Just My Luck
Just My Luck
By Matthew Thoemke
It was a normal Thursday morning in August, the alarm went off at 3:30 am and my mother had knocked on my door to wake me up. I stumbled around my dark room to search for the cleanest clothes I could find. I hadn’t washed my clothes in weeks! I eventually found the door handle by feeling my way around, and had grabbed my coffee cup which was sitting on the corner of the kitchen table for me. As I walked out to the living room I accidentally stepped on my cat’s tail. I screamed within my head as the scorching coffee froth spilled all over my arm and the floor. He darted off to the living room as I looked at my coffee-coated arm.
I got my shoes on after I finally got out to the living room. The cat wanted to go outside, so I let him out as I stepped out the door. As I walked the dark and gloomy path to the garage, my mother started the car and the cat ran to a dark corner of the yard. I could see two little green eyes leering at us as we drove off to the distribution center where we picked up our papers. A group of rabbits had made their burrow on the side of the road, which was in the middle of our drive to our destination. As I started to fall asleep, I heard a loud thud from the front of the car. My mom, being halfway asleep had hit one of them. I looked at the mirror to see the little thing lie their and twitch as it made its final attempt at life. I had never liked seeing things die, and that had only made my day worse than it already was. But I had no idea of what was to come.
We eventually picked up our 110 papers and started to drive to the route, which was about three blocks away from our house. I decided to change the way I walked my route, because it had started to become bland. I was to walk my route backwards, and start at the man-made lake. When we arrived at the route I got out of the car, and carried my 40 papers, and looked over to the lake. I noticed the large fountain in the middle of it was turned off at this time of the day. I slammed the door shut, and a flock of birds peeped and squawked as they flew away crossing the lake. I was hoping I hadn’t awakened anyone. My mom drove away having witnessed what had happened.
I looked at my map and tried to memorize part of my route. “Go, Stop, Go, Go, Stop, Stop…” I said to myself as I walked to the first house. This house had a ten foot walk to the door after I had walked past their garage. It was a dark walkway and I had heard something rustle in the corner by the door. I stepped into the middle of the walkway and as I did, the motion lights illuminated the walkway. It was then that I could see what was sitting in the corner. I realized that it was only a cat. As I went on my knee to put the their paper in the door, the little thing hissed at me and pawed me in the face. Then it decided to run away, and then I realized what coincidence had occurred. It was a black cat but I didn’t look at it as something to worry about, because with my luck, it couldn’t get worse than it already was.
I had only gotten to the last couple houses when the next event was to occur. As I approached the house closest to Sheyenne, I started to bag their paper, as they did not have a box or a storm door. I went up their only step under a roof that stood over a concrete porch. I looked up to their bow-window and peered inside out of curiosity. I bit my tongue as I saw a figure of an elderly man in the window. It was a very “different” experience for me, because I have never seen someone else when I was doing my route at four in the morning, with the exception of the occasional jogger. I waved to him, but he just kept staring at me with a stern look on his face. I tossed the paper to the door in a rush and it made a loud thump, but he kept staring. I then started to turn around. I looked over my shoulder quickly and realized he wasn’t there. I ran as fast as I could to the other side of the street while heading East.
I delivered to three houses while I was running, but the last house did not have a storm-door. I sat on the step and started to wrap their paper. It was then that I heard a door slam. I quickly looked over to the house that I had ran from, and saw a man picking up his paper. He tossed it inside his house, and started walking across the street. My mind started to run. I was scared and I felt a scared-sour shock on the sides of my tongue. I stumbled with the paper, trying to bag it as quickly as I could. The bag slipped on quickly but it was then that I realized that it had ripped all the way along the side, because one of the corners had caught. I debagged the paper and then reached for another bag. I remember on my ‘Route List Report’ that this was the the Anderson house. I said to myself “stupid Anderson’s why don’t you have a storm door, that one isn’t made for weather!” I decided to just toss the paper on their step, without a bag and started to run to 1st street and around the block.
I then reached Estate’s Drive and delivered to the scheduled houses. I walked along the curvy road and noticed that ahead of me there was a house with its porch lights on. I walked to their door, to go deliver their paper. As I was about to do so my mind started to race without me realizing it. *I was on their porch and the ghost I thought I had seen earlier was running toward me. He then grabbed me by the neck and started choking me by pressing his thumbs down on my neck.* It then blurred out of my vision and I realized I was “day” dreaming. I had been standing their for a while, and I looked behind me to see if I had delivered to that house. I had, and there was someone looking out the window parallel to the door. I turned and waved, then started to walk away, heading south.
It was about four houses down that I heard something rustle across the street. Scared, I smacked my bag of papers to make my awareness known to them. I turned and stared across the street to the block, nothing there. I checked my watch… 4:35, then started to walk away from the house toward the next one. I approached their step, placed the paper in the door, then turned and heard another rustle. I hit my carrier bag of papers again, and proceeded to the next house. My mind started to run again. *The man I saw in the window was across the street from me. He started to say something, and he looked angry, “You* My thought was disturbed by a sound. It was then that I could hear footsteps.
They got louder, and louder. And my mind started to run, and run. I quickly ran to the next house, “meh… another house with a 10 foot corridor to the door” I said to myself. They did not have porch lights, so I hid in the darkness. The footsteps still got louder, and they started to get faster. Soon enough, I saw a figure come around the corner of the block ahead of me. The sweat rolled off my forehead, even though I could see my breath before my eyes. He then came to a halt and leaned forward and grabbed his knees. He soon started running again and it was then that I could see his face and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the man who was staring out his window earlier!
I started to realize what had happened earlier, but I could not explain the rustling. He had only been up to go for a jog in the morning and maybe he just wasn’t a morning person, so he looked angry. I then felt safe to leave the corridor. It was good timing too, because the jogger was starting to come closer. I walked out on to the boulevard to talk to him, since he had waved for me to come over. He said to me, “I’ll be a-jogging every mornin’ at about half-past four, so you can just give me the paper when I come ‘round the block.”
I replied, “Okay, but I’ll have to deliver to your house on Sunday, or when its raining.” He nodded and he started to run away. The sun was almost up, the sky was starting to turn purple and the pitch-black morning was gone. I continued on my route. But it still bothered me, “what were those rustling noises I heard earlier” I said to myself. I then heard another rustling noise behind me…
I then turned around. The noise started to get louder, and I couldn’t see what it was even though the sky had gotten brighter. It was then that I heard a ratcheting noise, and it sounded like the spray of a sprinkler. I looked to my left a little-bit. It was the sprinkler this whole time! I then felt a wet spray between my legs. I was standing in front of the sprinkler! It hit me between the legs so it looked like I was wetting my pants. I said to myself, “Just my Luck” and kept walking…