Superstition Flash

Hope all of you had a fabulous Monday. Here’s a bit of fiction to finish your night with…

Gina loved the number 13. She’d pause on the 13th step in a stairwell, gleefully punch the 13th floor in an elevator that actually had one–regardless of whether she had to go to that floor or not–and when she turned 13 she convinced her mother to throw the biggest party and invited most of the school. Maybe it was because she was by nature a contrary person and liked to love things other people hated or feared. She wanted to feel like she was breaking some boundary, some taboo, but in a rather safe and tame way. The number 13 qualified.

So many people feared it. Friggatriskaidekaphobia being the name of the fear of friday the 13th. They left 13 out of floor directories, off team jerseys, blamed their misfortune on being the 13th to audition. But that had never been the case for her. She tried to schedule interviews on the 13th, and all the better if it was a Friday. She thought it was lucky.

Then number 13 was present in most of her artwork as well. 13 figures, chairs, columns, flowers…her art installations and sculptures all had some aspect meeting the number 13. And it had started to sell really well. Nobody had seemed to pick up on her numerical theme, but that may be because in some of the pieces the tribute was more subtle; in her post-modern recreation of the last supper, it is only natural to have 13 people. It was unremarkable.

But this–this was going to be her greatest piece. She had been commissioned by her old high school to create the chandelier for their new performance arts center and by god, she was going to do it justice. 13 tiers of glass icicles, hand blown, interwoven with galvanized steel as delicate as lace-work. It stood a story tall in its own right and the glass and steel distorted the 169 blue-white LEDs at its core. The whole thing looked like it could melt to pieces at any moment.

She had scheduled the installation for Friday the 13th in April, just a few days after the construction was completed on the building, but she had completed the project months ahead of schedule, thanks to the inspiration and a manic episode after Christmas. (She blamed her mother’s cookies; there had to be crack in them.) And now all she had to do was wait for the install date while working on her other projects.

While the box sat in a corner, waiting for its glorious reveal, she adopted a black cat and watched him prance across her driveway, repeatedly ducked under her brother’s ladder when he came to help fix a broken gutter, and smashed a mirror for use in her next installment piece.

But when the salt shaker spilled the evening before the chandelier was supposed to go up, she threw a pinch of the spilled salt over her left shoulder. It really wasn’t worth it to tempt fate like that.