Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bad Luck

Bongos - 480 words
Mary Ann Loo

“Are we playing these?” our new singer asked as she rhythmically tapped on the animal skin of the bongos standing alone in the corner, blatantly ignoring the hand-written sign pasted above it: DO NOT TOUCH.

“Julie, did you not see the sign?” I asked, looking up from tuning my Fender.

She withdrew hastily. “Oh. I just thought it’d be cool to have some bongo sounds in the recording.”

“Yeah, Dan told us not to touch those. Supposedly it’s bad luck or something,” John the bassist said.

Julie’s eyes widened. “Bad luck?” She glanced at the lonely instrument, and turned to me. “Why?”

“It’s like cursed. Like Dan’s owned this place for maybe ten years now, and it’s always been there,” I replied. “Like it’s been moved a couple times before, but the next day it’s always back in that same spot.”


“Yeah, and something like the previous dude tried to get rid of it – gave it to goodwill or something – and the next day it was back,” John said, slapping his strings to check his headphone sound levels.

“It’s said that everyone who’s played on it before, like something bad happened to them after that,” I added, standing up with the Fender slung over my shoulder. “Not like Dan personally knows anyone who died from playing it. But he’s really superstitious, so we kinda just went along with it.”

Julie swallowed, her voice quivered as she asked, “So none of you have ever touched it?”

John and I exchanged looks with each other, and with the drummer, Jack. Jack sighed and nodded, and continued fiddling with the drum set.

“What is it?” Julie asked, now moving to where I was, as far from the mysterious bongos as possible.
John said, “Jack kinda touched it once.”


“It was probably just coincidence,” I said quickly. “I mean, we were playing a show, and both his sticks broke at the same time. Like, what are the odds, you know?”

“Yeah, and for some reason he couldn’t find his entire bag of sticks, it disappeared into thin air or something,” John added. “But we just assumed someone stole them.”

A tense silence ensued, as Julie looked from John to me to Jack to me again. She laughed nervously. “You’re just messing with me. Right?”

“You guys ready?” Dan’s voice resounded in my headphone; he was back from his smoke break.


“I keep getting her voice mail,” I said, flipping my cell shut.

John shrugged. “We can just track ourselves or something first.”

“Yeah, but this isn’t like her. Like, she’s not a copout.”

Just as I said those words, my cell buzzed urgently, Julie’s number displayed on its screen.

“Julie, where are you?”

“Hello.” An unfamiliar guy’s voice. “Are you Grant?”


He sighed. “I’m really sorry, but the girl who owned this cell… she was just run over by a bus.”

Only Superstition - Coldplay

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