Lucky 13 – by MICKIE BOLLING-BURKE

His head shone like a beacon calling ships home from the sea, and he sat on that bus stop bench as if he had every right to be there. She despised bald men – they disgusted her. They were an abomination unto the Lord. Suffer not a bald man to live.

The earlier rain had softened the ground so it took her footsteps silently now. She stood behind him, fighting her nausea as she stared at his naked, bulbous, obscene head. She slowly pulled her hammer from her black raincoat pocket, raised her arm, and struck him. She slammed his foul head again and again.

When he slid off the bench, she ran around to the front and hit him again. She counted carefully – thirteen blows. Always thirteen blows. She stared down at his body, and then toed it. No reaction. A radiant smile lit up her face. She wiped her hammer on his coat, stored it back in her pocket and sighed happily.

“Lucky number thirteen.” She giggled. “Thank you.”

In turning to go, her feet slipped in the gore of his brain matter, bone shards, and blood. She thrashed desperately to keep her balance, but slipped off the curb and landed heavily on her back, hitting her head on the road.

She lay there, dazed. When her head cleared, she struggled to push herself on to her knees, but her hands slipped through the mud and the blood. She was stuck, her arms and feet flailing in the air.

The sound of shifting gears startled her. She turned her head and stared into oncoming headlights. The number thirteen bus was early tonight.

***

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Growing up on the east coast, Mickie kept her wrist watch at California time. When she finally made it to the palm trees and Pacific Ocean of the west coast, she knew she’d come home. Working as an actor fed her creative soul, until her beloved Los Angeles grew too big for her. She and her family now live in a small corner of the southwest, where she finds the sky as majestic and blue as she did the ocean. Mickie spends her time hiking, drawing, reading and writing horror and suspense stories inspired by her much adored rescue cat, Pal.
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