Fiction Friday, Special Occasions

Triskaidekaphobia

Her dress and the Strawberry Moon.

She was having bad luck anyway, so what could one day do to hurt her? Friday the 13th was a big deal in Port Dover, motorbikes from all over congregated here on every Friday the thirteenth. She was drawn here, against her better judgement.

The noise and the roar were all around her as she made her way through the throngs of bikes and bikers. It was strange how this little place by the lake drew all this. Her red dress stood out against her surroundings. It felt like a fitting outfit with today’s Strawberry or Rose Moon.

This particular June Friday was a decent temperature. It had been hotter on other Friday the 13th motorcycle rallies. This was, however, a rare day because, not only was it Friday the 13th, but it was a full moon, a Strawberry Moon which astronomers could say more about than any of these bikers; they weren’t here to look at the moon. It meant the beginning of strawberry season, the approaching summer solstice or some such thing.

All this chrome and leather and she didn’t know what she was doing here. This was the last day she would choose to be at a lovely little spot like Port Dover. She liked the beach and the quaint atmosphere of this Lake Erie tourist town, but she couldn’t even here herself think now. She hated these bloody things. They were loud and irritating and dangerous, as far as she was concerned.

Her Triskaidekaphobia had gotten worse as she grew older. She had a strange connection to the number thirteen and yet she feared it, for reasons she did not quite understand.

Hotels and apartment buildings left that floor number out. Why did they do that? She always wondered, since childhood. It was just a number, after all, but her luck had been bad on every Friday the thirteenth she could remember. Sure, people said it was only a number and luck had nothing to do with it, good or bad, but they hadn’t been in her shoes. So why was she here now?

The noise kept her from having to think too much about her life and, on a day like this, she needed that. She came to immerse herself in this strange social experiment and to see what all the fuss was about.

The roar of motorbikes surrounded her from every angle and caused a pounding in her head. The headache was a throbbing in her ears, but these bikers seemed to be oblivious to any of that.

One particular biker stood against his parked bike and stared at her. Was it her red dress or her obvious look of discomfort? He seemed keenly interested in watching her there, how she didn’t seem to belong in this place, but here she was all the same.

He spotted her in the crowd. The red of her dress jumped out at him from amongst the sea of bikes. He had traveled around Lake Erie with a group of friends, who had wanted to make the trip for a long while. This was something you definitely had to witness in person to understand what the excitement truly was all about.

“What brings you here?” He walked away from his friends and up to the girl in the red dress without really thinking about it.

“What was that?” She said in a raised voice, to try and be heard over all the racket. It was nearly impossible. How did anyone have any kind of conversation in this environment?

He grabbed her hand and led her some distance away, hoping to escape the bikes for just a moment.

She felt his hand and flinched at the touch, but only resisted for a few seconds, then allowed him to walk her away from the din.

***

The full moon seemed so close, like it was just on the horizon. It seemed shaped differently than normal. This moon only became full on Friday the thirteenth on rare occasions, unlikely that either of them would ever be here for it again.

Was this a dream? The sound of the thousands of bikes was gone, replaced by an erie stillness, all the stranger because he had spent the last several days riding his bike and with his friends and their bikes. He was clearly used to the noise they made. This quiet felt odd to him now, but the girl in the red dress walking along the lake next to him did not.

Now the lake seemed to fall under a strange glow from the full moon and the shore seemed to go on forever. A full moon had an effect on the water of the planet and human beings are made up of mostly water. It felt like the waters of Lake Erie were pulling on them both. Had those predicted solar flares and all that had ever been said about the full moon really cause problems for people? He couldn’t remember having had better luck than this, to have spotted her in red.

She had come here to face something, to let go of something. She had always hated motorcycles. They were loud and obnoxious things and nobody would have expected her to come to this place on this day. Now the full moon made the face of the guy walking beside her look warm in the glow. All the noise from earlier forgotten, the crowd had evaporated and she couldn’t explain how or where everyone went. Maybe her bad luck was changing.

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5 thoughts on “Triskaidekaphobia

  1. hi kerry; thanks for sharing your writing with us. You are very talented at descriptions. I understand the point of flash fiction is to write a short quickly conceived piece of fiction. I found myself wanting to know what happens next. so, I hope you will continue this story in a longer post. thanks for being the first to comment on my new blog too. You are a good friend. take care, max

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