by anita marie moscoso
based on the Soul Food Cafe Story Prompt
Did you ever have one of those days when everything went wrong?
Maybe you knew it was going to be bad when your alarm went off 20 minutes too early and to make it worse it was one of those nights where you woke up every half hour and when you got out of bed you knew, you could feel it was going to get much worse.
Veta Trella had a night like that.
After she got out of bed she went to take a shower and as she stepped into her tub she slipped but was lucky enough to break her fall with her knees.
That was okay because Veta wasn’t the kind of person anyone paid attention to so if she had to limp and shuffle no one was going to notice.
That was the only lucky break Veta had for the rest of the day.
When Veta dried her hair she was distracted by the sizzling sound the wires made everytime she turned her wrist and just before her hair was completely dry some blue sparks flew out of the wall and all of the lights in Veta’s house went out and stayed out.
She guessed all of those black scorch marks all over her walls by the electrical outlets she saw on the way to her basement to check her fuse box was not a good sign.
When Veta finally made it out thedoor she looked down in time to see her that not only were her shoes not tied, they were different colors and just as she turned to go back into her house the door swung shut and she knew that not only was the door locked she had never taken her keys out of the candy bowl she kept them in.
But none of that mattered for very long because as she took a step she tripped on her laces and went face first into the door.
It was only a matter of seconds- not minutes before her nose started to swell and she could feel her lips start to go numb. She poked at her face and sighed and then Veta walked around to her back yard.
She walked slowly up the steps to her back porch and when she reached down to pick up a little clay flowerpot to break the little glass window in center of the porch door she felt her fingernail peel back and then it came off with a sting.
She held her hand up, looked at raw finger tip and sighed.
Veta made it through her kitchen safe enough but when she got to the living room she scared her cat Blitzer right off of the couch he knew wasn’t suppose to be on.
Veta didn’t have the heart or energy to yell at him because she shouldn’t have had to break into her own house and put herself in the position to scare her black cat into running straight across her path.
In fact, he was so startled by her that he jumped straight up onto the mantle piece above the fireplace and sent Veta’s antique mirror crashing to the floor where it didn’t just break.
It smashed into millions of little shards and a cloud of dust and glass wafted up and into Veta’s face- Veta’s bruised and swollen face that was now in the process of working it’s way into a full fledged allergy attack.
” Oh, why the Hell not ” Veta said and then she sneezed and her nose started to bleed- all over her brand new white blouse.
When Veta made it to her bus- well it wasn’t her usual bus because she missed her regular bus- she almost tripped over a woman who had suddenly stopped to pick something up off of the ground and that sent Veta and her things flying in about four different directions.
Veta sort of shuffled and cringed all the way to the back of the bus and when she sat down it was on something wet and sticky and she closed her eyes and when she opened them she looked up and then down and then from her left to her right and then slowly behind her. When she was done she slouched down and held her belongings to her chest and tried to make herself breathe.
She thought if she concentrated on doing just that she wouldn’t start screaming.
Then the woman Veta had tripped over took the seat right in front of her and she was jabbering and laughing and chatting away to the very good-looking man next to her.
” Can you believe it? ” she sang, ” first I find a hundred dollar bill right there on the curb on the very morning I’m thinking I’m going to for sure miss my bus and then…” she leaned towards her seat mate and nudged him with her shoulder ” you ask me out and look! “
She was holding her phone up and the man read the text message and he congratulated the woman on her promotion and then he moved a little closer to her and put his arm over the back of her seat.
” I mean, I don’t know where all of this is coming from. I’ve never had luck like this before!”
” My Grandma would have said you have the luck of the Devil ” he told the woman happily.
And then Veta reached over she tapped them each on the shoulder.
When they turned around they were looking straight into Veta’s bright yellow eyes which were ringed with bruises and they saw the little white horns she normally hid under her blow dried hair and then her forked tongue shot from under her broken nose and swollen lips and she hissed ” your Grandma is liar.”