Monday Recommends, Nail Art, StoryADay May

This post is part of StoryADay May ( #StoryADay #StoryADayMay @storyadaymay #freeshortstory #MondayRecommends #NailArt #nails #Maniology #HelloManiology #ManiologyAmbassador #MomGoth10discountcode #writingprompt

I am addicted to this meme of a little girl wanting to pet a dog that is actually a small black bear. Then I found out that, although the visual is real, the audio was taken from a video of a little boy in Texas. The video of the little girl inspired today’s story, “Lucky Unlucky”.

But — Oh, thank you, Interwebs, my friend! — there is also a two-and-a-half minute remix that is now my happy place. It looks like it ends, but it starts up again, so, if you’re enjoying it, watch it to the end.

You’re welcome.

It also inspired this week’s nails. I totally bought a dog plate from Maniology JUST BECAUSE it had “Can I pet that dog?” on it. Of course, I had to dig out a second plate for the stamp of the bear. Everything is in shades of brown except for the quote, which is gold.

And now, the story.

Lucky Unlucky

He had had a different name in the city, and a name different from that when he was born. Or, as he said these days, bornded.

He got the name Lucky Unlucky when he moved to Beatdown in the heart of Appalachia.

Somebody who owned a piece of 45 degree land and a cabin with no electricity and no running water had died without a will, and two distant relatives had each hired an attorney to find a third heir to spite each other and he had been it.

He had just pulled into town when his car threw a rod.

Lucky he had made it. Unlucky he didn’t have a car anymore.

Lucky he had been handed an inheritance. Unlucky it was Gawdamighty’s cabin and “land”, if you can call a stable rockslide “land”.

So, just as Pellier Michaelson had become Gawdamighty, he, himself, had become Lucky Unlucky.

He had only packed an overnight case, because he had planned on coming, viewing his “estate”, and going home to put it on the market, assuming he couldn’t unload it on someone local. As it was, nobody local wanted it, his car was broken, and wifi didn’t reach into these here hills, although he suspected it was just his service that didn’t reach, and the locals were “joshing” him.

Having packed light, it wasn’t much of a burden to carry his case to the cabin, which was two miles uphill on foot.

Lucky Unlucky.

Lucky he had found a place it was unlikely his extremely determined creditors would be able to track him. Unlucky it was in the most inhospitable place in the continental United States.

“Naw, now, don’t look like that,” said the local man who had shown him to his new home. “Gawdamighty lived here nigh onto sixty year, and his daddy before him.”

“What was his daddy’s name? Jesus Wept?”

The man – who told me his name was Tater but I later learned was Tatum McBurn – huffed and wheezed and wiped his eyes.

“We gonna love having you around here,” he said. “You play poker?”

There was no game of chance I wouldn’t play, which is why I was just as willing to stay here as not.

Tater said Gawdamighty used to host weekly games at the cabin and provided liquid refreshment while the other fellers brought the snacks. He winked when he said “liquid”, so I would know he meant alcohol in this dry county. Naturally, it was a dry county, “dry”, in case you don’t know, meaning alcohol was forbidden.

After I told him I liked liquids as much as the next guy, he continued my tour by taking me around a knob of rock and into a cave, where his flashlight showed us a … wait for it … yep, a still.

“We’re kinely hoping you’ll continue the family business,” Tater said.

I made a noncommittal noise. I wasn’t opposed to it – free booze is always a good thing – but I didn’t know the first thing about running a still.

Tater showed me the icy spring coming straight out of the mountain, the coldhouse over the spring where I could keep things as cold as in a refrigerator, the smokehouse still hung with a couple hams that I guess the local boys hadn’t gotten around to carrying off yet, the hand-cranked washing machine on the front porch, the pie safe full of beeswax candles Godawmighty had traded liquid for, and Gawdamighty’s library, which consisted of a Bible heavier than my overnight bag.

Tater wished me good luck and good night and hopped back down the hill cackling “Jesus Wept!” as he went.

I inspected the cabin while it was still light. One thing I discovered is that Gawdamighty was cleaner than my mother’s OCD aunt. There was a little dust, because dead men don’t clean house, but somebody along the line of inheritance had built a pantry, a linen cupboard, and a broom closet, and had dug a root cellar into the hill behind what I looked like a back door, except the only “back” there was behind the cabin was rock and dirt and, now, a root cellar.

The sheets in the linen cupboard smelled like fresh air.

So, could be worse.

To top it off, I found Gawdamighty’s journal. The man should have been a novelist, because he could make foraging for dandelion greens sound like King Solomon’s Mines. So detail oriented, he gave J.R.R. Tolkien a run for his money.

Now I knew exactly how to live off this land and – BONUS – how to make moonshine.

Lucky, eh?

How about my creditors finding me within four months? Still lucky?

I came out of the cave, where I’d been cleaning my still, and saw two city bruisers in jeans and t-shirts with loose denim vests to hide the guns tucked into the backs of their pants standing just below my porch. One of them made a sweeping motion. The other one went around “to the back”, which there wasn’t one of, and came back to join his buddy.

I was only half out of the cave, because I had caught sight of a half-grown bear cub that had been hanging around ever since the blackberries between the cave and the cabin had come into season. Now the cub ambled over to the bushes and started grazing.

One of the men pulled his gun.

I wasn’t having that, but I wasn’t sure what to say. If I said, “Don’t shoot,” he might think I meant myself and that he had me scared. If I said, “I wouldn’t do that, if I were you,” which I wouldn’t, because the mama bear was probably somewhere close, he might think I had a gun and shoot me in self defense.

So I yelled, “Don’t you shoot my dog.”

“Your what?”

“My dog! Don’t you shoot him!”

The cub, caught between two people yelling, froze in place.

The second guy put a hand on the first guy’s gun and said, “C’mon, man. Don’t shoot the dog.”

The first guy looked at the second guy and said, “Are you crazy?”

A roar shook the ground, and the mama bear came raging out of the scrub.

“Gawdamighty!” I squealed, so I guess that’s where that name came from.

The two city guys screamed and took off running.

The mama bear followed them out of sight, then trotted back to her cub.

I thought the still needed a little more cleaning, so I did that or an hour or two before I went back to my cabin.

Nobody ever came after me again. I don’t know if the mama bear killed them or what, but I’m safe here. I’m also stuck here.

Lucky Unlucky.

MY PROMPT TODAY: Kin ah pet dat dawg?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

You may also like...

One thought on “Monday Recommends, Nail Art, StoryADay May

  1. Dan Antion

    May 16, 2024 at 7:56am

    That’s a great story. I think I could get comfortable in a place like that. Quick thinking by Lucky.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 16, 2024 at 9:55am

      I couldn’t do an outhouse again. I have nightmares about that outhouse at Uncle Owen’s and Aunt Anna’s.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.