The old wives tale crept into my head as I leaned against a crooked tree nestled in the heart of Briar Forest, pen in hand, contemplating life. Sometimes, I came here alone to jot down ideas or write little, dark tales. It was good therapy, a way to channel my angst, and something I needed to do.
As I doodled in the margins, I wondered how much worse it could be if the Friday’s Child also happened to be born on the 13th. I pondered it, making notes as I did and added more to my story.
I smelled trouble in the air but deep in thought, I dismiss it. Then a shiver crept up my back like an icy finger.
I froze, reined in my nature sure to betray me in a heartbeat, and stopped breathing.
Immovable, like the rooted tree I leaned against, I realized what had chilled me was no breeze but a human finger.
“You’ve lost your way?” the voice attached to the frosty digit, asked.
“No,” I replied, willing myself to remain still no matter how much I needed to explode from the forest floor.
“What brings you here?” The male peered over my shoulder at the tale I’d begun weaving. “Are you a writer?”
“No. Not really,” I replied, my eyes shifting to better catch a glimpse of the drunken intruder as he slinked his way around me and the tree trunk. “I like to dabble.”
“In what?” The young, golden-haired man asked. I knew him from school – the jock who fancied himself a scholar. Brawny and rugged, his face promised everything dangerous. He didn’t know me.
“Things that wouldn’t interest you,” I said, my tone uninviting and curt. Perhaps my cool disposition would discourage him. I could only hope, for both our sakes.
Quick-handed, he ripped the journal from my grasp. I jerked forward, reaching for my story – the one I planned to submit to Bleeding Ink – and then I changed my mind.
Let him read a little. It might make him think…
“Ah, I see you’re interested in myths and lore.” He smirked after he skimmed over a few lines from my tale.
“Yes,” I said, biting the inside of my mouth. I wanted to punish the idiot for trespassing all over my sanctuary. Anger rose. Careful, I simply said, “I am.”
“Anything in par-ti-cular?” He annunciated.
“Dark fiction, mostly.” I had no idea why I felt the need to converse with him. Go away, leave me in peace. “It’s just about a guy born on Friday the thirteenth.”
“Friday? The thirteenth?” He laughed. “You’ve got to be joking.”
“I’m not,” I said, glaring up at him. He’d made himself comfortable on the musty ground in front of me. I didn’t like it one bit. “What’s your name again?”
“Josh,” he cocked his head, gave me smile like he’d done me a great big favor. He didn’t ask me mine.
“Well, Josh, right before you barged in here, I’d been wondering what kind of life someone born on that day would lead.”
“Don’t believe any of that it’s-unlucky-stuff,” he said, his eyes darting to where branches snapped about a hundred feet behind me. “It’s a charmed life.”
“It is?” My senses picked up Josh’s buddies who’d finally caught up to him. My blood heated up. My body tingled and I knew what he was going to say right before he said it.
“I was born on the thirteenth.” He grinned. “’And I’m a Friday’s child.” He shouted the words like they were lyrics to a rock anthem and not just the title of my little dark story.
“Really…” My voice took on a honeyed tone, all dripping wet. The boys stumbled out from behind the trees.
“Yeah, really. Take this moment for instance. Not only is it Friday the thirteenth, but you’re here all alone and lonely, writing a story about a guy born on Friday the thirteenth.” He waved my journal in the air. “And guess what? I’m a horny guy born on Friday the thirteenth here with a few of my friends. All of us together – makes a partay!”
The drunken crew cheered.
“Now, how lucky is that?” he asked, advancing toward me.
“The answer to your question is in the last paragraph, Josh.” I pointed to my journal, fisted in his hand. “Why don’t you read it out loud for everyone to hear? I think the InkBabes are going to love it.”
“Babes?” he said, flipping through the pages. “Freaking good idea.”
“As he approached the young woman – with cold-hearted plans to take everything from her – he had no idea he faced a soul-eating demon. Unable to deny her hunger any longer she could not resist his Friday’s Child soul. With glowing eyes the color of death and blood, she ripped the young man apart swallowing his soul and devouring his black heart. Then she turned around, looking for more.”