Luck in a Bottle

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“Did you order something online?” Mom accused me through the phone.
“No, why?”
“There’s a giant box here with your father’s name on it and the letters M and D on the side of it. I’ve already asked your father, so don’t lie to me.”
MD? It couldn’t be!
“I’ll be right there!” I shouted and hung up the phone before she could reply.
¨
I wiped the sweat off my forehead and stuffed the handkerchief back in the pocket of my jeans. I picked the maul back up and busted the last piece of wood. Picking up the pieces and the maul, I threw them on the truck, finishing up the load. Paps loaded he chainsaws and gas and I could see he was tired. A sixty-eight year old man still going at this pace had a right to be tired. He pulled off his hat and threw it into the cab of the truck, wiping his brow with the back of his sleeve. We both climbed into the cab and Paps started the old Junker.
I wrapped my hand in the seat belt and tucked my feet under the dash as we started down the hill. I trusted Paps and I trusted the old Junker, there was a reason for why I named it Sampson, but the hill was muddy and steep and I didn’t have any doubts on what I’d do if the brakes or transmission went out. That, and the fact that even Paps says he is half blind, crippled, and crazy.
We make it to the bottom and I let out a heavy sigh of relief. I opened the door and jumped out while Paps was switching gears. I walked to the edge of the path and pulled my little yellow four-wheeler out of the brush. Sampson sat at the edge of the hay field and I could tell Paps was getting slightly impatient.
I revved the engine to life and followed the truck through the two acres of the enormous hay field, coming out in the driveway. Paps backed Sampson up by the house and we started to unloading and stacking the load. About halfway through unloading the load, Mum maw came out the front door looking for us.
“Your mother is on the phone,” she said and set the cordless receiver on the edge of the well by the door. I jumped over the side of the truck and ran over to answer it.
“Yeah?”
“Did you order something online?” Mom accused me through the phone.
“No, why?”
“There’s a giant box here with your father’s name on it and the letters M and D on the side of it. I’ve already asked your father, so don’t lie to me.”
MD? It couldn’t be!
“I’ll be right there!” I shouted and hung up the phone before she could reply.
I opened the door and set the phone on the cabinet, right next to the glass angel that Mum-maw had setting out.
I sprinted to the four-wheeler, yelling over my shoulder to Paps, “I got to go! Mom needs me up there now!”
“Be careful,” came his gruff voice right before the engine came to life once again on the four-wheeler. I passed the few farms on my way to the house, thinking of how the fields would soon be cover with cornstalks and hay. The cool air cut through my jacket and I shivered. Within a few minutes, I was rolling down the hill in our front yard and whipping around to the garage. I killed the engine and walked into the garage, looking for the box.
“Its right here,” Mom growled. I could tell she was angry. I spun on my heel, grabbing a pair of wire-cutters off the wall and immediately tearing into the top.
“Hey don’t cut up the box! I have to return that!” Mom shouted.
“You won’t have to return it,” I mocked her, grabbing the handle to the machine and pulling it out of the box to sit upon the freezer. Mom’s mouth went slack and I’m pretty sure my grin was way too big for my face.
“You’ve got all the luck,” Mom whispered and walked into the house.
I let my grin get impossibly wider as my eyes took in the deep green miniature fridge. The side had ‘Mountain Dew’ written in bright red and neon green letters. I pulled the door open to see a shelf about halfway up and guessed it could hold at least twelve cans of pop in all. I shut the door back and carried it into the house, walking past Mom while she was talking to my aunt.
“Where do you think you’re going with that?” she eyed the fridge.
“To my room.”
¨
My dad cam in later that night, and I’m pretty sure he was intent on taking that fridge back with him to Michigan.
I wasn’t going to allow that to happen.
¨
The next morning, Dad and I were fixing breakfast, a rather late breakfast since it was already two o’clock in the evening. Mom had gone outside a little bit ago for something or another, but I only assumed it was because of stress. Her, Dad, and me were all on edge because of coming up just short on bills. We weren’t going to have any miracles this time.
Suddenly, mom burst through the door and hoisted me up into a bear hug. She started kissing my cheeks and I thought she had finally gone crazy.
“What is wrong with you?” I asked, struggling to get out of her hold.
“I love you!”
She held up two envelopes with MD stamped on the side. She had already opened them and held two twenty-five dollar checks up next to the envelopes. She was in tears as she walked back to the bedroom to take care of the bills.
“Good job shrimp,” Dad whispered. I smiled up at him, slightly surprised that we were both crying along with mom.
Later that day, the UPS truck stopped outside in front of the house while the kids were playing. Brianna, Stephen, and Jeremiah came running inside. Each of the boys held a box with MD stamped on the side. I ripped one of them open and pulled out a black jacket with green and red Mountain Dew initials printed on the inside of the hood. I hugged it and threw the other box to Dad.
“You can have that one.”
¨
I grinned and took a swig out of my bottle of Mountain Dew. I looked under the cap at the code, planning on entering that into the website when I got home.
Mountain dew is my lucky charm and that became a sure fact when a ball cap came in next month in a box stamped with MD.
“Luck in a bottle,” I whispered to myself.





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