Happy to be here! These are the prompts that the ladies gave me:
Amy:If only Lucky Charms were lucky
Cameron: It’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses
Jen: Bouncy house to Oz
Wendy: Plunger Games
The prompt I chose was “If only Lucky Charms were lucky.” It occurred to me that this is something a child would wish for… or someone that felt things were beyond his control… someone that cannot control themselves. Let’s call it OCD for the purpose of this story. If you have a little something that speaks to you… then you understand completely. If not let me try to explain… I use the same fork for every meal. It’s not like we don’t have a drawer full of them but THIS fork has the look, the weight, the right feel, the right shape that makes food taste good… okay, really good. I can eat at restaurants with other forks mind you but there is always a little something missing. Its hell being held prisoner by a small piece of your brain, compelled to do it’s biding despite everything you try to do to the contrary. You tell yourself it’s a small thing and it doesn’t really matter. You can take it or leave it… that you control it, it doesn’t control you but you do it any way, time and time again. And if that weren’t enough my eggs have to be on the right side of the plate… eggs are ALWAYS on the right ! Yep ! That’s why I chose If only Lucky Charms were lucky !
Looking back on it now, I have no idea how it all began, the madness I mean. Of course there had been little clues that pointed to bigger things were on the way but I didn’t connect those dots.
My life had been as ordinary as any… more so by comparison I would have guessed. If you looked up average in the dictionary you would find my picture. At twenty seven, I never stepped outside the line of expectation, never late for work, never late paying the bills, everything was planned out, every I dotted; every T crossed, a place for everything and everything in its place. Life was neat and orderly, just as it was meant to be.
That is until, one day I was home sick with the flu.
I had spent the night wracked with fever, my throat ravaged with multiple trips to the bathroom to empty an already empty stomach.
Exhausted from a restless night, I stumbled to the kitchen for a glass of water and a few aspirin. To my surprise, my black dress shirt lay in the middle of the kitchen floor.
A small thing mind you. It was just a shirt in a loose, rumpled pile… lying on the floor but it unnerved me. I stood there for a moment, staring at it.
“How the hell?” I said aloud, pushing it with my foot, fearful I was hallucinating.
I looked about half expecting God only knew what.
The house was empty. It was always empty.
After my girlfriend moved out more than five years ago, I had lived alone. I had no explanation as to how it could possibly be on the floor in the first place but there it was.
“I must have dropped it when I took the clothes out of the dryer, that’s all,” I lied to myself.
It was a lie I wanted to believe. I had taken the clothes out of the dryer two days earlier but I had no other explanation.
I tried to put it out of my mind.
A couple of weeks had gone by and I had all but forgotten about it. I would have been happy to live in that thought but when I came home late Wednesday night I found the refrigerator door open. Spilt milk, held in place by a ring of mustard had created a puddle at its base and to my shock, laying on the floor in front of it… my black shirt… sitting dead center of it, a half-eaten bowl of Lucky Charms and a large wooden spoon.
Someone had been inside my house!
My heart jumped to my throat, the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. I grabbed a knife and crept from room to room but to no avail.
I was alone.
I was angry at the thought of it, violated for lack of a better description.
I didn’t know what upset me more… that someone had been in my house or that they had used my shirt as a place mat. What prayed on my mind for days afterward was the fact that I didn’t even own a wooden spoon.
After the police left that night, I had gone through every item I owned. My head swam with panic, fearful half of everything I own had been stolen as I frantically took inventory.
To my astonishment nothing had been touched. To me it felt as though the world was no longer civilized… for the police it was just matter of fact and for them, a small matter at that.
The company I worked for immediately changed my pass codes for the office and brought in the top of the line alarm company for my house.
For the next month the instant I turned the key in the door I rushed to the refrigerator only to discover all was as I had left it that morning.
I had taken my black shirt to the cleaners to be cleaned… twice. Both times I left it on the hanger, safely incased in the store wrapper. Invariably, I checked on it right after the fridge, eyeing it suspiciously for any tell-tell remnants of an intruder.
As hard as I tried, I couldn’t get over the spoon. I had come to terms with the idea someone had broken into my house, opened my fridge and ate my food. What I had trouble with was the idea that they thought about it far enough in advance that they brought their own eating utensils. They had to know that they would have something to eat as they burglarized my house. It was that or they ate at all the houses they stole from. Neither thought offered any comfort.
At first, I was tempted to throw the spoon away, be done with it. As often as I had placed it in the trash I found myself retrieving it every time. I carried it around the house as if looking for just the right place to put it. More often than not it wound up sticking out of my back pocket.
As the weeks went by I carried the damn thing everywhere, many times without realizing it. It found its way to work with me, in the car, under my pillow, in the microwave and in all the little nooks and crannies it could fit. It had reached the point it would be in my pocket before my car keys.
I tried to break its hold on me, but could not. Somehow, having it in my possession kept my house and refrigerator, safe from a second break-in… or at least, in the beginning, so I hoped… if only Lucky Charms were lucky.
Married forty-three years to a woman he calls Dearheart, Tegon Maus lives a contented life in a small town of 8,200 in Southern California. By day, Tegon is a successful home remodeling contractor, but his passion is storytelling.
Tegon’s progatonists are frequently wedged between a rock and a hard place, but manage to work things out through the story. Like most when pushed into a corner, it only brings out the best in his characters and become the unstoppable force of a reluctant hero. Tegon’s signature style is creating characters who are driven and believable, and who strive to find happiness.
Tegon is the author of The Chronicles Of Tucker Littlefield series.
To purchase all things Tegon Maus please check out his Tirgearr page