Of the most gruesome annual traditions I have come across in my wanton worldhopping, the most dastardly yet is certainly the one that transpires once a year in the chambers of a specific red planet in the Corona system. I shall omit the exact coordinates to keep curious souls away from having to witness such a barbaric ritual. I’d naturally happened upon the planet on one of my long spells of boredom, and such cruel portent it was, that I had entered the planet’s area of responsibility on the fourteenth of February, Earth time.
Once a year, the citizens of this nameless planet, who all live alone and in small mounds, would burrow under their homes until they reach the hollow planet’s spacious and ultradense core, which is a lifetime’s journey in itself, whereupon they would convene in utter silence. Years pass, and the silence soon gives way to a mere shuffling of feet. The mass begins to sway, very slowly at first, person by person, until, after as many years it took to travel to the core, the congregation speeds up and transforms into a giant thrashing rave party set to music I could only describe as dubstep. Individual members begin to dance alongside partners whose dance of anger was subjectively most pleasing. And, in the final act of depravity, once pairs have chosen their partners, they would begin to tear into each other’s flesh, gnawing at their hearts, symbolic of their newly found intense passion for each other, until no life was left. Their corpses would rot in the belly of the planet till the day their offspring sprout from their intertwined remains. The children would then find their way back to the surface of their planet, where they are to rebuild society and mentally prepare themselves for the next Valentine’s Day.
All this I witnessed, in utter horror, before storming off and away, fearful anyone other than Gita would try to get at my heart.