|Miss Josephine the Devil Cat|
So, as any superstitious man will do, Robert Ungun Fletcher Filibus Barnet IV trailed his hand over the head and down to brush against the nose, as he did every morning. It had become part of his ritual, an indispensable piece of his day that must be completed before he walked out the door.
Unlike most almost-millionaires, he parked his car in the driveway. Not because he wanted to, of course, but because his large garage was filled with other types of transportation. He wanted his precious, barely used vehicles covered, while his mundane daily sedan could weather the rains and snows.
A flash of black to his left had him jumping back. A black cat. Awful, vile things, he thought. Frowning, he altered his path, instead walking across the perfectly manicured lawn to reach the vehicle. He simply refused to let the cat ruin his day. It would not outsmart him.
He climbed into his car and began backing out. His cell phone rang and he picked it up. It was his business partner. As he chatted away, he was less than careful about where he backed. His side mirror cracked against the gate, sending silver slivers raining to the ground. The man sighed and hung up the phone. Still he would not let such a thing like 7 years back luck damper his spirit. He had rubbed the nose today. It would counteract any of the badness the mirror could bring.
When he got to the office, a ladder was sitting directly over his door. His permanent frown depened. There was no way to get around it.
"Yes, sir?" The young secretary stepped out through the door, right under the ladder.
He grabbed her, pulling her away. "What do you think you're doing? That's bad luck!"
She looked at the shiny object. "It's just a ladder, sir."
"Yes, and you're not supposed to walk under it!"
"Well... I... You're just not!" He shoved it out of the way and walked through the door. "What's on tap for today?"
She went down the list of meetings (most sounded vile) and gave him a stack of paperwork. As he headed into his office, she called "Happy Friday the 13th, sir!"
The papers fell from his hands to thump on the ground. "What?"
"Um, happy Friday the 13th?"
"Today's the 13th? And it's Friday?"
"That's it. I'm going home. Cancel all my appointments. Tell them I'm ill or something. I'm outta here."
He walked out the door, crashing into the ladder he had carelessly moved. On the way home, the lack of a side mirror had him smashing into another car. The police were not happy and issued a ticket. At home, the black cat managed to get in his way and he fell into the bushes. Inside, in pieces on the floor, lay the alabaster statue, his wife cleaning it up.
"The kids," she said by only explanation. He crawled in bed and stayed there til Saturday.
**There are 15-minute writing dashes at Milk Wood in Second Life every day at 5amSLT and 6:30pmSLT. This story is from the 5-13-11 morning dash, using the prompt "alabaster."**