This story


by Robert Williams

Des woke up one morning in a good mood.

"I feel lucky today!" he said to himself in bed. "I feel like everything's going to go my way!"

But Des hadn't realised it was Friday 13th. As soon as he got out of bed, he got his foot caught up in the blankets hanging off his bed and he fell flat on the floor. Then when he got himself up he stubbed his toe on the skirting board.

"Owww!" said Des.

He limped downstairs and into the kitchen to have his breakfast. He switched on the radio to listen to Terry Wogan only to find that Jonathan Ross was standing in for him.

"Oh no!!" exclaimed Des, switching the radio off again.

Then he got a packet of cereal out of the cupboard but when he opened it he found it was empty.

"Oh brilliant, I've run out of Coco Pops!!" moaned Des. "I wonder if Mick's got any."

He popped round to Mick's house to see if he had any spare Coco Pops.

"No I haven't!" said Mick. "I've got Rice Krispies, that's all!"

"Well that's no good is it?!" said Des. He went back to his house, muttering to himself. "Cor, what's going on today? I've only just woken up but every single thing's gone wrong already!!"

When he got back to his house he noticed that the postman had been.

"Oh no, my copy of 'Yachting Monthly' is all squashed!!" moaned Des. "I've warned that postman about shoving that through the letterbox!"

As he picked up the squashed magazine from the doormat he noticed there was a letter underneath it.

"Just what I need, more junk mail," groaned Des. "Probably some rubbish telling me I've won a brand new car."

He opened the letter and gasped.

"I've won a brand new car!! Yippee!!! A brand new Fiat Panda!! Yes!!! I knew this was going to be my lucky day!!"

He peered out of the front window and saw a Fiat Panda parked outside by the side of the road.

"That must be it!" he exclaimed.

Des rushed outside, still wearing his dressing gown and slippers. As he walked up the drive Clive's black cat walked across his path.

"Get out the way, cat!" exclaimed Des.

When Des reached the car he tried opening the door. But it was locked.

"Oh botherations!" said Des. "They haven't left me a key!"

Just then a man came up to him.

"Excuse me, are you are trying to break into my car?"

"Your car?!" said Des. "This is my car, I've just won it!"

"What are you talking about?!" said the man. "If you don't go away I'll call the police!"

Too late, PC Plod was already there.

"Everything all right sir?" asked Plod.

"PC Plod, it's all right, there's just been some mix-up, I'm not trying to break into this car, honest!!" said Des, breathlessly.

"Hmmm," said the car's owner, unlocking the door, getting in and driving off.

Almost immediately, another Fiat Panda drew up outside Des's house.

"A-ha, this'll be it now!" said Des.

"Are you Mr Wednesday?" said a man, getting out of the car.

"Tis I!" declared Des.

"Congratulations, welcome to your new car!" said the man. "Here are the keys! Enjoy!!"

"Thanks!" said Des, taking the keys. The man walked off. "Hmmm, very nice!"

Des decided it'd be best if he got changed out of his pyjamas before taking it for a drive. However just as he had finished getting dressed he heard a massive crash. He looked outside and his worst fears were confirmed. A Ford Capri had just smashed into his new Fiat Panda.

"NOOOOOOO!!!!!" exclaimed Des. He rushed outside to inspect the damage. He was dismayed to find that his Panda had fared much worse than the Capri.

"Whoops!!" said Mike the Manic Mechanic, getting out of the Capri. "Still, doesn't look too bad, just a little frontal damage. New wings, new bonnet, new bumper, it'll be as good as new!"

"Never mind your Capri, what about my brand new car?!?!" exclaimed Des.

"This is your car?" said Mike. "Hmmm...looks like a write-off to me!"

"You're joking!!!" said Des.

"Come on Des, it's a flimsy Fiat, what do you expect?" said Mike. "Anyway, your insurance will cover it."

"Oh..." said Des.

"You were insured, weren't you?" said Mike.

"Well...I've only just won it, you see," said Des.

"And you were about to go for a drive in it, without insurance?" said Mike.

"Err..." said Des, who hasn't really thought about it.

"I'm sure our local police force would be interested to hear about this!" said Mike. "But don't worry, I won't tell them!"

Too late, PC Plod was already there.

"Everything all right sir?" asked Plod.

Des decided to make a hasty exit. He hurried over to the cafe to relate to the others that morning's experiences.

"Well it's obvious, isn't it?" said Clive. "Today's Friday 13th!"

"FRIDAY 13th?!?!? OH NO!!!!" exclaimed Des. "Why didn't anyone tell me?! I'd never have got out of bed if I'd known!!!"

"Good grief Des, you don't believe all that superstitious nonsense!" said Mick. "Friday 13th is no more unlucky than any other day of the year!"

"You're right!" said Des. "And just to prove it, I'm going to go and walk under that ladder outside!"

Des went outside the cafe and walked under the ladder up which Wayne was busy cleaning Mrs Greasy's upstairs windows. Seconds later he walked back into the cafe, soaking wet.

"Whoops, sorry Des!" called Wayne from outside.

"Ahem," said Des, sitting down again.

"Ha ha!" laughed Clive.

"Well Friday 13th may have been unlucky for you Des, but what about me?!" said Mrs Greasy.

"What about you?!" said Des.

"I've had the unluckiest Friday 13th ever!!" said Mrs Greasy. "My accountant has given me some terrible news!"

"I didn't know you had an accountant!" said Des. "Who is he?"

"Me!" grinned Clive.

"He's told me that I can't afford that new extension I've just had built!" said Mrs Greasy. "I'm more in debt than ever before!"

"Does this mean..." said Des.

"I'm afraid I have no option," said Mrs Greasy. "I'm going to have to close the cafe! For good!"

Everyone gasped in astonishment and their hearts leapt.

"YES!!!!!" exclaimed Des. "YIPPPEEEEE!!!!" He jumped up from his seat and started jumping up and dancing round.

"FANTASTIC!!!" exclaimed Clive, also jumping up and dancing round.

"See, I told you Friday 13th is not necessarily an unlucky day!" exclaimed Mick, also jumping up and dancing round. "Hey hey!!"

"I can see you're upset," said Mrs Greasy as Des, Mick and Clive danced about, arm in arm. "I'll console you all with a plate of fish and chips. Your last plate of fish and chips."

But Des and Mick were too ecstatic to eat. They danced out of the cafe and off down the street.

"I'm feeling in a really good mood now!" said Des. "I'm not bothered about the car now, or about getting wet! This is the luckiest Friday 13th of my life!! I wonder what other lucky things are going to happen today!"

Then Dickie the Vicar came up to them.

"Hello Dickie," said Mick. "How goes it?"

"Not too groovy I'm afraid," said Dickie. "In fact it's been a really bad Friday 13th for me! My record player's packed up which means no disco tonight!"

"YIPPEEEE!!" exclaimed Des.

"And I can't find anywhere that sells new record players, so it looks like no more discos for the foreseeable future!!!" said Dickie.

"YIPPEEEE!!" exclaimed Des.

"I can't believe the amount of luck we're having today!" said Mick.

"Yes, I'll never worry about Friday13th again!" said Des.

But as Des skipped happily along the pavement he didn't notice the open manhole in front of him.

"Des, watch out!!" exclaimed Mick.

"AAAARGGGHHH!!!" yelled Des as he fell down the manhole.

"Tsk," said Mick. He peered down the manhole.

"Get me out of here!!!" yelled Des.

"I'll find the nearest phone box and ring the fire brigade!!" called Mick. "Don't go away!"

"As if!!" exclaimed Des.

Des mumbled and grumbled to himself as he waited for Mick to come back. Just then his mobile phone rang.

"Oh no, not now!" moaned Des. He took the phone out of his pocket and answered it. "Yes, who's there?"

"Hello Des, it's me, Mrs Greasy," said Mrs Greasy on the phone.

"Look Mrs G, it's a bit inconvenient to talk at the moment!" said Des.

"You sound all echoey Des!" said Mrs G. "Are you in the toilet?"

"No, no, look, I'll explain later!" said Des.

"Well anyway, I need you to come to the cafe urgently!" said Mrs G. "I have an important announcement to make!"

"Like I say, I'm a bit tied up at the moment!" said Des.

"I don't care what you're doing, you must come now!" said Mrs Greasy. She hung up.

Des tutted, and waited for the firemen to turn up. Which they eventually did. They pulled him out of the manhole, and Des emerged into the daylight.

"Thank you firemen," said Des. "Urgh, I'm all mucky and soggy!"

"Never mind that, we'd better hurry along to Mrs Greasy's cafe and find out about this important announcement!" said Mick.

"How did you know about that?" said Des.

"She rang me in the phone box, just after I'd put the phone down to the fire brigade!" said Mick.

"How the heck did she know..."

But Mick had already hurried off.

"Oh blow this for a game of soldiers," said Des, shrugging his shoulders.

Rather than go to Mrs Greasy's cafe and risk being served some food, he decided instead to pop back home to clean himself up and have a chocolate biscuit as he was feeling a bit hungry. When he got there, he found to his surprise that the written off Fiat Panda had been given a parking ticket.

"Oh no!" groaned Des, looking at it. "Do they seriously expect me to pay that?!"

He went instead to have his biscuit. But as he ate it, he sensed a less than savoury smell passing under his nostrils.

"What's that pong?!?" said Des. He went outside to investigate. To his horror, he saw a massive pile of manure right in front of his drive.

"Oooooh arrrrr!!!!" exclaimed Farmer Files from his Land Rover, attached to which was a trailer which until recently had been carrying the aforementioned manure.

"Farmer Files, what on earth's happened?!?!" exclaimed Des.

"Oooooh arrrrrr!!! Sorry Des, there's been a bi' of an accident!! Oi've spilt this 'ere pile of manure roight on top of your new car!!"

"Doesn't matter really, it was a write-off anyway," sighed Des. "This stuff smells horrible!!"

"It usually does, Des!!" said Files. "Don't you be worryin', oi'll be gettin' it all cleaned up just as soon as oi can!!"

He drove off in his Land Rover. Seconds later Mike the Manic Mechanic turned up in a tow truck.

"Hi there Des!!" said Mike. "Look, I've decided that, since it was I who crashed into your brand new Fiat Panda, I'm going to do you a favour and..."

"Pay me compensation?" said Des, which is what he really wanted.

"No," said Mike.

"Do me a cracking deal on a used car from your garage?" said Des, which is not what he really wanted.

"No," said Mike. "I'm going to tow away that write-off for you, before it gets given any more parking tickets! Ha ha!"

"Hence the tow truck," said Des. "Fair enough, I suppose."

"Where is it, anyway?" said Mike, looking all around.

"Under there," said Des, pointing at the pile of manure.

"Eurghhh no!!!" exclaimed Mike. "You must be joking, I'm not towing away a pile of poo!! Get real, Des!"

Mike promptly drove off. Then Des's mobile phone rang again.

"We're waiting for you Des!" said Mrs G on the phone.

"I just gets worse and worse," sighed Des, wearily. "I'm coming, I'm coming!"

"And about time!" exclaimed Mrs Greasy when Des finally arrived at the cafe. "We've all been here ages waiting for you!"

"Yes, but you didn't all fall down a manhole," grumbled Des. "Great Friday 13th this is turning out to be."

"Now I asked you all to come here this afternoon because I need to make an important announcement," said Mrs G. "As you know, I confirmed this morning that due to financial difficulties, I would be forced to close the cafe permanently. Well..."

Suddenly Dickie the Vicar burst in.

"Fantastic news!!!!" exclaimed Dickie. "I know you're all going to be thrilled to learn that tonight's fabbo disco is back on! You see, I went down the hi-fi shop to see if they had a new record player, and instead they told me about a revolutionary new invention called a 'compact disc player', on which you can apparently play objects called 'compact discs'. Apparently they give better sound quality than records. So I've bought one of these 'compact disc players', and a 'compact disc' of Status Quo which I can play at the disco! So I'll see you all down the church hall at 7.30 tonight! Laters!!!"

He walked out again.

"Oh great," groaned Des.

"Dickie is not the only one with good news," said Mrs Greasy. "As I was about to say, after conducting intensive negotiations throughout the day, I have found a buyer for the cafe. My sister, Ms Greasy, will be moving down here from Hammersmith, and taking over the cafe on a permanent basis, as of Monday. She will be running the cafe with a 'hands-on' approach, and will therefore be doing the cooking."

Everyone's hearts sank as low as they would go.

"No," said Des. "I refuse to believe it. This isn't happening."

"I'm sorry Des, but it's the only way forward," said Mrs G. "It's the only way I can keep this cafe open!"

"NO NO NO!!!!" exclaimed Des. He recalled the time Mrs Greasy's sister ran the cafe for a few days, treating her customers like they were in the army. Her cooking made Mrs Greasy's seems like cordon bleu in comparison. The thought of it was too much for Des, who burst into tears.

"Oh good grief," said Mick. "Is there really no other way, Mrs Greasy? We don't want your horrible sister running this place!"

"Don't diss my family!" exclaimed Mrs G.

"Can't you just close the place and be done with it, in line with my recommendations?!" exclaimed Clive, Mrs G's accountant.

"All right then, how much?!!" said Des suddenly, through the tears.

"What?" said Mrs Greasy.

"How much money do you need?!!" said Des.

"Well..." said Mrs Greasy. "Take a look at this." She showed Des her balance sheet.

"HOW MUCH?!?!?" exclaimed Des. "Well, there's nothing else for it."

He shrugged his shoulders, took out his cheque book, and wrote out a cheque for the necessary amount. He then handed the cheque over to Mrs G.

"I can't believe I just did that," said Des. "Tell me I'm dreaming."

"Well thank you very much Des, that's very generous of you!" said Mrs Greasy. "Looks like I won't have to sell the cafe after all!"

"I never thought I'd be saying this," said Mick, "but hooray!"

"This is turning into the unluckiest Friday 13th of my life," groaned Des. He just couldn't believe he had actually paid Mrs Greasy to keep the cafe open.

"So who's going to tell my sister she's not wanted?" said Mrs Greasy. "Here she is now, to look the place over!"

In walked Mrs Greasy's sister, Ms Greasy.

"Well then Mrs Greasy," said Ms Greasy in her deep, threatening voice. "Looks like I'm taking over round here!"

"Erm, well actually there's been a change of plan," said Mrs Greasy. "Des will tell you why."

"D-D-Des, I remember you!" said Ms Greasy. "What is this you have to tell me?!"

"W-w-well, er..." said Des, shaking.

"Stand up when you're talking to me! Come on man, on your feet!"

Des nervously stood up.

"Stomach in, chest out!" ordered Ms Greasy. "Stop shaking man, are you scared of me or something?!"

"N-n-no!" said Des. "W-w-well, you s-s-seem the thing is, you don't n-n-need to c-c-come and t-t-take the c-c-cafe over after all. I-I-I've d-d-donated Mrs G-G-Greasy the m-m-money to c-c-carry on r-r-running the c-c-cafe h-h-herself!!"

"WHAT?!?!?" exclaimed Ms Greasy, turning purple with rage. "I can't believe what I'm hearing!! How could you do such a thing?!! All my life I've dreamt of running my own independent cafe just like my older sister!!"

"It's Friday 13th, Ms Greasy," said Mrs Greasy. "These things happen."

"I don't believe in such superstitious twaddle!" exclaimed Ms Greasy. "You, D-D-Des, have dashed my lifetime's hopes and dreams!! Kindly step outside!!"

"D-d-do I have to?" said Des.

Unfortunately he did. Mrs Greasy, Mick, Clive and the others listened as Ms Greasy and Des dealt with their little disagreement outside.

"Take that, D-D-Des!!" exclaimed Ms Greasy.

"I was never really a fan of them...ouch!" exclaimed Des as Ms Greasy landed a punch on his face.

"Oooh nasty," said Mrs Greasy, wincing. "Now who fancies some black pudding?"

"To go with his black eye?!" laughed Clive as Des and Ms G walked back into the cafe.

"No thanks," groaned Des. "I'm going home!"

"Well I'll be off then!" said Ms Greasy. "See you again soon, Mrs Greasy!!"

As Des staggered home with his black eye, he noticed that the pile of manure in the road that Files had still not cleared up now had a parking ticket. But he just didn't care any more.

"Bed," mumbled Des. "That's exactly where I should have stayed today. Well next time Friday 13th comes round, I definitely will!!"

And so he did. All day on the next Friday 13th Des did not move from his bed. But he still had bad luck – his bed collapsed.

Copyright © Robert Williams

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