Tag Archives: bad luck

Taking In the Scenery

blog cows

That gray day obscured visibility and led to Mrs. Tolson’s accident but also reflected the farmer’s mood upon learning his heifer broke through the fence. The cow in the road caused a wreck that risked everything Mose Riley worked many hard years to earn. A legal battle still simmered over who held the liability for fault.

Mose swung a hammer to drive in the next nail for fence repair and caught a sidelong glimpse at crows that pecked debris left on the pavement. The specks of brain matter and intestine scattered across the blacktop reminded him of the mess he had ahead of him in court. “Damn that Clara,” he murmured to himself. “Why did she choose that stretch of wood to topple? A hundred yards down the row and she’d have just gone over into the neighbor’s field. Damn her all to hell.”

Mrs. Tolson’s lawyer later criticized the farmer’s negligence in not seeing a hole during the prior feeding time when he’d last checked his cattle. “Had the defendant repaired the perimeter fence, my client would never have met the fatal end to her Sunday evening drive,” the attorney contended.

Mose cursed the insurance adjuster who warned him to not say a defensive word about it. “Let’s not rile them. Keep the damages to a minimum,” the man cautioned.

Farming had always been a financial risk, but Riley lamented seeing all that money metaphorically splayed in a ditch beside the road. The carcass rested in a mangled mass just across the pavement since the Sheriff refused to let him take the cow away to slaughter. It needed to stay there as evidence until their fatality investigation concluded.

“Not only will my rates go up, but I gotta see Clara laying there and not even be able to turn her into burger. Lost her as a producer AND steaks, too,” he thought. One broken brown leg twisted around behind her haunch in a supremely painful-looking position. All the cow’s inner fluids had leaked through the boundaries of her body, and an incredible stench emitted from her bloated form. No future calves from Clara, and not even a rib-eye for dinner.

Spitting a long sluice of tobacco in the direction of the remains, Mose decided to leave the calculation of lost money to another day. “Dammit if she don’t stink, too,” he swore aloud. “I just wish she’d have landed on the insurance man instead of Mrs. Tolson.” Maybe the coyotes would scavenge enough in the night to take care of that stench.

Riley looked away and went back to his mending. “This blasted fence won’t fix itself neither,” he mumbled and gave the post a swift kick.

*Our Write Side prompt – supremely or very

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Losing Control

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Pamela’s sister yelled from behind the window, “What in the world were you thinking?” The woman didn’t know how she always seemed to get herself into such predicaments. With her car in the shrubbery, its bumper dented and headlight smashed, she had yet to suss the situation, much less defend or refute any accusations from an angry sibling.

“What was I thinking … I don’t even know where I am,” Pamela mumbled. Her head ached and a thin trickle of blood leaked down her forehead as she lifted it from the top arc of the steering wheel. Confused, she asked herself, “Where the hell am I?” She looked past the dashboard to where her sister stood at the plate-glass window in shocked surprise with her arms spread wide to hold open the living room curtains. A plume of steam rose into the air above the Accord’s crunched hood.

She gritted her teeth and beat a fist on the wheel. “It’s that goddamn Ambien! I should’ve known not to take that last night when I got home from the bar.” Now, facing her sibling, she was at a loss to explain her actions. As if losing her job wasn’t enough, begging forgiveness for ruining such carefully-sculpted greenery would be her next humiliation.

She didn’t have to open the driver’s door to feel how her sister would assail her with accusations. Such a one-sided conversation happened before. “What it is now, Pamela? When are you going to get your shit together?” Their mother’s expression on her sister Margaret’s face bore down on her. No disapproving words were unnecessary.

That glare made Pamela feel lower than she already felt about herself, if possible. Margaret’s judgment filled in for their mother’s absence, and her punishing opinion only added to Pamela’s miserable self-concept. Mother’s disdain was palpable all the way from her vault at Peaceful Acres on Parkridge Drive.

Pamela’s stomach turned at seeing the crumpled front bumper. No way could she afford the insurance deductible this time. She’d just have to drive it as-is. “I don’t remember starting the car, much less driving … or ending up here,” she explained in a futile attempt to quell Margaret’s anger.

Had the Honda veered into a guardrail on the freeway, her suffering may’ve finally ended. Instead, the landscaping of the house where desperate circumstances left her to live off a family member had cushioned her sleep-aid-fueled escapade.

Margaret stood, her arms crossed in front of her, stabbing Pamela with an all too familiar steely glare. Although Pamela loved her sister and was grateful for the hospitality of a place to stay after losing her apartment, the woman’s condescending attitude grew to an intolerable level.

“I’m so sick of this shit,” she spat, got back in the car, and slammed the door. The tires dug ruts in the formerly-pristine sod when she threw the gear shift into reverse, spun out onto the pavement, and sped down the street. Radiator be damned.

“Hmmm,” Margaret pondered, giving a slight shrug. “Guess I get to watch the new X-Files by myself tonight. Good.” She went back inside and closed the curtains.

(photo – joshboyd studios via Flickr)

Studio 30+ writing prompt – vault s30p

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Betrothed

creepyhalloweenimages.com

creepyhalloweenimages.com

I called Cameron to come get me when my car didn’t start the morning we were to be married. No way was I going to take a taxi in my full-skirted dress. My best friend, Kristine swore him seeing my dress before the ceremony was a bad idea. She told us, “Don’t you dare do that. It’s supposed to be bad luck.” We didn’t think the superstition would get us in trouble, but  basically Kristine cursed us.

That woman never opened an umbrella inside, avoided ladders and black cats at all costs, and constantly knocked on wood. She believed all those old stories her grandmother told her as a kid. She even had bottles sticking up from stunted limbs on a dead tree in her backyard to ward off evil spirits. I laughed at her silly beliefs every time I heard the glass clinking together outside her kitchen window.

That was back when we were friends. Without being especially maudlin, the rest of my story must be told.

Kristine loosely predicted my demise. Cameron picked me up in his fully restored ‘67 Ford Mustang that we meant to drive away from the reception and take on our honeymoon. It was such a beautiful car – a dark moss green convertible. He loved that car, but I hated how he drove it.

The change in plans threw off the schedule, so we were running late. Cameron put “the pedal to the metal,” as usual. He always drove too fast in the ‘Stang. That last big curve on the way into town is what ended it all, my life anyway.

The top was down, so the wind was whipping my freshly coiffed hair. I reached to grab a hat out of the back seat in hopes of salvaging my hairstyle. Layers of toile in my gown flew about, and errant material caught in Cameron’s sunglasses. It blocked his eyes from the road and ultimately caused the crash that killed me. My ejection from the car coincidentally took his new $300 Versace shades with me. He never found them, and I can’t say that I’m sorry.

My dress was ruined, too. I couldn’t even be buried in it.

To be blunt, I think Kristine jinxed me.

She was at the hospital to console Cameron after my death. She comforted him and nursed him back to health. I know her methods, so I wasn’t surprised when they fell in love so quickly. He’s such a tool.

The ceremony was in Vegas, what there was of it. I’d hardly call a drive-through chapel a proper location for a wedding service, though. The Mustang was totaled, so it took place in Kristine’s car instead.

I bet she even carried the rabbit’s foot keychain from her grandmother for “something old.” Maybe her luck will run out if she didn’t find something borrowed or blue. I can only hope.

***

The Studio 30+ writing prompt “supposed to be bad luck” came from Joe at Mostly Harmless Drivel.

Studio30

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