Short Story: A Canadian Man’s Heart


by @ AnnieDaylon



 I love to enter short story contests (see previous post: Why Enter Story Contests?) In my 2014 goals, I listed that I would enter a few. (One done in January… Yay!)
I enter to learn, not to win. I enter for the fun and for the feeling of accomplishment that the marathon of the novel does not provide.

Here is an example of a non-winning entry (See below for learning experience):


A Canadian Man’s Heart

According to my boss, Zeta Thompson, there is only one sure-fire way to a Canadian man’s heart, and it has nothing to do with his stomach.

“Believe it or not, Betty,” Zeta announced one morning after she had tolerated my litany of loneliness one too many times, “the main flaw in your dating strategy lies in your complete dismissal of this country’s national pastime. Canadian men live and die for hockey! Don’t you get that? Ever consider just buying a big-screen TV and asking a guy over to watch a game on a Saturday night?

“Forget it,” I huffed. “Gawking at a TV set and trying to keep track of a flying rubber disk is not my idea of entertainment. Hockey! It’s loud, obnoxious and violent, and I absolutely refuse to take part in anything that celebrates the idea of grown men clobbering each other with long sticks.”

Judiciously, Zeta threw her hands up in defeat, but the fates were not so easily dissuaded; they countered immediately with a loud knock at the office door. Kevin Mason, the new architect we had been expecting, flung the door wide and hovered there, filling the frame with his six-foot splendor.

Lust at first sight!

Many scenarios flitted through my mind, all of them reminiscent of the fiery pictures that grace the covers of my Harlequin romance collection. Never in my life have I been one to ignore a golden-haired, blue-eyed opportunity such as this one and I sure wasn’t going to start now.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that Zeta was grinning like an idiot, but she was also staying in the background, generously giving me carte blanche. Possibilities abounded as I stepped forward and extended my hand to greet the newcomer. Quick to respond, Kevin strode across the room. Relationship redemption which, just seconds ago, had seemed light years away, was now viable and I felt hope soar.

 Suddenly, time slowed down, becoming a teasing tyrant, extending milliseconds into eons. The only thing I could do was try to maintain my composure as I watched our hands inch toward each other.

Ultimately, time relented and allowed our hands to meet, but then it stood back and laughed as a huge ring jabbed my palm and punctured my dreams. Visions of victory oozed away the instant I glanced at the ring’s proven symbol of relationship demise—the blue-and-white insignia of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

What the heck was I to do now?

X-rated images—all golden-haired and blue-eyed—pummeled my brain, urging me onward.

“You want to come by my place on Saturday, Kevin?” I blurted before I could stop myself. “Zeta and I were just talking about watching the Leafs game on my brand new fifty-inch, high-definition, plasma TV.”


The above story was written a few years ago for an Alphabet Acrostic contest. The opening, “According to my boss,” was given. The criteria? “Complete your story in 26 sentences, each beginning with words in the sequence of the English alphabet.”

The learning? I expanded my vocabulary by reading the dictionary. (Yes, X is limiting, but there are ways around it.) The fun? Enjoyed it so much that I entered again this year! (This particular contest is available annually through The Brucedale Press. It’s a long wait until the next one but the fee is only $5/entry!)

My questions for you: Did you notice as you read the story that I was progressing through the alphabet? If not, did you go back to check? 🙂


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My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue



6 thoughts on “Short Story: A Canadian Man’s Heart
  1. I enjoyed your story immensely. Then, reading the submission guidelines I did go back to check up on whether you followed the alphabet. Very clever! I wish I had the time to enter this contest as well, but don’t. Maybe sometime in the future. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi, Gayle,
      Contests like this can be great fun. I haven’t entered as many as I would like lately (also very busy) but I hope to enter a few more this year. Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed the story.
      All the best,

  2. Simply loved it, Annie. You write with such beautiful artistry. Such a clever directive, and you worked it well. You inspire me to try, however: I can’t hold a candle to your works, and if you didn’t win with this entry, there’s not much use in my trying. Someday, I hope to rise to the occasion. Cheers!

    • Hi, Fran,
      Thank you for your lovely comments about my writing. Greatly appreciated.
      I didn’t mention it in my post, but, having read your comments, I am now adding that “A Canadian Man’s Heart” was my 3rd, possibly my 4th, attempt at this Acrostic contest. The first entry couldn’t hold a candle to this one; I think my current entry (number 5) is the best but I can’t post it because as soon as I do that, it is ‘published’ and, therefore, disqualified from the 2014 competition. (Maybe I’ll enter their contest a few more times so that I can publish a book of acrostic short stories!)
      Another example: A couple of years back I won a 24- hour contest… it was the FIFTH time I entered. (I have chosen to bury my first entry deep in cyberspace.)
      The best way to get better at writing is to write; contests help that by giving me deadlines.
      P.S. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”~ Wayne Gretzky

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