“Come one, Peggy, I’m starting to get super freaked out!”
“Grow a pair Greg, we have to finish this list today or it’s not going to make any sense. Now we’ve got six more to go so just suck it up.”
Greg and Peggy, co-editors-in-chief of the DeLaney High School “Bugle” leaned over the list they were desperately trying to complete in time for their 6pm deadline. For the past eight months the odd duo prided themselves on turning the almost-defunct school paper into a now anticipated periodical filled with blog-structured articles, reviews of the newest viral videos and photos that bordered on the bizarre (which made them brilliant). This is issue was to be the crowning jewel of their achievement, but there was one hitch- their front page theme was coming up dry.
It had been Peggy’s idea- and once she got an idea in her head it was basically impossible to supplant it. The entire front page would revolve around Friday the Thirteenth, since it was the date of that issue’s publication and the day the school paper was founded, 26 years ago (or 13 divided by 2, as Peggy was quick to point out). The final piece needed for the spread was a quirky list, 13 odd things that happened on past Friday the Thirteenth, and they had hit a wall. It was not for want of material, there were plenty of bizarre happenings linked to that unlucky day, it was the growing fear that if they continued, something equally unlucky would befall the two of them.
After ticking of some of the top odd events throughout history, the plane crash in the Andes Mountains that resulted in acts of cannibalism (Friday 13 October, 1972), Tupak dying from his gunshot wounds (Friday 13 September 1996) Greg and Peggy began to experience some odd events a little closer to home. First, Greg’s right ear began to grow hot, and in several minutes it had grown bright red and was radiating heat. Then, Peggy somehow managed to step on a tack that found its way inside of her shoe.
By the time they reached #7 on the list, Peggy had suffered a sprained ankle, Greg had spilled ink down his new polo, the computer they were using dropped the internet connection multiple times and had to be rebooted twice, they were both locked out of the journalism room upon returning from a bathroom break (where Greg was the victim of a faulty urinal) and Peggy had almost been run down by a weirdo on a unicycle.
“I think we should just stop while we’re ahead, Peggy. You need to get ice on that ankle and I am desperate for a hot shower and change of clothes. Let’s just scrap the list idea and put a fluff piece in instead. It’s safer,” Greg said as he fussed with the ink stain that oddly resembled a stegosaurus flying a kite.
Peggy didn’t respond. She was lost in her own thoughts as she stared through the grimy school windows to the grey courtyard beyond. “You know, for each event on the list… we’ve suffered our own ‘accident’,” Peggy’s voice had a far-away tone and Greg got the feeling she wasn’t really talking to him. “Seven events on our list… seven accidents,” Greg felt a chill go up his spine as he watched his co-editor and closest friend rock slowly in front of the window. The dying light from outside causing her silhouette to take on a foreboding, almost unnatural look.
“Ok, that’s it… hang the paper. We’re done,” Greg said and jumping up from his chair he grabbed Peggy by the wrist and dragged her out of the room.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: So my initial idea for today was to list thirteen things that were weird that happened to me, but … I couldn’t think of that many. So I wrote about some kids- who couldn’t think of 13 things.
TWO: I saw a guy on a unicycle today… peddling his little tush off on his way to class. Thought it was odd enough to mention.
THREE: While in mid-conversation today, my right ear suddenly began to grow very warm. Eventually, it got so hot I could feel the heat radiating off of it and could see that it was significantly redder than my left ear. This has happened to me several time in the past, and each time I find it very bizarre. There are all kinds of urban legends, I guess, about what this might mean, ‘someone is talking about you’, ‘you’re about to have very good luck’, or something like that. So, I’m curious, have any of you experienced this one hot ear phenomenon or have you heard what it might mean? Let me know!
Love & Squirrels.