Unlucky Thirteen

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“Adams, Steven…check.”

“Barlow, Matthew…check.”

“Howard, Emily…check.”

“Hmm, now where was he again.” I check the names over each of the skateboarder’s head. “Ah, yes, there he is.”

With a sift flick of my wrist, my scythe clips the reckless teenager. I glance at my list as I walk past the shocked and screaming faces of his friends. “Lemon, Zach…check.”

Twelve down just one to go, then I can head out for my much needed holiday. Five-day cruise that is guaranteed not to require my services. “Can’t wait.”

“Excuse me,” a little wicked witch says as she bumps into me.

A witch? Why is there a little witch walking down the street in Clipperville? In the middle of the day? Other little nocturnal ghosts and mysterious goblins scuttle back and forth between the shops. Oh good lord, I forgot it’s Halloween.

Wait! Halloween. I scan my list again, and turn over the page desperately hoping there was another name on the backside. Thirteen. No! I can’t have thirteen names on Halloween. It’s not that I am superstitious or anything. No, a grim reaper can’t be superstitious. It’s just…well…thirteen is an unlucky number. Especially on Halloween.

“Let’s just get this over with,” I say to myself and head off to my next scheduled pick-up.

Who the heck lives here? This place looks like it belongs in a haunted graveyard rather than a quaint little town. There are skeletons and tombstones all over the front yard, and eerie music floats from somewhere in the back yard.

I look at my list one last time to get the name right and go to knock on the door. Instead of a regular door or doorknocker, this nutter has a bronze casting of Merlin, the great spellcaster, mounted to his door. What kind of freak is this?

Thunder crashes overhead even though it is a cloudless sky. Just knock on the door and get this over with you scaredy cat! Who would ever believe that a grim reaper would be scared of taking the thirteenth person on Halloween? But, hello, here I am. Standing here, on his front porch, looking like a complete idiot. If I had a heart, I am sure it would be leaping out of my chest and running down the street by now.

I raise my arm to knock when the door suddenly opens. I’m beyond terrified! I accidentally dropped my scythe and it hit…Jenny, his maid. Yep, I, a grim reaper, first-class, made a mistake.

So, here I sit, rather than enjoying my five-day cruise, I have to sit at this stupid desk for the next three thousand years and check people in as they arrive. Someone kill me now…please?


This was written for the M.M.H.B. Challenge. Required words are in bold (I did use a variation of superstition).

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