Lucky Number Thirteen

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is my first thriller. It is a work in progress despite it being a full story. Very loosely inspired by one of my favorite stories, "For Bob Dylan" by Joyce Carol Oates, "Lucky Number Thirteen" is about a high school student who falls for the mysterious stranger that boarded the bus one day.

Submitted: May 07, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 07, 2012

A A A

A A A


 

Lucky Number Thirteen

 

That day started like any other. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and mom was nagging me about school again. Hunched over the kitchen table my cereal danced in the bowl as the spoon took the lead.  

“Are you even paying attention?” she asked. “You know that if you keep slipping up you’re going to flunk out of high school don’t you?”

“I already told you; as long as I manage to keep my grades in the C and D range I’m going to be fine. Besides, Joey did this and you never bugged him about it,” I retorted while my eyes remained glued to the slushing milk.

Breathing a sigh of defeat her attention turned to my bowl. “Are you actually going to eat your breakfast today or do you want me to throw it away again?”

I looked up at her for a second and glanced back down at my bowl. Closing my eyes I shake my head and plop the spoon in the mush that was once cereal.

“I thought so,” she said turning away from me to dump the failed breakfast into the trash. “What made you think I didn’t do anything when your brother went through school?” She slowly turned her head as she scraped the remaining chunks.

I just stared at her back, sitting in silence not sure of what to say. It had been a year since my brother passed away. He and I were close and as much as I hated pulling the Big Brother card it was the only thing that seemed to get Mom off of my back. She always thought he was a bad influence for me. After a few painfully slow minutes I grabbed my bags off the floor. Standing in unison she watched me carefully, still expecting response I guess. Shrugging I throw my backpack over one shoulder and my purse over the other. We exchange looks one more time as I start off towards the front door leaving her behind to start another day of school.

Truth is, if I put a little effort into my work I’d be at an A average. The only reason I’m doing horribly is because I’m not interested in what they’re teaching. Every year it’s the same lessons even if it is supposed to be a higher level course. I’m getting tired of those broken records. I want something new, something exciting, and something I can really sink my teeth into. I know if I even tried to explain that to mom she’d say I was being whiny and using my boredom as an excuse. Then she’d probably go off on an hour long rant about how in middle school I had the A/B honor roll every year and how I could’ve skipped grades and started college by now.

Then again she always had high expectations for me. “Don’t be like your brother,” she’d always say. “With your grades you could do whatever you want. With his he could be stuck in a fast food joint for the rest of his working life.” Yeah right, even with his low grades he managed to get into a good college and become the manager of a game company. Besides, I am doing what I want. I’m taking a well needed break. Sure I’m taking it my freshman year of high school, but it’s just one year.

My feet crunch on the gravel road as I near the bus stop. A large oak tree mangles and twists around the street sign practically swallowing it whole welcoming me back. The sun warms my fair freckled skin as I brush the hair out of my eyes. The tangled red mess always gets in the way.

“Trapped in your hair again Trix?” a familiar voice calls out.

Parting the red sea I manage to find the source of the voice. “Well if it isn’t little miss sarcasm herself. What are you doing here Kim I thought your dad was driving you to school?”

“Well,” she started. “He was going to drive me up to school when he got called in early today. He said that something bad happened and they needed him there ASAP.”

A chill ran up my spine. “Your dad works at the prison right?”

“Yeah, Trixie, I could’ve sworn I told you this about a hundred times.” Her eyebrows sloped into a sly stare.

“You know I get panicky when you mention the prison,” I say as I grip my purse strap. “What if one of those freaks was to get out?”

Laughing, Kim put an arm around me. “Don’t worry. Things like this happen all of the time. Besides, for all we know it could just be a food fight gone wrong.”

I looked up at her through the thin red curtain that remained. My heart continued to sink in my chest.

“My dad wasn’t hired at that prison for being a wimp Trix. I’m sure he can handle what’s going on,” she assured me.

The bus crawled down the road like a giant yellow caterpillar covered in evenly spaced black spots. Its thick shining skin, scratched from years past, opened to let us in. Kim got on first. My foot barely moved when a heavy rustling of leaves stopped me in my tracks. Quickly glancing around my eyes darted across natures’ canvas. From the ominous oak snaking its way to the ground, to the neighbor’s mailbox, nothing could be found.

“I hope you’re right Kim.” I take one more look before getting on the bus. “I hope you’re right.”

Watching the world go by through the metal frame my mind struggles to find a distraction from Kim’s reason for riding today. If only ADD could kick in when you want it to. My eyes search for something to latch on to. Anything will do right now, perhaps a lamp-post or maybe even a bush of some sort. Nothing, nothing could drag my thoughts away from the prison and the endless chaos that was erupting behind those brick walls. Nearing the last stop on the route as the bus came to a halt something finally caught my eye. Readjusting my position I could see a new face. I know the school year hadn’t started that long ago yet he certainly was a newcomer.

“What you looking at?” Kim rushed to my side pushing me as far out of the way as possible. “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”

“Kim, can you please get off of me. I can’t sit here hugging the seat in front of me the whole trip,” I pleaded, my voice muffled from the leather seat.

“Oops, my bad Trix,” she said as she shrunk back in the seat. “So who’s the hottie? Is he a friend of yours?”

“Oh come on Kim, you know I couldn’t get a guy like that even if I tried.”

“Oh really?” she joked giving me the fourth degree. “You’re one of best looking girls in our school. I mean you may not exactly be at eye level with half of the guys in our grade but…”

“Kim!” I slap her arm.

“What? You know you could have any guy you want. Just ask someone already.”

Looking back out the window I couldn’t help but bite my lip. The new kid is kind of cute. His pitch black shades covered a good portion of his face. His squared jaw carried a sweet smile while his heavy hand lowered the brim on his red and black plaid fedora.  An array of pins covered the right side of his dark grey button up. A simple black scarf hung from his neck like a ribbon on scissors. With a plain white t-shirt underneath he tried to tuck it into his baggy blue jeans obviously worn from years of wear and tear.

“Maybe you should ask Romeo over there?” Kim suggested as she peered over my shoulder.

“You can’t be serious?” I blurted.

Raising an eyebrow she backed off and shrugged. “Well if you don’t want to I can understand, but you’re passing up a perfect opportunity.”

For the remainder of the ride and the day itself I kept an eye open for this mystery student. No matter where I went I couldn’t find him. I even asked around and no one knew anything about a new student. Heck, even some of the kids on my bus didn’t even realize he was there until I brought him up. Just goes to show how much people pay attention around here. Then again, this is a rather tight knit community. The people round here don’t really care much for newcomers.

Claiming my seat on the bus once more I pulled out my cell checking the time along with my texts. It all seemed too odd. I know I saw him this morning. Glancing up out the window every now and then I kept an eye out for mister mysterious. How can someone new to the area get on a bus without being noticed by everyone else around? One more look out the window.

Sigh, “No sign of him.”

“No sign of whom?”

My heart jumps along with the rest of my body. “What the hell was that fo…?” I started as darted around in defense mode. It was him. My heart sank to the floor. I sat there like a deer in headlights.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you,” He nervously said scratching the back of his head. “May I sit here?”

Staring in shock my heart flutters.

“Are you okay?” He asked.

“What? Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I’m just a little out of it today,” I stammered. “Sit, I wasn’t saving it for anyone.”

“Thanks. I’m Eric, Eric Horn.”

Eric Horn, why does that name sound familiar? “Do I know you from somewhere or have any family nearby?”

“No,” he said. “Why do you ask?”

“No reason. The name just sounds familiar.”

Minutes go by as we sit stuck in an awkward silence. The minutes feel like hours as life outside the grimy windows slows down. The world blurs as I catch a glimpse of his green eyes. His shades must have been in his backpack. I look to the floor, no bag. Maybe he has them in his pocket. I mean he is new here so it’s not like he’ll be getting any of the books right away. Then again…

“Looks like my stop’s coming up,” he said pulling out the black shades from this morning. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Eric?” I panicked. “Can I ask you something?”

He slid his glasses revealing those golden suns. “Sure, what is it?”

“I really don’t know how to say this but, would you like to go out sometime?” I tensed up gripping my purse.

“Uh, sure I’d love to,” he paused. “How about later today?”

I can’t believe this is actually happening. “That sounds great. Should I give you my number or address?”

“No, no I’m sure I’ll know where to find you.” He rose from the seat. “I’ll see you later.”

I can’t believe it. I just asked someone out. Oh if only Kim was here to see it. The rest of the ride flew on by as I anxiously awaited my stop. Skipping off of the bus I nearly danced the whole way back to my house. With an extra hop in my step I nearly scared my mom into thinking I had gone insane.

Throwing my bags on the bed I began to tear my closet and dresser apart looking for the perfect outfit. This would be so much easier if my wardrobe didn’t include hand-me-downs from my brother’s closet. I guess I’ll have to make do with what I’ve got.

As day turned to night all I could think of was him. Every thought was about Eric. They started out as simple fantasies and progressed into deep thoughts. How was he supposed to find my home anyways? He wouldn’t even let me give him my number. An engine roars out my bedroom window.  

The doorbell chimes as my mom cracks the door open, the creak barely noticeable over the roar. Rushing down the stairs my sneakers clap as the keychain on my purse jingles in envy of the racket.

Rushing to a halt I catch my mom before she can speak, “Alright mom I’ll take it from here.” Catching my breath I take the door and exit forcing Eric further down the porch. “So where are we going?”

A smirk rises from his mouth. “It’s a surprise.”

The moon was up and the owls were singing their evening song as Eric and I rode into the darkness. It didn’t matter where we were going or what he had planned all I know is that I felt safe. I felt as if I had a second chance. I felt as if I had found someone who I could trust. He parked the car near the edge of a forest and after a minute or so leaned in for a kiss.

“This won’t hurt a bit,” he said. As he leaned in closer the quick snap of a blade popping open pierced the tender moment.

“What the hell are you doing?” I nearly screamed fidgeting to break free.

“Shhhhh,” he hissed putting a figure to my lips. “You’re my lucky number thirteen.”

Forcing his finger into my mouth the salty grime of the dirt between his nails filled my mouth. Squirming in agony my fear turned to rage as I took one hard chomp at his finger, not enough to make him bleed but enough to distract him. Using what little time I had I struggled for the door handle wiggling it in hopes that it would swing open until it actually did.

“Get back here you bitch!” he screamed pulling back in the car by my shirt collar.

“No!” I growled elbowing him hard in the face.

Now’s my chance. Grabbing my purse off of the car floor I made a run for it. My mad dash into the darkness seemed useless. Even when my eyes began to adjust I still had no clue as to where was, but I couldn’t give up. All I knew was that there was a long dirt road beneath my feet and that bastard was probably trying to chase after me.

In the distance a green beacon of hope stood tall. It was a sign welcoming me home. Pausing for a second I took one quick look around. Nothing but barren trees and darkness surrounded me.

“Honey I’m home!”

The next morning sirens filled the thick foggy air as the news vans hovered around the scene. A jet black car sits at the side of the road not too far from the blood bath. A lone witness stands in the middle of a group of vultures picking him for information.

“When did you find her?” one of them asked.

“Was she a friend of yours?” said another.

The puffy foam-like microphones flailed in the air as they fought for a second with the witness. Pushing his shades up with his ring finger and middle finger his squared jaw held an unwelcome grimace.

“She was a good friend of mine,” Raising his head to look deep into the camera. “Lucky number thirteen.” Fixing his fedora he pushed through the crowd and walked back to his car. Taking one more look at the body now torn and mangled bathing in its own blood, he blew it a kiss and was never seen again. 


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