Friday the 13th

“I think I’m cursed,” Mel says as she slips another form-fitting dress over her narrow hips. “Of all days, he picks Friday the 13th for our first date. I mean, what does that even mean?”

“That he wants to go out with you.” Which is more than I can say for myself. Hungover, still leery of tight spaces. The only reason I can think of for why she’s dragged me into this fitting room with her is to show off a body I’ve always been envious of.

Yet she says she’s cursed.

I don’t tell her about last night. I’d rather forget it ever happened. But the truth is… Even as I try to push it from my mind, I can’t help but get this sinking feeling…

That I left someone down there to die.

© 2018 Nortina Simmons

A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles or 100-word stories (this one went slightly over) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “Friday the 13th.”

Read previous: “E” is for “Edgar Allan Poe.”

Read next: “G” is for “Grace.”

Waiting Up for Ghosts

“Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is,” Darin says.

If I had money, I’d be paying a taxi to get me the hell out of here. But my money is in my wallet, which is in my purse, with my phone, in the trunk of Darin’s car, parked half a block from here.

The whole point is to be completely cut off from the rest of the world—no distractions so we don’t miss anything. Just me and Darin and this dead tree stump, where three weeks ago a group of teenagers supposedly spotted Midtown’s prom night ghost.

But I don’t believe in ghosts, or so, that’s what I’ve tried to convince Darin of, but right now, I’m having a hard time convincing myself, because at every creep and crack, I’m shivering to my bones in Darin’s lap. And he seems to like it—let his hand slip under my skirt the last time I jumped.

“We’re supposed to be watching for ghosts.” And I recall this was how our particular ghost got herself killed. Alone in the dark woods with a guy she didn’t know. And here I am, alone, in the dark, on the year’s unluckiest night, sitting by the edge of the forest with a man who pretends he didn’t see me when he touches my breast.

And I have to pretend I don’t want him to touch me again.

“It’s just the animals,” he says.

He reclines on the blanket, tugs the back of my blouse for me to lie down next to him. I tell him I’m not afraid—but I should be.

When he’s on top of me—the hem of my skirt drawn up to my navel—that’s when we hear the distant scream. A gust of wind splits through the tall grass, and Darin’s face flashes brilliantly, like lightning.

© 2017 Nortina Simmons