Lucky

“We’re gonna be lucky,” Hank said. The fields were dotted with white, and his brow was beaded with sweat “It’ll be a good crop.”

“You’ve done me proud, boy,” his father answered. “You’re actually going to save this place.”

“Just a few more weeks till harvest,” he said. “It’ll all be worth it.” And so he headed out to the field east of the creek, continuing his weekly routine of walking the fields, inspecting the cotton from the ground level.

***

“Just a few more weeks,” Hank said to his wife when she met him on the porch.

She replied by holding out her phone, lit up with a picture of spiraling clouds. “You been tracking this storm?”

Hank barely spared a glance. “We’re gonna be lucky,” he said, pulling off his boots “It’s supposed to miss us. We’ll have time to get the harvest in.”

***

They didn’t.

The storm took a sharp turn inland, then stalled. Ravaging winds, torrential downpours, debris, flooding. All Hank’s investments were a loss, his work wasted. But after the winds subsided, he stepped outside to examine the old elm that had fallen just a few feet from the house. “Lucky,” he muttered. “We’re so lucky.”

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox

Lucky

I remember stars. I remember the world cracking open. I remember voices. “Come here . . . Did you see that? . . . Wake up . . .”

“You’re very lucky,” the doctor had said. Conscious, but still heavily medicated, I had struggled to comprehend why I felt like a fly in a spiderweb. Later I would understand about the hospital, the ambulance, and the collision. And while the doctors pieced me together, I tried to piece together my memories.

I remember a broken heel. I remember twisting, crunching, crashing, rending. I remember a tinkling rain of falling glass.

“The EMT’s said they found you alone on the sidewalk. Do you have any idea how you got there? Do you have any idea who might have placed the 911 call? Do you have any idea what happened?”

I remember a hand reaching out. I remember twisting shadows, glowing red eyes, claws, fangs, laughter. I remember a celestial light, trumpets sounding in the night, sheltering beneath wings.

“Do you have any idea how lucky you are?”

Lucky . . .

“Hey beautiful, where you going? Stick around—this is your lucky night. What, you don’t want to talk to me? Come here, bitch. I said, come here.”

I try not to remember.

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox