Lucky

All posts tagged Lucky

On bad days and good days, and how they can come one right after the other.

Published February 13, 2015 by mandileighbean

Today is Friday the 13th, a notoriously unlucky day.  A coworker was married and kissed his new wife for the first time during the ceremony.  I realized that I’ve been chasing the ghost of a good thing and that it is finally time to give up the ghost.

It all started with candy hearts, the chalky kind that no one really enjoys to eat but that everyone loves to read.  I put them absolutely everywhere I could, almost as if I thought they were cleverly symbolic of all the real love I had to give.  But they ended up in the trash and I was followed the metaphor, I would conclude it was pretty much accurate.

I am going to eat chocolate and drink and sleep until I feel better, or at least become numb to what should be familiar disappointment and terrifying assumptions.

Please excuse the pity party; I am a single woman on Valentine’s Eve.  I’m entitled, I believe.  And give me some credit for not going to see “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  In that sense, I am trying to retain my dignity.  But in all sincerity, I suppose that makes me as original and genuine as a cop in a donut shop.

WRITING PROMPT #21: A police detective is assigned to a case involving arson at several Krispy Kreme donut shops.

Mark sat in the cruiser with the blue and red light whirling and twirling above, but the sirens were silent.  He had a clipboard perched on his lap with tedious paperwork that he had retreated to fill out.  Mark had finished the paperwork some time ago, nearly thirty minutes, but had been extremely hesitant to leave the car.

Walking into any donut shop in a uniform was difficult enough.  The trite jokes, snide comments, and sniggers of laughter were irritating and overplayed.  However, walking into a donut shop when the uniform was stretched tight around an ever-expanding, rotund middle was proof that God was insensitive and cruel.  It didn’t seem to matter that the shop was only so much ash and rubble, the unfortunate victim of an impressively vindictive and awfully clever arsonist.  It didn’t matter that Mark was there to investigate and bring about justice in whatever form was most appropriate.  All that mattered was that he was a fat cop walking into a donut shop.  That kind of material practically wrote itself.

Sighing heavily, Mark tossed the clipboard onto the front passenger seat.  He turned his head to look at the scene, milling with onlookers – only a very few were witnesses and even less were helpful – and firefighters and employees.  He had absolutely no desire to face any of them.  He looked away, across the street to the stores that lined the street.  They were still standing, and he caught the reflections of the lights in the storefront windows.  He watched the blue and red chase each other round and round for a few moments before his eyes lit on his own reflection.

Sighing heavily, Mark tossed the clipboard onto the front passenger seat.  He turned his head to look at the scene, milling with onlookers – only a very few were witnesses and even less were helpful – and firefighters and employees.  He had absolutely no desire to face any of them.  He looked away, across the street to the stores that lined the street.  They were still standing, and he caught the reflections of the lights in the storefront windows.  He watched the blue and red chase each other round and round for a few moments before his eyes lit on his own reflection.

An obtuse officer; a portly policeman – Mark could think of a million and one clever ways to describe himself, but such self-deprecating declarations did little to change or even mask the reality.  He was unhealthy.  He wasn’t appealing.  It had been years since any woman had even talked to him, let alone offered him a second glance (even out of sheer pity).  He was a living, breathing travesty; he was an awkward and atrocious version of himself that he had never envisioned, never aimed for.

Life was funny that way, he supposed.  His bottom lip quivered, threatening tears and wouldn’t that just be the icing on fat boy’s cake if he started sobbing like a little girl in the squad car.  He pushed his pudgy fists against his eyes and waited for the tumultuous moment to pass.

A knock on the window snapped Mark out of it.  His hands dropped to his lap and there was his partner, bent at the waist to better peer into the cruiser.  Mark rolled the window down.  “What’s up?” he asked in what he hoped was a casual tone.  Would his partner know he had been about to cry, that he was so weak as all that?

“Some guy says he saw some crack head running from the flames with a gas can.  Sounds like a promising lead.”

Mark nodded.  “Sure does, I’ll be right out.”

His partner nodded and walked away.  Mark rolled up the window again.

He wondered how much longer he could stay just where he was without raising suspicion.

On what it means to be lucky.

Published July 11, 2012 by mandileighbean

I am sick of the stopping and starting, of the broken promises. If I am serious, then I must make a change.

Vague enough for you?

PROMPT: During her first trip to Las Vegas, a woman experiences the luckiest night of her life.

PIECE:

Brandi had never taken a single moment to stop and consider the definition of the word “lucky.”  At the mention of the word, Brandi was faintly aware that many would think of casinos and gambling, and of taking risks and placing bets.  Brandi was also faintly aware that some would think of various scenarios, in which a person was “lucky” for narrowly escaping danger, or for receiving some kind of accolade, be it monetary or other.  These ideas would bounce around the corners of her mind, never actually sticking, but always kind of floating in some nebulous of hazy understanding and consciousness.

Until her first night in Las Vegas.

Brandi had obviously heard of Las Vegas – Sin City.  She knew that according to popular culture, what happened there, stayed there and that some people just couldn’t handle the lawlessness the city seemed to exude.  Exiting the airplane that had traveled across land – and maybe sea; she had been too frightened to look out of the window – to bring her to her final destination, Brandi silently prayed she’d be lucky enough to survive a couple of nights in Las Vegas.  If the powers that be had deemed her fit to survive the flight, what was a few nights of drunken debauchery?  With a queasy smile, Brandi flagged down a taxi cab and politely requested to be taken to The Venetian Hotel, where her girlfriends were awaiting her arrival – anxiously, she hoped.

Brandi looked out the window, her eyes widening as best they could to take in all the majestic and mischievous sights zipping past.  The rhythmic and subtle jostling of the cab and her slight case of jetlag acted as a lullaby.  Soon, Brandi was sound asleep.

When she awoke, Brandi was nowhere near The Venetian Hotel.  As a matter of fact, she was probably as far from the wicked, winking lights of Las Vegas as was possible.  Heart racing as her bottom lip trembled, Brandi looked from left to right.  All the doors of the taxi cab were open, and a chilled night breeze rumbled through, whipping her hair about her eyes and mouth.  Frantically tucking the loose strands behind her ears so she could see and start composing some kind of visual assessment of the situation, Brandi was thankful for the compartment light shining overhead.  She leaned forward out of her reclined position and looking once more from left to right, realized she was in the middle of the desert.  It might as well have been the middle of fucking nowhere.

Sanity is a fragile thing, and if it is not handled with care, it will shatter sure enough.  Brandi was currently handling hers with a pair of rubber gloves, tiptoeing lightly around reality so as not to hit a snag or a bump which would send it flying, clattering to the floor where it would burst into a million, billion pieces.  She slid out of the cab to the right and decided to head to the front of the vehicle, where the high beams of the headlights shone for a precious number of feet.  As Brandi scrambled with her hands cautiously waving straight out in front of her to protect her from bumping into something and falling down, her breath became shallow and tears crowded to the rims of her eyes.  This was bad, very bad, and she didn’t know if she would make it out alive.

Someone else certainly hadn’t.  Brandi released a blood-curdling scream as she came to the front of the taxi cab.  A man was lying face down in the desert sand, pants and underwear around his ankles, eyes wide open but seeing nothing.  Brandi knelt to find a pulse and found none.  She leaned closer to study the face and found it to be that of the driver.  What had happened?  Why was he dead?  Would she be next?  She leapt to her feet and scrambled to the driver’s side of the vehicle.  Clamoring into the seat, she grabbed the microphone of the CB radio, squeezed the button like she was squeezing the trigger of a flare gun and screamed for help, pleaded for assistance.

Cops were on the scene within an hour and a half.

It turned out that the driver was a serial rapist, posing as a taxi cab driver to lure potential victims.  He would drive ladies – and the occasional weak-looking male – into the desert, have his way with them, shoot them twice in the back of the head and then dispose of the body.  Brandi would have been victim number seven – lucky number seven – but as luck would have it, a heart condition that had lain dormant since childhood had finally come home to roost; the rapist fell dead as he raced to commit the foul deeds, his heart giving out from all the excitement.

Brandi decided being lucky had a lot more to do with survival than numbers or money.  To be truly lucky was to be alive at all.

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