The Science of Luck

Being a writer, you learn the true secret to success: luck.  Hard work breaks you even and timing gives you a head start, but to be a bestseller you find luck and cultivate it.  Hoard it  Even write an ebook about it: The Science of Luck  And when a nobody like Scott Noble–unimaginative, metaphor-butchering, run-on sentence hack that he is–starts climbing  the charts,  you tail his ass and find out just where his luck’s coming from.

“What are you showing me, Hendricks?” I ask the PI, the blob of a man I’ve given the job.  He replays the footage.

“Every morning it’s the same, Mr. Dodd,” he explains between bites of a doughnut.  “A pinch of salt over his left shoulder, a penny in a wishing well, and three kisses to a rabbit foot at 5:03 A.M.  Every morning…”

Holy hell, he’s right. I was right.  My research and sweat, the mocking from an uncaring establishment, the taunts of being called a quack–it doesn’t matter.  The Science of Luck is true, and it’s going to make me a fortune.

As Hendricks fiddles with the controls, he notices me eyeing his new gold watch.  Someone’s luck has changed.

“You did it, didn’t you, Hendricks?  Noble’s routine.”  Before he can answer, I stick a pen through his eye and into his brain.

Rule #1: There’s only so much luck in the world.  I’m not about to share.

I try to replicate Noble’s success, but the words just aren’t there.  My writing’s dribble and my grammar’s a mess.  There’re adverbs galore and my sales are crap.

My mind unravels.

Am I using the wrong salt? Pennies from the wrong year?  Am I buying the wrong rabbit feet or do I need to butcher the little bastards myself?  No, it’s simpler than that.

Rule #16: Luck favors those who get there first.  Noble’s in my way.  He’s hogging the luck that should be mine.

So simple.  The next morning, I’m at Noble’s home.  I sneak up behind, gun drawn, ready to take what’s mine.

You disappear, I become a god. The Amazon bestseller king.

As I’m about to pull the trigger, a pinch of salt gets into my eye.  I trip, accidently firing.  Just my luck, the bullet ricochets into my skull.

Neurons fire and die, and as a  last burst of inspiration before the bloody end, I think of a final rule: All luck is good luck, it just may not always be yours.


About lacolem1

I'm a first-year Physics graduate student who spends his long drives from Mississippi to Texas thinking of new ideas and writing/enacting stories and publishable content in his head. I've been a comic book geek since I was 12, an internet philosopher since 18, and a wannabe media inventor since five minutes in the future. I love the beauty of short form fiction a la Maupassant, the ticklish excitement of flowery prose a la Bradbury, and the strict directness of blunt imagery a la Hemingway. Alas, this is countered by my love for bad black-and-white sci-fi from the 50s, bad Benetar-esque pop music from the 80s, and Bridezillas and the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I'd like to think I have a natural talent for words and storytelling, but I guess it's up to you guys to decide
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