow.” Sandy answered, looking slightly shocked. “I promised my elves a day off on every holiday except Christmas of course. We all need our relaxation you know.” I considered his words for awhile.

“You're right Mr. Claws.” I said “We should take the holidays off too we usually don't have much to do the days before Halloween anyway. And I...” I broke off awkwardly. Sandy gave me a knowing smile, but didn't pursue the subject.

“I'll bring you the extra large jack-in-the-box in my sleigh day after tomorrow. Goodbye Jack and Happy Valentine's Day” He smiled again.

“Goodbye Mr. Claws, and thank you.” The next day I spoke to the Mayor.

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“Mayor we are taking today off. Today is Valentine's Day.”

“J-Jack are you sure I-I mean we need to prepare.” The Mayor said his sad face twisting around to face me.

“Of course I'm sure. We managed to prepare Halloween years before last when we celebrated Christmas.”

“Yes b-b-but I-I-I mean.”

“And last year too when Oogie took over Halloween Town.”

“B-b-b-but...” The Mayor stammered.

“Its decided and I'll hear nothing against it.” I said with a stern look at the Mayor. At this, what little courage the Mayor had failed him. Back at my tower I browsed through my library. After the Christmas incident Sandy Claws had suggested that each Holiday Town write and exchange books that summarized what each holiday was about, and detailed how it was celebrated.. This was to prevent a repeat of the Christmas incident. Finally I found my book on Valentine's Day. I sat at my desk and read the whole thing in an hour. I made up my mind, I wanted to surprise Sally.

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The next day I made several stops at various places in the town. First, to the Witches' Shop for a box Tortured Taffy.

“Excellent choice Jack, I just peeled them off the rack this morning.” Said the Tall Witch

Then to the Graveyard to pick a bunch of dead roses. Then to the post office to send a shriek-a-gram to Dr. Finklestein telling him I would visit Sally at 6:00. And finally to Mr. Hyde's Jewelry Store to pick up a very special ring...

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At six I knocked on Dr. Finklestein's door.

“She's in the Burial Chamber, Jack, picking some Aconite. That's the only place in town you can grow it.” So I raced there as fast as my legs could carry me. When I arrived in the chamber I saw Sally checking cracks in the wall for the rare herb. I quickly hid the candy and flowers behind my back. (Who am I kidding behind my tie.) Sally turned around at the sound of my footsteps. She smiled when she saw see. I felt my lifeless heart jump.

“H-hi Sally. These are for you.” I held out the candy and flowers.

“Th-thank you Jack.” sally said accepting my gift and blushing. My legs suddenly failed me and I was on my knees. I felt my hand move, almost as if it had a will of its own, toward my pocket, and take out a small purple velvet box. I opened it to reveal a gold ring with a blood red ruby the size of Zero's nose.

“Sally, will you marry me?” For a mere half second wild thoughts ran through my mind. What am I doing? She hate me. I'll be laughing stock of the town.

“Yes, Jack.” Sally answered blushing even more. My face split in a smile. I hugged her so tightly neither of us could breathe, or at least we couldn’t if either of us were alive. When we finally broke apart I kissed her full on the mouth. After an eternity of bliss we broke apart again. Taking sally by the hand we dashed off the tell the Mayor the news.
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