At We Drink Because We’re Poets, Lilith Colbert has given us this prompt:
“This week, you must write a tale where the good guy doesn’t win, where his (or her) streak of luck runs dry as the Mojave, either to tragic or comedic ends.”
The last time I did this, a general outcry rocked my blog.! At least now I can have the good guy lose and no one will protest…right?
© Georgia S. Koch
Friday the 13th
“There’s no way I’m going to the market today, it’s Friday the 13th!” Mariel wailed once again.
“Oh come on you’re kidding me, you’re being stupid! Friday the 13th is just like any other Friday!” Giacomo replied exasperated.
They’d been arguing back and forth since Giacomo had proposed to go to the Friday market in the village where they were vacationing. He wanted to buy some gifts to take home to his sister’s kids, besides he loved open air markets.
“Well I’m not stopping you, I’m just not going!”
“Have it your way!” he said as he picked up his car keys and went out the door.
He drove down the narrow road that would take him to the parking area near where the market was being held, at that moment a guy on a bike came down the road right at him in the opposite direction, he swerved without thinking to avoid him and broke his left-wing mirror. “Shit! Damned cyclists!” he muttered knowing that that would cost him a pretty penny when he turned in the rental car. The cyclist just made a rude gesture with his hand and kept on pumping.
He parked and began to walk the 300 meters to the market. The walk-way was already filled with people happily jostling their way along to the town center. It was a bright sunny day, with very few clouds. He began to weave his way through the stalls, but didn’t see anything that he though his nieces or nephew would enjoy. Suddenly, it began to rain. Everyone went for shelter under a shop’s awning, Giacomo with them.
“I can’t believe it, it’s sunny and raining and I feel like a bloody sardine.” he thought to himself wondering when the rain would stop.
The rain finally did stop about ten minutes later. Giacomo went into a caffè and ordered a cappuccino and brioche. He picked up the paper that the caffè kept on hand for their customers and began to read the headlines. As the waitress arrived with his order, she tripped pouring the coffee down his arm and leg.
“Shit!” he exclaimed as the coffee burnt him.
“I’m so sorry sir! She went to grab some paper towels from behind the counter and helped him clean up the worst of the damage done to his shirt and shorts. He then went into the bathroom to finish cleaning himself properly.
“I really am sorry sir, this one’s on us,” She said as she served him another cappuccino with his brioche, “including the brioche.”
Giacomo was beginning to think there was something in the Friday the 13th myth, but then again, he did get a free cappuccino and brioche, he thought. Then thought again as he looked at his reddened skin. He finished his snack and went back out into the street, thinking maybe he’d try his luck again at some stalls further up the road.
He finally found some lovely silk scarves that he thought would make a nice gift for his eldest niece. As he began to search his pockets to pay for the gift, he discovered that he no longer had his wallet. He thought it had probably been stolen either along the crowded sidewalk or when he was under the awning when it had rained.
He’d no alternative but to return to the car and then the hotel without buying anything. He was obviously in a bad mood by now. Without realizing it, he’d been going at least 20 miles an hour over the speed limit.
The carabinieri pulled Giacomo over, but as he didn’t have his driver’s license with him, he not only got a ticket for speeding but also for driving without a license as well as driving with a broken wing mirror. He had to wait as the police checked the car registration with the rental agency to ascertain that he hadn’t stolen the vehicle. They also invited him to come to the police station to report the theft of his wallet, saying he should have done that in the first place instead of trying to drive a car illegally. At the police station and reported the theft of his wallet as well as his driver’s license and credit cards. This took him about an hour.
He finally got back to his hotel, frazzled by the terrible morning he’d passed. Walking up the stairs he tripped as he reached his landing hurting is ankle. So, he limped to his room and went in. Mariel was sitting at the desk, using her laptop.
“Oh, hi dear. I was just reading up on Friday the 13th, you know you were so right! It’s just a silly superstition. Let’s go swimming this afternoon after lunch. Oh by the way, you forgot your wallet when you went out this morning.”
“I’m not moving from this room again today!” he said as he dropped himself on the bed, “Superstition or not, it’s Friday the 13th and that means bad luck to me!” Then he began to tell her of his morning.