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Authors: Penelope Crowe

100 Unfortunate Days (4 page)

BOOK: 100 Unfortunate Days
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Seven years from the day the jar is sealed the hair turns into snakes. The person who owns the jar has two options. Option one: release the snakes. They will slither away to find any person who has wounded you, bite them, and kill them. Option two: open the jar and place one grain of sugar inside. This makes the snakes sleep forever, but the water in the jar is now as potent as the poison of the snake and you can use it at your own discretion and have the joy of watching your victim die. It’s important to note that the snakes know what you are planning and they will try to bite and kill you first. This happened to my mother’s aunt—and they said she died from falling and hitting the back of her head on the wooden floor.

Day 22

There are certain people who stare at the stars. Sometimes the pull of the moon affects their eyes and their once blue irises turn into big glittery black coins. If they stare at you too long, you know they hate you.

Day 23

Once there was a little girl. She went into her grandmother’s special cabinet and took out all the scarves. Some were bright pink with gold coins sewn to them, some were square and some were rectangular, one had the bright eyes of many foxes, but all were silk. She knew the scarves were magic, and she brought them outside with a basket of clothes pins. She hung the scarves on the weeping willow tree in the back yard all around the low-hanging outside branches, and formed a beautiful house with windows and a big door that opened and closed.

As she clipped the last pin to the last scarf the house filled with gold furniture, and the fox jumped off the scarf and became her pet. She could hear music in her head and could light fire with her fingertips. She looked up into the night sky and she knew how old the stars were. Her eyes were the clear green of the ocean and she did not have to blink. She knew all the languages of the world, and as she lay on the ground the earth swallowed her. It held her as she slept and in the morning she left her scarf house with the fox and went in to the woods. She took her pocket knife and carved her name in a tree that grew the wood that would someday form her coffin. She cut her hand on the knife and her blood dropped on the ground.

A crow flew down from the sky and landed at her feet near the blood. “Go home,” it said and flew away. She followed a trail of poisonous mushrooms deeper into the woods and fell to her knees at the sight of the moon in the distance. She closed her eyes and went home to her silk house. Her parents missed her very much, and her grandmother was not even mad anymore that she played with her scarves without asking. But she did not know this, and she did not miss them. She cut the lemon tart that was her breakfast and picked raspberries from the bush next to the weeping willow tree. One day she missed her parents and she went home, but they did not know her…she was not a little girl any more.

Day 24

When I was little I wanted to go through the haunted house on the boardwalk. My parents agreed and bought my ticket, strapped me into the car and waved and smiled and told me to have fun.

The cart moved on its own and pushed open the doors. It was pitch dark and a severed head screamed past me in the black light and I wondered how my parents could let me in here by myself. I closed my eyes and listened to the screams and moans and wondered if I would ever come out again. I could hear the mechanics of the ride under my car, and I knew that my fate rested in the chains and gears that were moving beneath me. I was thrilled.

I felt the strings that were spider webs brush my face, and could see the strobe light flashing bright red through my closed lids. I quickly peeked and saw Dracula down a long hallway waiting for me near the ceiling. I could see the light through the doors in the distance and I knew I only had one more moment of terrible fear and wonderful freedom. There was another haunted ride waiting, and after this ride, I would take my chances there. It was a house of mirrors and coffins.

There was a chance I wouldn’t make it out of that one either.

Day 25

I’ve recently been told that being sick is a lesson. It is not bad—it is just a lesson. I would truly like to be taught my lesson in a more direct fashion. And to kick the person who said that to me in the face.

Day 26

What would you do to get back someone who is dead? Would you cast a spell like in
Pet Sematary
and wait for them, even if they came back changed? What if they could come back exactly the same—would you sell your soul? How about give up a leg or an eye? Is there any part of you that is happy they are gone because it gives you a chance to just move on? Could you really sell your soul—or have you already done that for your husband or wife or your job?

If you make a pact with the devil it is not irreversible. You can change your mind and take it all back and then go back to the side of God. But could you sell your soul and get the person back, and then promise your eternal soul to Jesus and still have the person that was dead back and alive and in your life again? Can you outwit the devil?

I read a book when I was ten that said you needed a black cat, a black hen, and a black sheep. Also a black candle and a large tub of water. You then killed the animals and skinned them and put some of their blood in the tub of water. There was an incantation you needed to recite, but I do not remember it. Turn off all the lights and light the black candle, and when you looked into the water at your reflection, you would see the devil over your left shoulder.

Day 27

I went to a store in town whose name that implies the things sold there will help you be successful. You can smell the burning sage and other incenses all the way down the block. They sell books for alcoholics and drug addicts and people who want to commune with God or spirits. They also do tarot card readings and angel interpretations and anything else you can think of that will attract spirits or angels or demons into your life. I thought this seemed cool. Even the card reading said pertinent things to me. But I don’t know if this is healthy.

After the tarot card reading I took a class in hypnosis, and then one in acupressure, and then I carried the little Angel Cards that I picked at each session with me and something bothered me about it every time. My marriage was terrible and getting worse. I could feel my hatred for my husband growing by the minute, but I was being open minded and I thought reading cards and knowing the future and reading about the devil was a good thing because I was enlightened. I stopped reading the book about the devil dead-smack in the middle and took a train south. I pushed past any exhaustion I felt. I threw away the cards I’d kept tucked into my wallet—they had demons attached to them and so I prayed to St. Michael. I should pray to him every day—twice a day. I wanted a shell of protection like I read about in
The Screwtape Letters
—somehow I got it.

I am safe now and will not stray again. Ha ha. Even as I say this I realize I am full of shit, especially when there is a full moon and I’ve had too much wine. I feel surrounded by spirits at night. They can be there and I can be safe. I think. I can laugh at them and know I am with God—and as I write those words I know I am lying. I don’t think I am one of God’s favorites. The insidiousness of it all is the most evil. It creeps in and finds a place with a pillow and cuddles up and you are not even sure it is there at first. You don’t know when it starts to seep in, but it’s funny how you can tell when it’s gone. At least for now.

Day 28

I heard that you cannot feel pain during an orgasm, and I told my friend. He didn’t believe me, and we argued a little, and then he had sex with his girlfriend, even though he wanted to have sex with me, and he told her to stick him with a pin when he started to come. She did and he told me it hurt so much.

Day 29

Here are some things I would do if I could go back to being twenty years old right now:

- Move to France and do art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts

- Go to Italy and have sex with a man I cannot understand

- Travel across the country in a van or on a train with friends

- Spend entire summers down at the shore

- More drugs

- Join an art commune

- Write a book

- Write more love poems

- Write more love letters

- Kiss more men

- Kiss more women

Day 30

I took mescaline in school once. I went to the guidance office because I was scared. I tried to talk about something but all I could think about were the swirling dots I saw on the desk in front of me. I left and went to history. We saw a filmstrip of the Salem witch trials and the images were sketched in black and white but I could see them moving on their own. They were getting ready to hang several women in one frame, and all the men in the picture turned their heads and looked right at me. When the lights came back on I looked around the classroom and I could tell who was bad and who was good. Some people were surrounded by black and some by white. One girl named Nancy glowed a little. I wonder what she is doing now.

Day 31

I have a neighbor who picks her ear every time she talks to me. Not only does she pick her ear, when she is done she looks at the finger and flicks off whatever is there. I can’t stand it.

Day 32

If you were born on Monday—a pleasant song you’ll sing.

If Tuesday was your entrance day—you’ll fly on freedom’s wing.

A Wednesday baby brings a smile to everyone she meets.

On Thursday, “What a beauty!” Is what everyone repeats.

The lucky baby born on Friday, never to be sad.

Come Saturday the brightest baby mommy ever had.

So shine a brilliant sunbeam on the day born of the Sun.

A gentle life so fragile and forever’s just begun.

I always felt bad for the Wednesday baby in the original rhyme. I was born on a Wednesday and I have always been full of woe. I had to change it for all the Wednesday babies.

Day 33

There are days when I can find nothing good in the world and I hate everyone.

Day 34

I may have the ability to kill people or things with my thoughts. I think I’ve done it several times.

Day 35

Women have so much more power than we choose to claim. We don’t usually tear through countries severing heads to be used as warning posts, so we probably don’t get the credit we deserve. But we do other things.

We stare at the moon when it looks like God’s thumbnail and pray for our babies when they are sick, hoping they get better.

We sing lullabies to parasites and lose weight because we will never have a full night’s sleep for the next eighteen years.

We bleed one quarter of our lives away and smile as we make Christmas dinner for everyone.

We explain the same thing 8,000 times without yelling or complaining because sometimes our kids are bit slow to learn.

We stay up later than we should because it is the only time people aren’t asking something of us.

We lock the bathroom doors and pretend we have stomach issues just so we can have twenty minutes of privacy.

We turn men into kings.

We are the stuff of wet dreams and distractions and sunshine-filled songs. And sometimes we get lost and turn into corpses. It is the nature of people to turn into the walking dead—but women have a disadvantage and we give ourselves over, covered in whipped cream and a cherry.

We wear mediocre clothes and not too much makeup and we are so organized.

We have dinner on time and always make sure all the towels are folded. Another day is over and another moment is missed. I personally do
want everything—I want certain things I can’t put my finger on. Other things I’m sure I want. I want my husband to come home and send my son to the neighbor’s house. I want him to shut the door and tie me up and throw me on the bed. I want the lights to be down and candles lit. I want him to blindfold me and sing mysterious songs of love in my ear. I want him to lift my head and pour tequila in my mouth and kiss me. I want to dress in ruby red and be drunk. I want my husband to love me.

BOOK: 100 Unfortunate Days
13.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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