Call Me Lucky
By: Ava Rosien
The phone rang in the living room. It would go unanswered.
“Elaine’s not home!” she shouted from the bathroom. “Damn bill collectors. Why can’t they leave me alone?”
She stepped into the tub. Although the water was almost too hot to bear, it would speed the bleeding. She lowered her body into it. Her hands shook as she gripped the knife she had taken from the kitchen drawer. Making the deep vertical cut in her right wrist brought an immediate rush of adrenaline. The pain was an intense burning sensation. It wasmore painful than she’d thought it would be.
Basic survival instincts kicked in and she was tempted to jump from the tub in order to stop the profuse bleeding.
“No Elaine, this is one thing you’re going to do right. Do this one last thing right!”
She knew what to expect on the other wrist, so she held her breath and made the identical cut once more. This time there was a numbing sensation that lessened the intensity of the pain. The blood spurted, splattering the wall around the tub. Each beat of her heart sent another gush streaming down her arms causing red droplets to fall into the steaming water around her.
She was right about the hot water. She was quickly tiring and just wanted to close her eyes and fade into oblivion. Elaine lay in her bathtub watching the water red turn pink, then red and knew it wouldn’t be long now.
“It really isn’t that bad. I’ll just drift off to sleep. No more pain.”
She closed her eyes, resting her head on the back of the tub waiting for the blackness to come. There was high-pitched ringing in her ears and her body felt as if it was lifting from the water. A strange calm enveloped her. A harsh sounding male voice startled her from her serine drowsiness.
“Look at the mess you’ve made!”
Elaine’s eyes flew open. A strange looking man stood glaring down at her. “Who are you? How did you get in my house?”
“I’m the guy who always gets the crazies. The ones who step in front of a train, or put a shot gun under their chin. I’m the one who has to deal with the blood and guts, a soul collector, that’s who I am.”
Elaine assumed this stranger was a figment of her imagination brought on from the loss of blood. She decided to go with this hallucination since in some odd way his being there comforted her in her last moments of life.
“So you’re Death? Funny, you don’t look like I thought you would. I guess that means you’re here to take me to Heaven. That’s good.”
“I’m here to take you all right. As for Heaven; well honey that ain’t exactly my gig. I specialize in “unnatural” deaths. The only time I show up on the scene is when one of you life challenged nut cases decide that living ain’t what it’s sliced up to be. No pun intended.”
“So I guess that means I’m going to hell? Why not? Why should I think things would look up for me now?”
“Hey, it ain’t that bad sister. Look at it this way, if you like the hot water you’re in now, you ain’t seen nothing yet!”
“Well that’s just great. I’m dying and I get a stand up comic.” Even in her depressed state she was surprised her mind was unable to create a more compassionate and celestial being to welcome her into the afterlife. Elaine looked through half closed eyes at the man who stood beside her bathtub staring down at her with a reproachful look in his eyes. He was at least six foot three, with dark brown hair that appeared to be thickly gelled and combed straight back. He had deep creases along each side of his lips, and piercing black eyes.
Not an unattractive man, certainly nothing close to the way movies and television portrayed the angel of death. There was no skeleton face hidden under a black hooded cape; no ominous sound-over music to send shivers up her spine. To Elaine he looked like a cheap version of Al Pacino with a Brooklyn accent. He wore a double-breasted loose fitting gray pin- striped suit coat, and a broad red and yellow striped tie.
“You know, you have lousy taste when it come to ties.” It was an odd observation to be having at a time like this, but never the less true. In her present state everything seemed strangely surreal.
“Oh yeah? Well at least I ain’t wearing a bathtub tie-dyed with my own blood sister!” he snapped back at her.
“I’m hallucinating. My brain cells are dying and the last image it can conjure up is wise guy wanna be as the grim reaper?”
“Think what you want lady. It don’t matter to me. I got nothing to do but stand here and hear your heart beat gettin’ slower,” he said bending down to put his head to her chest.
“Get away from me you freak!” Elaine said, pushing him from her chest.
“If I’m just a figment of your dying brain cells what do you care if I take a listen for the last thump of the old ticker doll?”
“Great bed side manner you got there Lucky. Don’t over do the compassion though.”
“I got no compassion for people like you lady. All of you whining gutless cowards who take the easy way out--- you make me want to vomit! I wasn’t a coward. I went down fighting. I never held a permanent pity party in my bathtub that’s for sure!”
“Oh yeah? Then what did you do that landed you such a cushiony job in the after life jerk?”
“That’s none of your business. All you got to know is, I got to collect your soul or I get in big trouble with the boss.”
“Well what if I just refuse to go Mr. Death? What then? Does your ‘boss’ fire you? What could be worse than what you do already?”
“I would appreciate it if you would call me Lucky. That’s my name. Death is just what I do ok?” he said, “Believe me toots, there’s lots of things he could do to me that is worse than this job. He’s plenty creative in ways to make a soul suffer.”
“ Lucky? Your name is really Lucky?” she smirked. Even at a time like this Elaine could appreciate her warped imagination in coming up with a name like that.
“ Well if he’s that bad, maybe I’m not so keen to die after all.”
“You don’t get it do you babes? There ain’t no more choices for you now. When you picked up that knife and began hacking at your wrists, you gave up that option. So get on with it and die already. I’m a busy guy here!”
“Well I’m so damned sorry to inconvenience you Lucky! I’ve never committed suicide before. I didn’t know I was on a tight schedule. Excuse the hell out of me!”
“Ok, ok, I guess I deserved that,” he said. “I usually don’t have conversations with my “clients”. They ain’t what you’d call---”talkative” by the time I see ‘em, if ya know what I mean,” he said with a grin.
“So I should consider myself one of the fortunate few who have gotten to chat it up with good old Lucky before they go to hell is that it? Well I could have been spared the honor. You aren’t that engaging to talk to if you know what I mean Mr. Lucky!”
Lucky lowered his head, then looked up again with an insincere pained look on his face. “That hurts Lainey. Here I am tryin’ to make this bathtub drama a little easier on ya, and you go an insult me that way.”
Elaine’s wrists hurt and her skin felt like it had blistered from the heat of the water. What had seemed a quick and relatively painless way to kill her self was proving to be an agonizing choice instead. She was in no mood to trade barbs with this ill-dressed Untouchable’s throwback.
“Look, I get why you’re here so just shut up and let me die in peace!”
She waited for more obnoxious words to come spewing out of his mouth. Shewas taken by surprise when he raised his head and said, “What was so bad about your life that you had no choice left but this Elaine?”
His voice took on a more compassionate tone. There was no annoying smirk on his face.
“Why do you care? I thought you despised people like me anyway, so what’s with that question?”
“I just don’t get it that’s all. I been doing this for a long time now and I still don’t understand why people just toss life aside like it ain’t nothing special.”
Elaine was surprised at Lucky’s sudden change in attitude with her. She responded for the first time to him without venom in her voice.
“All I have done my entire life is screw up. I don’t see that ever changing.”
“Yeah, I know a little about screwing up. But if something’s broke you fix it and if you can’t fix it, then you find somebody who can. You don’t just give up on it Elaine.”
“You make it sound easy Lucky. Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps and keep a stiff upper lip and you’ll have a fairy tale ending. Well it doesn’t work that way my friend.” Elaine’s voice was getting weaker. Her eyes rolled back and her head dropped to her chest.
“Hey Elaine! Forget what I said about making this dying thing go faster. Keep talking to me here,” Lucky said, gently slapping her on the cheek to make her open her eyes again.
“I’m tired Lucky. No more talk please. Just let me sleep now.”
Lucky ignored her request to stop the questions that were prolonging her death. “Tell me what went wrong in you life. How did you mess up Elaine?”
“It’s a long story Lucky,” she sighed.
“We got time kid. It’s one of the perks in my line of work. There’s nothin’ but time.” He pulled a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket and lit it with a flame that came from his fingertip.
“How did you do that?”
“Sweetheart, where I come from it ain’t a problem finding a flame when you feel like a smoke,” he grinned. Taking a draw from his cigarette, then blowing smoke from his nostrils, he leaned against the bathroom wall. “Now go on with your story about your messed up miserable life.”
Elaine was exhausted. She just wanted this all to be over. It was never her intent to suffer for what seemed like hours. The water was getting cold, so cold in fact her teeth began to chatter. She reached for the handle of the faucet to warm the water, but her hand wouldn’t grasp it. Apparently she had cut tendons along with her intended damage. Now she was helpless to take the chill from the watery bed she lay in.
“I’m waiting cupcake,” Lucky reminded her.
“Fine. If I tell you my story will you do your job then?”
He nodded, “I’ll do my job after your story I promise.”
Elaine wanted nothing more now than to sleep. Talking had become a herself to telling him her life story. “ Even as a child my life sucked--- she started to say before Lucky interrupted.
“So we’re gonna lay this all on your childhood? Hold on while I get a hankie. It always pulls at my heartstrings to hear these stories,”
“You’re a real ass-hole Lucky! You’re the one who wanted to hear all this. What is it? Do you get some kind of sick thrill out of tormenting people while they’re dying?”
“ You’re right. You’re absolutely right Elaine. That was rude of me. I shouldn’t have interrupted like that. Please go on with what you were saying. I promise to be quiet.”
Elaine hesitated. She looked over at Lucky. He made a gesture to his lips as if buttoning them closed and tossing the key away. He then motioned with his hands to let her know she again had the floor.
“My mother was an alcoholic and my dad, I don’t even know who he is,” she began. “I remember my mom passed out in her room more often than not, usually with some strange man in the bed with her. One night when I was around twelve years old, one of her ‘ boyfriends’ came into my room and well--- let’s just say that at a time when I thought my life couldn’t get any worse, it did.”
Lucky made a gesture like he was holding a violin and stroking the bow across it. “Oh poor Elaine had a bad childhood so she wants the world to feel sorry for her!”
Elaine was shocked by his lack of compassion. “You know what? Screw you Lucky! I don’t need your sarcasm, or your damned company anymore. Get the hell out of my bathroom!”
“Awe take it easy toots. I ‘m just sayin’ that lots of kids have bad things happen to ‘em, and yeah it sucks, but that’s past baggage Babe. The ones that wallow in their childhood woes like it excuses them for not moving on with life as an adult are the ones who make my stomach turn.”
“Well maybe if you had lived in their shoes you wouldn’t be so quick to judge whether or not they have a right to bitch about it. Did you ever think of that you jerk?”
“All right, all right, so go on with your story. I’ll keep my trap shut and let you finish this time. Ok?”
Elaine looked at him with contempt, wondering why she was even considering finishing her life story to him at all. It was obvious this cartoon version of the angel of death wasn’t going to understand how her life had become too painful to bear anymore.
“ You know what? If I’d known that I would have to spend my last minutes of life with a loser like you I might have chosen to live after all.”
“What did you expect cupcake? I mean where I come from this is as close to compassion as it gets. If you had chosen to live to a ripe old age, then maybe you would have gotten Gabriel with all his comforting tenderness and mercy,” he said with hands folded as in prayer and his eyes cast upward. “He would have wrapped his big old wings around you and ascended into the white light. You would have spent eternity in utter bliss,” he smirked. “You made the choice, not me sister, so it’s just you and me now.”
“Just me and you. How lucky can a girl get? No pun intended.”
Lucky blew a curl of cigarette smoke out of the corner of his thin lips. “You could have the boss instead of me. He ain’t nearly as entertaining though.”
“Shouldn’t I be dead by now? I mean--- it seems like its taking hours.”
“Relax Lainey Baby. A watched pot never boils. Didn’t your old granny ever tell ya that?”
“Oh that’s just great! So you’re telling me I could soak in this stupid tub in pain, bleeding for who knows how long?”
Lucky shrugged his shoulders again, replying, “Hey, I didn’t make the rules on dying. Take it up with the guy in charge sweetie.”
“So what do we do now? Just sit and wait forever?”
“Well you could always pass the time by finishing the conversation about your crappy life and how you came to be in this situation in the first place,” he smiled.
“Ok fine, you win Lucky! I’ll tell you what you want to hear, but I swear if you make fun of any part of it or play your stupid fiddle I’ll kill you!” she said. Elaine didn’t really think of the emptiness of her well-delivered threat.
Lucky quipped back, “Well killing me would be kind of pointless don’t ya think Lainey?”
“Where would you like me to begin telling you about my ‘crappy life?”
“I already know you had a tough life as a kid, so jump to the middle somewhere and explain how it got worse.”
Taking a deep breath, Elaine began speaking. “After the courts finally took me away from my mother I was placed in one foster home after another until I aged out. I found a minimum wage job, a cheap place to live and survived as best I could. It wasn’t the greatest life, but it beat living in the foster homes that’s for sure. One day my boss at the café, a real sleaze of a guy named Curtis hit on me. He sent me to get some frozen meat out of the walk-in freezer. When I turned around he was behind me,” she said. “He grabbed me and put his hands under my shirt. I flipped out and slugged him as hard as I could with a pack of frozen pork.”
Lucky couldn’t help himself. He began laughing out loud at the image her story placed in his mind. Elaine looked at him for a moment ready to blast him for making light of her being groped by her employer, especially given her abuse as a child. Then she began to laugh with him, at the recollection of seeing Curtis’ face when she hit him with the frozen meat. He had been hit so hard his eyes nearly crossed as he staggered backwards, spewing profanities at her.
“Sorry Babe,” Lucky said. “ But ya gotta admit you did have some spunk in you back then.”
“I’ll give you that one. Looking back on it, it is sort of funny in a way. The bad part is he had me charged with assault. He lied to the police about me slugging him. He told them he’d caught me stealing stuff from the freezer and stashing it out back of the café to take home with me after my shift. Anyway, I was arrested and charged with assault on the creep. I got probation, but because of that low life, I lost my job. With no income I also lost my apartment.”
“Damn, tough break for you kid. I guess that made getting work pretty hard after that huh?”
“Ya think?” Elaine retorted. “Not that the job in the café was that great, but at least it paid the rent. Once word got around that I was a thief, none of the other restaurants in town would hire me. I ended up on the streets for several months, living in shelters or staying with guys I didn’t even know. For “favors” of course.”
“Hey, no judgments from me Lainey. Sounds like ya did what you had to do to survive. No shame in that.”
“Then I met this guy named Spence. He treated me really good, ya know? He took me in and bought me clothes, took me places. He even said he loved me. Nobody had ever said that to me before.”
“Ahhh love, that four letter word that makes the world a better place,” Lucky stated with his hand over the center of his chest.
“It might have made my world a better place if he’d been telling me the truth…but I found out he was just setting me up to become his meal ticket. He put me out on the streets turning tricks for him. I loved him Lucky, I really loved him,” she said as tears rolled down her cheeks. It wasn’t long before I was drinking and doing drugs just to get through the things I had to do to make money for Spence. One night I over-dosed and ended up in the hospital. He never even came to see me. The son of a bitch disappeared and I never saw him again,” she said.
For the first time since she began telling him about her life, he seemed to relate somehow with her and the’ kicks in the gut’ life had given her. He appeared to even respect her a little for getting through some tough times by whatever means she had to. Lucky’s rough exterior didn’t run as deep as she first thought she surmised as she continued to tell him things she had never shared with anyone before now.
“How ironic,” she silently mused to herself, “The one person in the world that I finally pour out my heart to and he turns out to be not only dead, but works for the Prince of Darkness.” In any case Elaine felt strangely glad that Lucky was here with her now. Dying completely alone wasn’t something she really wanted.
“So what happened next? Tell me something good for a change. There must to be at least one or two good things that happened to you…something that gave you hope for a better life?”
“Hope? Sure there was hope every now and then. I’d meet a guy who I thought was different. One who might just want me for me, and not what he could get from me. They all turned out to be the same though, none of them could go the distance.”
“That’s all you got? A few lousy guys who disappointed you in the love department? Lucky said impatiently.
“That ain’t hope cup cake, that’s just puttin’ a fox in the hen house, then being surprised when the chickens start disappearing.”
Elaine’s patience was wearing thin with Lucky’s constant interruptions and sarcastic attitude. “You know something Lucky---maybe I was naive to think that a man could think with his heart instead of his crotch, but meeting you has cleared up that misconception. You’ve shown me that men are just insensitive, moronic dick heads who don’t give a shit about anything unless it leads to a good lay!” She snapped back angrily.
“Ouch!” Lucky grimaced. “That was a little harsh, don’t ya think Lainey? But I got to admit, you’re one cute broad when you get mad like that. Too bad you couldn’t have shown that kind of grit when it counted in your life.”
Elaine hated to admit it but Lucky made a point. Perhaps if she had gotten mad more often instead of giving up, she could have fought her way out of that pit she found herself in. Unfortunately it didn’t matter much now. Lucky’s advice like so many other things in her life had come too late to make a difference for her.
“Can we please just stop this game of show and tell and get on with me dying here?”
“What’s your hurry doll?” Lucky asked. “You got all of eternity to feel sorry for yourself.”
“Let me see---” he said, as a note pad suddenly appeared out of nowhere and he flipped through its pages. “ Now where were we? Ahhh yes; we were up to where all those ‘insensitive moronic dickheads’ disappointed you. I believe if my notes are correct, I had asked you if you ever had hope, so let’s try that one again shall we?” he said, snapping the note pad closed.
Elaine sighed, knowing that he wasn’t going to let her sink into oblivion and die the peaceful death she had hoped for. She had to play out this sick little game of his.
“There was one person--- someone who was a true friend,” she said. “I met this older woman named Shirley. She worked at one of the homeless shelters I stayed in. She didn’t look at me like I was trash. She talked to me, and after a while she offered to help get me on my feet again. She gave me a job at the shelter a few days a week and even let me stay with her. I kicked the drugs thanks to her. She sat up with me all night and held me while I went through withdrawal.”
“That’s what I’m talkin’ about sister. The whole world wasn’t against you after all. This Shirley broad, she was a friend who gave you a hand up when you needed it, right?”
“She was the mother I never had, you know Lucky? She told me one time that if she had ever had a daughter she would have wanted her to be just like me. Imagine her saying something like that to me. Can you believe that?”
“Sounds to me like she cares about you plenty. So why you want to repay a lady like that by pulling the chain on your life?”
“Shirley isn’t around any more. She had a stroke a couple of years ago. She’s dead now and past caring about me. Like everyone else in my life, she didn’t hang around.”
“Man oh man! Listen to you Lainey girl. You’re right back to that same old pity party again. Instead of focusing on the fact that someone really cared for you and was there for you for the first time in your life, you just make her death all about you. You are one messed up chick.” Lucky said angrily.
Elaine sat there not knowing whether to get mad at him for talking to her in such a cruel way, or admit that he was right on target with his assessment of her. It was true she had been angry with Shirley for dying. All she could think of at the funeral was that Shirley left her to deal with the emptiness and grief. It didn’t matter that Shirley had no control over the stroke, or of dying. Lucky was right. She’d never once thought of Shirley’s death as anything but another source of pain for herself.
“I’m so sorry Shirley. I’m the one who let you down.”
“You got that right!” a woman’s voice interrupted. “You hit a bump or two in the road and you’re ready to take a permanent detour! I can’t believe you’re trying to get him to think that my death contributed to you doing this to yourself. I showed you love, like you were my own daughter Elaine and you’re taking that love and making it an excuse to kill yourself?”
“Shirley?” Elaine gasped. “How did you get here? You’re dead, I mean, how---”Before she could finish her question she watched the image of her dear friend fade away and the sarcastic Lucky stood there instead.
“No it ain’t Shirley you pathetic social misfit!” he chided. “I was just adding a little visual aid to spice up your apology. Quite affective, don’t ya think?”
Elaine was shaking not only from the coldness of the water, but with rage that he had tricked her into thinking she was seeing her beloved friend Shirley again. Tears streamed down her face as she stared at her tormentor with nothing less that hatred in her eyes.
“Sorry for being so hard on ya Lainey. I guess being sensitive ain’t my long suit. Never was.”
“You really are enjoying this, aren’t you? You son of a bitch. I guess you get your rocks off by seeing people like me suffer and plead for death, don’t you?”
“Lainey, you must think I am totally evil. The truth is I’m just trying to get you to see what a mistake you made by climbing into this tub tonight and playin’ tic-tac-toe on your wrists that’s all toots. I’m making you relieve some of the shit you dealt with so you realize that you had other choices you could have made,” Lucky stated almost apologetically.
Elaine was torn between believing him and preparing for yet another cheap shot or remark that would make her the butt of his twisted humor.
“Tell me about tonight Elaine. What was different tonight? What was it that convinced you to go to the kitchen and take that knife out of the drawer?” He questioned.
Elaine sat back, her body shaking uncontrollably from the loss of blood and the coldness of the water. Her entire body seemed to be in pain now. She was beginning to regret that she hadn’t chosen a bottle of sleeping pills instead of this agonizing way out. She looked down at her hands that felt strangely numb and saw that they were blue. Her fingers were wrinkled from being in the water so long. Her satin night gown, which was once her favorite color, robin’s egg blue, was now more of a deep purple from soaking in her own blood.
It made her recall that night when her mother’s lover had forced him self on her when she was twelve. When he left her bed, she remembered seeing her own blood staining her gown that night too. Elaine suddenly felt like that frightened little girl she was all those years ago. She began to feel sick on her stomach. She wanted to cry out for someone to find her, help her, but no one was there but Lucky. There was nothing for her to do but continue telling him what he wanted to know.
“After Shirley died I went into deep depression. The only way I could think of to numb the loneliness was go to the bars. I’d meet some guy that would help me feel as if I had someone, even if only for a night.” She said. “After awhile it didn’t really matter if I met someone or not…the booze was all the company I needed or wanted. The men were gone when I woke up in the mornings, but the bottle was always there for me.” She said with a sad smile. “Then one day I learned that I was pregnant. The father could have been any one of the dozens of men I’d been with. I managed to stop drinking through the pregnancy. I finally had something to call mine, a baby---my sweet little girl, Megan Rose.” Elaine said with pride.
“For the first time in my life I was happy. I got a job working in a factory. Megan and me were doing ok. We weren’t rich, but we had this place. Having that little person depend on me gave me a sense of purpose,” she went on. “Then a few months ago the factory announced they were closing up. Me and everyone else were losing our jobs. I tried to find work, but there was nothing out there for someone like me with no real skills. "I couldn’t take care of my precious little girl. The bills were piling up. I felt like such a failure. “ she said.
“One day, just after I had been turned down on yet another job interview, I ran into one of the men I’d met years before in the bars. He offered me a drink saying it would make me feel better. “Just one drink Elaine. Come on, one drink won’t hurt you. But one drink led to another and another, until I woke up the next morning and didn’t remember how I got home. I rolled over and saw the guy sleeping next to me. Then I saw Megan Rose standing in the doorway. “Mommy, who is that sleeping in your bed? Is that my daddy?” she asked me.
“ I felt sick to my stomach.” Elaine said looking up at Lucky. “I had become my mother, allowing my little girl to see me hung over and sleeping with strange men. What if he had done to her what my mother’s lover did to me? How could I live with that? Then I realized Megan wasn’t the only one standing in the doorway to my bedroom. Mrs. Cooper from down the hall was behind her. She was glaring at me with disgust in her eyes.
“Your daughter came to see me last night. She was scared and didn’t know where her mother was, or why you hadn’t come home by suppertime. She spent the night with me.”
“So? You got screwed, I mean you screwed up and the neighbor lady busted ya. What’s the big deal about that?”
“Did I mention that Mrs. Cooper works as a Child Protective Services Case worker?” Elaine said.
“Oh that ain’t good Lainey,” he chuckled.
Ignoring Lucky’s lack of sympathy about what happened, Elaine continued to tell her story. “ I lost my precious little girl. They took her from me. Mrs. Cooper said I was an unfit mother. The judge said I had to attend meeting for substance abuse and take classes in mothering before I could get my daughter back. “It was one night. One lousy night! Until that night I was a good mother, I swear I was. The court was right though---I left Megan alone at home after she got home from school. Anything could have happened to her while I was out drinking at the bar.”
“So where is Megan now?” Lucky asked.
“She’s in foster care. In the system, just like I was. I don’t deserve to get her back.” Elaine wept.
“Yeah you’re right Lainey. Megan’s better off with no mother. I’m sure she’ll be glad you did yourself in to spare her the grief of having a screw up for the one and only parent she had.” Lucky said.
Elaine dropped her head and wept into her numb hands. “Today’s her birthday Lucky. Did you know that? I tried calling her, but they said I couldn’t talk to her. I just wanted her know I didn’t forget her birthday and they wouldn’t let me talk to my little girl. She must think I don’t love her anymore. Maybe she didn’t want to talk to me, I don’t know.”
“You dumb broad!” Lucky said snatching her hands from her face. “That phone you heard just before you did that hack job on your wrists? That was your kid Lainey. She was calling you. She pitched such a fit when she heard ‘em say it was you calling her for her birthday that they decided to let her talk to you.”
“That was Meagan Rose? Oh no…what have I done? Lucky, is it too late? Can I change my mind? I don’t want to die!” Elaine cried as she attempted to pull herself up and out of tub. “Lucky please help me. This is why you had me tell you all this isn’t it? To make me want to fight for life. You wanted me to see that death isn’t the answer.” She said, again trying to pull herself out of the cold and bloody water of the tub.
“I told you cupcakes, compassion ain’t my long suit,” he smiled.
“But you can change how this ends. I know you can!” she screamed at him. “You knew everything about me before I told you didn’t you? Why would you have me tell you all this when you knew already? You can just refuse to take my soul---let me live and see my baby. Please Lucky!”
“You can’t change something that’s already happened Lainey,” he replied.
“But I’m not dead yet! I could still survive if you help me out of this tub!” she said, reaching out to him. “I want to live! I want my baby back home with me. I can do better and if I get a second chance I know I can. Please Lucky, I’m begging you!”
“You don’t get it do you doll?” Lucky said with a devilish grin.
“Get what? Lucky, what are you talking about? “
“ Didn’t you find it strange that it you could see me? That so much time could go by, with the number you did on your wrists?” he chuckled. “Wake up and smell the java sweetheart. You are dead and this is your ‘welcome to hell’ party!”
“No---no that can’t be!” Elaine cried in horror.
“Tick, tock, time’s up Elaine,” he said pulling a pocket watch out of his suit and dangling it in front of her.
“Lucky please, this was a mistake. I want to live!” Elaine cried out.
“Time for me to take a powder baby cakes. I got a guy getting ready to put a noose around his neck and hang himself from his favorite oak tree in the ole backyard. Gees, a devil’s work is never done,” he said. “Funny thing is, he don’t know that his financial problem was about to take a turn for the better. He has a winning lotto ticket in his wallet,” He laughed.
With Elaine in shock and shivering, still trying to get up out of the bathtub, Lucky vanished; leaving only the smell of brimstone behind. She looked down at her wrist. The wounds were gaped open. There was no longer blood pouring from them. Her skin was the color of chalk and her fingernails were blue. “ I’m dead. I’m already dead! “
“Lucky! Come back please!” she cried. “Don’t leave me here all alone. Don’t leave me---,” her voice trailed off into the emptiness that was to be hers for eternity.