Superstitious

Today was not a lucky day. That is, if you’re superstitious.
Although it was a Friday, my little brother, Henry, was still in bed, having only fifteen minutes before he had to go to school. But, seeing the date on the calendar, he had flatly refused to get out of bed.
“Today’s Friday the thirteenth!” he had cried fervently, as I stood in the doorway to his bedroom, for perhaps the tenth time, ordering him to get up. “Today’s unlucky!”
I gave an extravagant snort. Sometimes, Henry is too superstitious for his own good.
“Look at the bright sky!” I said stubbornly, pointing out the window, which was surrounded by printed-out pages on how to avoid bad luck and evil. “And, trust me, all that’s nonsense.”
But Henry gave a shudder, and buried himself in his bed covers.
A bird came fluttering through the open window.
“Why, look at that!” I exclaimed. “Even nature is happy today!”
Henry gave a stifled scream upon seeing the bird.
“Get it out! Get it out! A bird coming through a window brings evil!” he snarled.
I groaned, and brought out his horse-shoe from his desk.
“Look, all this stuff is nonsense!” I snarled, shaking it so venomously at him that he flinched.
“Fine,” he said nervously,” I’ll come downstairs. But be careful! You may break it! That’s bad luck.”
At breakfast, things did not run smoothly. It started when I was handling the salt, and accidentally spilled it over the table. Henry screamed:
“No! More bad luck! I knew it!” And crossed his fingers savagely.
I groaned again, and slammed the salt container on the table, dislodging a small mirror, which fell on the floor and smashed.
Henry moaned, rocking back and forwards.
I stifled another groan, and slammed my hat onto the table to shut him up.

Well, that did it. Apparently, putting a hat onto a table means bad luck.
As I walked to school alone, I thought that superstition really could change lives. I mean, fear of bad luck could make people go to extraordinary lengths in order to avoid it. Going out through the same door you came in, opening an umbrella outdoors and not indoors, and those people spending hours looking for four-leaved clovers…

In fact, I was thinking so intently about superstitions that I did not see the ladder until it was much too late.

I had a brilliant day at school, contrary to what Henry gravely predicted, and came back home with surprisingly few homework. That was good, since the love of my live, Hannah, just asked me out today. I was to come to her house on Saturday. The sun was still shining, the birds were singing, and I was whistling as I came around the driveway to my house. The smile faded from my face.

Mum was frantically rushing about, in a frenzy to attend to Henry, who was…

In bed, with a high fever. But he seemed fine this morning!

You know, Saturday went horribly. Hannah was called away because a relative of hers died, so she had to cancel any other appointments. Also, ironically, I would have been more happy if I had some more homework, as I spend the entire day in a daze, spending my time repeatedly thinking about the bird… the salt… the mirror…
I grabbed Henry’s rabbit foot from its drawer, and stared at it.
Perhaps superstition works, after all…

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