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Bad Luck (standard:humor, 692 words)
Author: BENTLINKAdded: Feb 26 2012Views/Reads: 2227/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
You just cannot escape people who believe in luck.

Bad Luck 

He had been born into a family of louts that harbored a three generation
deep paralyzing fear of change.  These near-do-wells blamed every 
misfortune in their lives on bad luck, much of it thought to be brought 
on by daring to do something new or different.  They were convinced it 
was not their collective distain for education or total lack of 
gumption that accounted for the multiple generations of hardship they 
had been forced to endure, but was instead a long lasting run of cursed 
bad luck. 

For most of his early childhood, he walked along with all his family
under this dark shadow of superstition and despair.  Each day he 
carefully knotted his shoes exactly the same way.  One could only guess 
at the cascade of awful events a person might set loose by putting on a 
left shoe first or stepping on a crack while walking to school.  He 
tried his up-most to be the model of discipline at the dinner table for 
rules were rules.  Spilled salt was a minor infraction and would bring 
forth a loud but short-lived wave of wrath from an adult.  However 
using a spoon to eat meat or fish was even worse that breaking a mirror 
on the family's bad luck scale and therefore carried a harsher penalty. 
 Eating alone in the kitchen often followed the less grievous 
infractions but the punishment laws were far more flexible than the 
rules he had allegedly broken.  He learned early on the punishment 
levied for a broken luck rule depended more on the kind of day the 
parents were having than on any understandable logical rule set. 

As he grew a bit more mature, he reasoned he must surely have been
adopted into this family of lazy idiots.  The adoption idea gave him 
great comfort for many months until a nosy vociferous next-door 
neighbor dispelled it, he almost cried when informed he was with out 
question a spawn from this the shallowest end of humankind's human gene 

He came to despise his family unit so much that the decided he would
“Bad Luck” them first to complete financial ruin then painful death by 
ill luck.  He jumped on every sidewalk crack with both feet, made 
special side trips on his way home form school to walk beneath ladders 
at local hardware and paint stores.  He collected empty soft drink 
bottles and cans for their deposits then used the money to purchase 
cheap mirrors he broke when sent to his room for bad luck evoking 

His reasoning was as unsound as the family's distrust of change but it
served to keep him mentally afloat until he was old enough to escape 
his dysfunctional home-life by repeatedly committing minor crimes. 
Declared incorrigible he went to a juvenile detention center to await 
his 18th birthday. 

Enlistment in the army became his highway to happiness.  Basic training
with its clear understandable instructions was a vacation.  The young 
man found the combat drills and surprise inspections far less stressful 
than living in fear of breaking the incomprehensible rules of his 
family home.  He was also visibly happy to be free of the detention 
center and the constant threat of violence and rape. 

His drill instructor had never seen a recruit adapt to the army's
rigorous training so quickly.  The boy seemed to welcome the ridged 
rules and forced marches.  The sergeant even gave some thought to 
sending the lad to see the base psychiatrists because he seemed so 

In due course, his advance training was completed and the unit was
ordered into combat as replacements for killed and wounded men and 
women.  His first meaningful assignment was driving a supply truck to a 
forward base.  The truck carried a sundry load of meals ready to eat, 
video equipment, DVDs, medical supplies and toilet tissue.  The 
Sergeant in charge gave him detailed instructions about following the 
marked route and orders not to slow or stop for any reason. 

As he was ready to pass through the green zones base's last check point
his Master Sergeant leaned into the truck window and handed him a 
rabbit's foot key chain. 


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