Widdershins

Widdershins

A Story by Carol Cashes
"

Superstition can backfire on you...

"

Widdershins

 

“... two ... three!”  Three times around the crumpled gum wrapper, counter clockwise.  She continued down the sidewalk and hoped nothing else would appear.   Bad luck to by-pass objects in your path without circling widdershins, three times.  Her granny told her that and she believed it.  Better to be late than sorry and she was never sorry.  She was, however, very often late, three jobs this month, but she was lucky and always quickly found another job.

 

She entered the small gift shop and encountered a young woman leaving.  Startled, the woman dropped her keys.  She quickly circled the keys three times, widdershins, picked them up and handed them to the bewildered woman.  She rushed to the back room, Mrs. Doyle right on her heels.

 

“You must stop!  You’re scaring the customers.”

 

 “But, Granny says "“

 

“I Don’t care what your crazy old Granny says.  You’re late again.  Once more, and I will have to let you go.”  Mrs. Doyle softened.  “Child, I’m superstitious, too, but you go too far.  Get up front,  I have an appointment and must go now.”

 

The next morning, the gum wrapper had been replaced with a styrofoam cup.   Three laps around the small piece of rubbish, quickly, but as luck would have it, she encountered a crumpled cigarette pack and a sleeping dog.

 

Mrs. Doyle was talking on the phone when she slipped in the front door,  and gave her a stern look. She walked to the back room and Mrs. Doyle soon followed.  “I’m sorry.  I have to let you go.”  She held out an envelope.  “Here’s your paycheck.”

 

She walked home slowly, the sidewalk obstacle-free.  Nearly home, she heard children laughing and looked up.  A teen-aged girl with four small children, boisterous and loud, were coming her direction.   The children ran around the young girl, screaming with delight.  Two broke free and ran between two parked cars into the street. 

 

She raced toward the children when she saw the large brown van.   The fire hydrant, not in her path on the sidewalk,  was now directly in front of her.  With no thought but of the endangered children,  she jumped over the hydrant, into the street and grabbed the two children up.  She turned to hand them to the crying teen, stepped back between the parked cars as the van’s driver slammed his brakes.  The rear of the van skidded to the side, crashed into the rear of the first parked car, pushed it forward with a tremendous force and  trapped her between the two cars.   She heard her hips crunch, the bones in her thighs cracked loudly.

 

As she lost consciousness, she looked up to see the fire hydrant and heard a child counting as she circled it    “... two... three!  Grandma says you always have to circle stuff in your way widdershins, that means different from the clock,  three times or terrible bad luck will find you.”

 


© 2017 Carol Cashes



Author's Note

Carol Cashes
Sam, you were right. Skidded it is-ed.

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Featured Review

What a story, a unique story, Carol, so finely written, start to finish. (I'd even accept whatever you use for skiddesting!) You have a slightly off-sense of the real but ridiculous. But believe me, intelligently so, words set just so, with fine punctuation, etc. Also, here you add mystery, local folk-lore and that beautiful word: 'Widdershins ' Thank you for sharing every word... :)

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

It was the title that attracted me. To go against the sun. What a superb tale superbly told.

Posted 6 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

6 Months Ago

I consider that high praise as I just read your piece about college in the seventies. Thank you. S.. read more
Ken Simm.

6 Months Ago

You are more than welcome. I will be back.
What a great little tale of superstition and horror, very well told. I should've known how things would play out, but her getting smashed was still a bit of a surprise. And I learned a new word! Widdershins--I love it.
One small suggestion. Wouldn't "skidded" be preferable?

Posted 6 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

6 Months Ago

I hate not knowing! skid, skidded, skiddest? You're probably right. I'll fix it.

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Added on June 9, 2017
Last Updated on June 18, 2017

Author

Carol Cashes
Carol Cashes

Biloxi, MS



About
I'm very cynical, jaded, just this side of bitter and the only reason I haven't crossed that line is a good man loves me. I am extremely empathetic, but seldom sympathetic. I can be a ferociously lo.. more..

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