Unlucky meA Story by Ethan Cordner
There are thieves among us, but they're not after money or electronics. They want your luck, your courage, your quick wit, and your slow temper. They want what makes you you, and we can't stop them.
The soft crack of the opening window woke me, and the creak creak of floorboards drew my eyes to the foot of the bed where a spindly figure crouched, black sack in one hand, golden glowing tendrils trailing from the other. Sitting bolt upright I shouted for help, but the long sound of a car horn braying outside drowned out my voice. The spindly figure smiled a soft smile and sweetly spoke.
“I’m sorry to say
That you’ve no luck today,
Spindle’s taken yours, Jack,
It’s all here in my sack!”
With a mischievous grin the figure wiped her fingers clean on lip of the sack, shook it gently, and moved backwards as I stammered.
“What… what’s going on? You took something? Who, what are you?”
Spindle quirked an eyebrow and responded slowly.
“What, who, where, how?
You, me, here, now.
I have taken all your luck.
And now I’m off, to run amok!”
Spindle giggled and threw the sack over her shoulder, sweeping a gangly leg over the windowsill.
“Wait!” I shouted. “My luck? Was it you? All this time, and everything that's gone wrong in my life, it was because of you?”
Spindle grinned and put a teasing finger up to her lips. an anger boiled up inside me.
“All the missed-bus's, parking-tickets, rain-on-sports-days, inside-out-umbrellas, no-seat-on-the-train, unexpected-traffic, lost-wallets, runaway-pets, flooded-cellars, wrong-numbers, faulty-plumbing, bad-directions, and generally sour luck. It was you!" I shouted, sitting up in bed and reaching for something to throw.
A glass of water tumbled off my bedside table, knocked awry by my shaking hands, and Spindle straightened her back, paused to licking her lips before speaking.
"You’ve no right to be
Quite so angry at me,
You sad little man
With you’re mad little plans.
When it comes to men
You’ve got more luck to spend,
And the way that you use it,
You always abuse it.
My kind have the right,
And we’ll use it to fight.
There’s evil out there,
And mankind doesn’t care.”
My head spun as I tried to find the words, the right questions, but Spindle was already on her way out the window. She raised a hand lazily and a cloud of gold smoke surrounded her as she fell from the fifth story apartment window.
I jumped up and rushed to look on as spindle landed on a discarded mattress, rolled nimbly, sprang up, and sped forward into a sudden break in traffic. I stared in disbelief as she grabbed onto the side of a passing tram and was swept into the carriage, where the conductor was looking the other way.
"Goddamn it!" I shouted, and turned to pull on a pair of jeans and give chase.
A muscle twisted in my side, and throwing my arms out wildly I tossed my keys out the window. “What the-!” I cried.
Realising I was locked inside my apartment, I turned back to the window in time to see the tram turn a corner and Spindle wave coquettishly from the rear. I slumped onto the windowsill, and it collapsed beneath me.
On the floor, head scratched and lip bleeding, I put my head in my hands.
There was a knock at the door, followed by an angry voice. "What’s with all the shouting, open up in there!" I recognised the booming voice of my landlord, and looked about me at the broken windowsill, scattered furniture, and the complete lack of a sign of anyone else who could be responsible for the damage.
"Oh no," I muttered, thinking about my lost keys, and the job interview I now had no chance of making, "what rotten luck…"
© 2017 Ethan Cordner
Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
AboutSlowly writing my way through a fantasy trilogy, with many short stories along the way. more..
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