Mr. Valentor

 [a short story by   ~burning woman~  ]

Ada Muir has just finished with the bathroom and exits into the hall leading into the kitchen when there is a knock at the door of her small, clean suburban bungalow.

She thinks, ‘What the…at eight AM?’

She looks through the peep hole and sees a man with what appears to be a roll of papers under his arm. She opens the inner door a wedge, “Yes?”

“Ah, good morning ma’am. My name is Valentor. My company has just expanded its readership into this area and I represent the Venus Monthly, a magazine with a varied theme, but dealing mostly with stories emanating from this system. If you could give me a few minutes of your time, I could introduce you to our feature article of the month.”

“I’m sorry, but do I look like I was born last night?” She replies a bit huffed. “I don’t have time for this nonsense.”

“Oh, ma’am, time need not become an issue. If you don’t have any of yours, I’m entitled to let you use some of mine, within reason. Shall we say, a half hour of my time for free and you take out a one year subscription to Venus Monthly.”

Ada Muir, as it happens, is a part-time reporter for the Rosedale Herald and she realizes this cockamamie story could have potential. Plus she is totally taken by his rich, deep, bass voice. She unlatches the inner door.

“C’mon in, Mr. Valentor.”

He walks in. She sees that he is very tall, possibly the tallest man she’s ever met. Well dressed and under the sharp suit, she senses a body of perfect proportions. The face is chiseled but not harsh. She is particularly attracted to his lips and his ears… she gets a sudden urge to kiss him and chew on his earlobes.

‘What’s the matter with me!’ she remonstrates to herself as she smiles at her visitor.

“Nothing is the matter with you, Ada,” says Valentor. “I have that effect on most earth women. It’s called “sex appeal” and one of the reasons I’ve been given charge of this sector. It’s enjoyable for me. I hope it will prove as enjoyable for you.”

“You know my name; read my thoughts?”

“Yes, of course. Why? Should I not? Is this a breach of protocol?”

“I can’t read yours so it isn’t really fair, is it.”

“I don’t understand ‘fair’ in thought exchanges. Whether I read your thoughts or not doesn’t stop you from having them.”

“What if I thought something, well, too personal, or critical of your appearance, and such like?”

“What of it? It makes no difference. They’re still your thoughts. Have them.”

“What if they hurt your feelings in some ways?”

“That is of no concern of yours, they’re my feelings, not yours. What I do with my feelings is my business. Speaking of business, can I show you this month’s copy of our magazine? Cover page here, that’s the Crab Nebula, awesome isn’t it?”

“Are we on your time now?”


“When you leave it’ll still be eight o’clock my time?”

“Yes, of course. That was the understanding.”

Ada shakes her head. “Oh my, so sorry but in all this I forgot to offer you something to drink, to eat? Do you drink coffee, Mr. Valentor?”

“Yes, I have developed a taste for coffee. It is pleasant. I will have a coffee.”

She deftly slips a pod in the machine, slides a cup under the spout and flips down the actuator, pressing ‘medium’ to be safe.

“Cream and sugar?”

“Sugar only please. Two lumps.”

“They taught you to say that, didn’t they, your trainers before you came here? I knew it, I just knew it!” She half laughs, half smiles. She smells a story; she’s on track.

“I don’t understand. If you knew it, why did you ask?”

“It’s a different kind of knowing. Never mind. Have you ever tried your coffee black only, or with cream, or cream and sugar?”

“Those choices were not included in my training manual. I was not made aware of their availability.”

“Are you an AI Mr. Valentor? Artificial Intelligence? A robot? Are you human?”

“All of the above, of course, but I am also Pleiadian, primarily from source.”

“You mean from the actual Pleiades star system? Now you’re pulling my leg.”

“I would never do such a thing! Such a pointless and cruel thing to do to anyone; particularly to someone as pretty as yourself. What made you think I would pull your leg off? Why? You have such crude notions of relationships here.”

“I didn’t mean that literally! It’s just what we say when we think someone’s lying to us.”

“Why not just say, ‘You’re lying to me?'”

“Never mind. Here’s your coffee. Tell me if it is to your taste.”

“How could it not be? I don’t understand how it could be to someone else’s taste when I’m the one ingesting it.”

“Forget it!”

“That is an order I cannot comply with. I am designed to remember everything.”

Ada puts her head in her hands, “Oh, God! This conversation is becoming anal!”

“I am not God and you have no need to pray to me. Do not be worried, you will get your magazine, I assure you, and on time each month. To clarify, we were not having an anal conversation, we were definitely using our mouths.”


“Would you like a glass of warm water to help clear your throat impediment?”

“I don’t have a… Look, if we’re going to get along, will-you-please-not-comment-on-everything-I-say?”

“That seems quite impol…”

“Shut up! Just shut up, Mr. Valentor.”

Ada knows that she is now quite flushed and before she even realizes what she is doing, she stands up abruptly. Facing her alien salesman, looking down at his gorgeous face she drops her robe. Valentor looks up at the nude twenty three years, eight months, three days and thirteen hours of age Earthian female and thinks, ‘this I understand.’ He stands also, makes his clothing vanish and lets Ada get a full frontal view of his anatomy, waits while she tries to gather her thoughts, knowing what would come next.

Ada impulsively throws herself into the man’s embrace and hugs him to feel all of him. She then backs away, takes his hand and leads him to her bed.

It is a good thing the neighbours had already gone to work and their kids to school. If they had heard Ada’s cries they would have been certain someone was killing her and likely have called 911. The aftermath of an armed RCMP intervention would definitely have made a colourful story, though probably not one Ada would have cared to read about, much less watch on the evening local TV news.

There’s a lesson for us ladies here. Watch out for those tall, dark and irresistibly handsome time-traveling Pleiadian magazine salesmen. They’re a lot more than they at first appear. Just sayin’!










20 thoughts on “Mr. Valentor

  1. kertsen

    If you key into Gutenberg the free book site which has an enormous range of books of all types you will see a tab saying 100 most popular books . All the usual classics are there but tucked in around 30 is a book called ‘ A Romance of Lust ‘ a Victorian erotic novel by an Anon.
    Not quite sure why it’s Anon but they were a bit secretive about such things in those far off times.
    We don’t know if Queen Victoria read such stuff but she did read Richard Chambers book ‘ Vestiges’ a book that predated Darwin about evolution . Mr Chambers was understandably afraid to put his name to such an outrageous book so it was Anon for some years. I have a soft spot for Richard Chambers.


    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Hi Kertsen, interesting. Yes, I’ve been mining or pilfering Gutenberg for years. I have hundreds of their books downloaded to hard drive, mostly the classics I want time to re-read, or those I have never read. Thanks for the reminder about Richard Chambers.


    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Interesting. I’ve never understood the concept of “tags”. What are they? What do they do? It’s all Greek with some Cantonese thrown in for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Phil Huston

    I’m done. I’m just going to like shit from now on, y’all write what and how you please and remember that draft has many meanings. It could be something written impetuously in a romp with the muse that needs editing. It could be air coming in under the door or around the windows. It could be a beer of any temperature or consistency poured from a pumped spout. Or it could be an old, opinionated windbag who considers any less than your best foot forward (regarding craftsmanship, not content) a personal insult. Consider one less of those an issue. Spending any more time on them than everyone else deems acceptible is a waste of time. He said, elliptically, looking for a way to cut 30% of this comment and keep it intact and in the same tense.


    1. Phil Huston

      Find the elliptical/most poorly constructed sentence in that comment that in a rewrite would have read better. There’s two way-to-gos and an attaboy in it for you.


      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        Phil, Phil, my fav DA… did I ever tell you that the main reason I did not pursue university (it’s what they call them here) is because I utterly failed English grammar my very first year? I did marvellously well on the lit side of things but I suck at grammar. But, as Archie Bunker would say “I seen woist.” Now on to your other comment.


      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        There you go, I even replied to the wrong comment, what does that tell you! It should tell you that I just spent 10 gruelling hours on a rock face stripping ivy for a customer of mine. I’m not complaining, mind. I got away from the e-world for a day; got rained on, my tools got soaked, but experienced some interesting exercise (other than typing, that is) and had a great lunch in a local pub with a friend, neighbour and part-time boss. We talked about empathy and/or the clinical approach to life. She once thought of becoming a nurse (God knows she’s got the brains) but thought her lack of empathy would be a problem. She’s an arborist and landscape artist instead. Good choice. At least she’s her own boss. Why am I telling you this? Because I have no idea what your comment means except that somewhere in one of your comments there’s an elliptically challenged sentence that wants to be read better. (Better read?) You do realize you are interloping, no, I mean, interlacing, no… interacting – that looks better – with an ESL’er who learned to write English in grade 12 and left school permanently the very next year. That’s neither a brag nor an excuse but much of grammar, seems to me, is intuitive and definitely favours the mother tongue speakers and writers. Either you see it, or you don’t. My point has always been, do the best you know how; use references when uncertain, but in the end, provide useful information or entertain. Make the reader feel s/he has not been wasting time reading. That’s what matters.

        When I failed grammar yet passed Lit with flying colours (98% score!) I argued with the bureaucracy. I said, if you were testing new drivers, you wouldn’t care a whit that they were excellent drivers, you’d test them on how well they know how an engine functions; what connects the wheels to the transmission and how much pressure is in the brake line when the brakes are applied. Tell me, what has that got to do with driving? Obviously, if a person gets a 98% score on a Lit test that involves writing essays, that person must have a pretty good grasp of basic English, no? I couldn’t get them to change their minds on a stupid technicality so I flipped them the bird and went out looking for a job – which I had no difficulty finding. Am I sorry? Not for one single day since.

        What’s an elliptical sentence anyway? As tempting as it is, I refuse to look it up… 😛


      3. Phil Huston

        I probably invented it. It’s a sentence that has contextual inversion. One that would end, sound and flow better if it were rearranged.

        I walked college after my sophomore year. I didn’t think they could teach me to write OR play electronic music. At the time the second was very true. The first would have made me “one of them.” I married an academic writer, and avoid editors. No offense to most out there, but educated writers, for the most part, will flatten and sterilize until the jazz is modal and predictable. Were the well educated and editors to adopt the philosophy of music mastering engineers and put a cohesive sheen on whatever they’re given and hand it back? Hell yeah. Tighten up the low end, make it sparkle, let it breathe, leave the content alone. But alas.
        That said – lack of college ed was never an excuse for sloppy content. My job for years as a synth and audio product specialist at the top end had no forgiveness factor. I couldn’t show up in front of Grammy award winning musicians, design legends and media types, put up a sloppy, unedited demo and say “well, it was creatively sound, but you know, I never learned the difference between almost and BAM. Thanks for coming.” I’d be dead under a bridge. I set out in 1973, couldn’t read the manual for my first Moog. 8 years later I was one of 3 at the premier synth company on the planet at the time. At 10 years I have a picture backstage at the Majestic with Dr. Bob Moog himself, shared a clinic stage together. Sorry Bob, I don’t have an engineering or music degree. Cover me the best you can, eh? I’m not a fanatic, but I got on wp for the sole reason of giving myself a deadline and a venue to put up the best blast I can assemble for presentation. I have no degrees. My wife and daughter have 5 between them. But I speak, understand and practice personal BAM as it relates to craft as best I can. I’m wired that way. And I’m smart enough, degree or not, to know where it all comes from. We have a heart and two ears for a reason. School has nothing to do with it other than produce a continuous stream of similar, boring and acceptable skill sets.


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