Archive for November, 2014

Stolen Luck

Posted: November 23, 2014 in Short Story
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Image courtesy of marcolm at

Image courtesy of marcolm at

Madison wondered why some people were luckier than others.  “Why did some people have it so easy while others struggled to barely get by?” she thought to herself. She started asking these questions because she had never really had an easy life.  “For some people, things just seemed to work out, but not for me… never for me.”

She was angry about the way her life had turned out. She was barely getting by, and she was doing things to make ends meet that she didn’t really want to do.  On a particularly bad day, she became obsessed.  “Why? Why? Why? I don’t understand why some people have it so easy.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Why is life so hard on some people?  I don’t get why my life is like this.”  Her anger and despair were all that drowned out the growl of her very hungry stomach.  While all of these thoughts were swirling around in mind, she fell asleep.

While she was sleeping, she began to dream of a factory.  It was a factory of souls.  As each soul went down the assembly line, a certain allotment of good luck was attached.  Some were given just enough good luck to stay alive. Others were given enough to become exceedingly rich.  Most were given close to an average amount. They wouldn’t be exceedingly rich, but they would live relatively happy lives.  “How can this be fair?” she wondered.  As she was snooping around, she found an operating manual.  The manual explained that it was necessary for people to be born with different amounts and concentrations of good luck. Some needed to be stronger, some needed to run out sooner, and some needed to be just the bare minimum.  If there was ever too much of the same strength and amount of good luck in too many people at the same time, then the risk is that the their luck would cancel each other’s out and become bad.  Disasters resulting in mass fatalities occur when this happens. It can’t always be avoided, but quality controls were put in place to minimize the occurrences.

As Madison kept reading, she learned that not only was good luck given in different amounts and concentrations, but individuals were born with different innate abilities to tap into their luck.  Someone could be born with enough good luck to be the wealthiest person in the world, but he could only have the ability to tap into enough to live moderately comfortable.  She also learned that people had the ability to combine their luck. This usually happened with families and in relationships.  Parents unknowingly used their good luck to protect and provide for their children.  Husbands and wives with the right mixture of good luck would have a successful marriage and be very happy.

About this time, a factory worker came around the corner and spotted her.  “Hey, what you doing? This is a restricted area,” he shouted.  As he hit the alarm, she woke up. She began to contemplate what she had dreamed.  Was it all real or just a product of her subconscious frustration with her life?  Either way, she couldn’t deny that it made sense.  There are countless stories of people who find “the one” and their lives improve.

Just like everything else in her life, this system was against her. She had either been given just enough luck to survive or she lacked the ability to tap into it.  Then it occurred to her, “If this is a system, perhaps it can be cheated.”  Could she?  Could she possibly fake relationships and siphon good luck from guys?  It was worth a shot. Anything had to be better than her current way of life.

She changed overnight.  She still did things for money, but she gave a little more of herself.  She made the guys feel special.  She told them what she knew they wanted to hear.  And basking in their afterglow, her station in life began to improve.  She was provided for. She began eating well for the first time in her life.  She had a nice apartment, and things were going well.  The only problem is that none of this was really hers.  She was still dependent upon the good luck of others, but since things were going so well, she didn’t focus on that.  She got caught up in enjoying life for the first time ever.  She had discovered a strategy that worked.

Then one day, she moved on to another guy.  He was a little different. He wasn’t like all of the others.  She didn’t care, though.  She was doing what was necessary for her happily ever after.  She told him what he wanted to hear, and she actually didn’t have to do very much.  A lie here, a sad story there.  She tapped into him, and his good luck was free-flowing.

What she failed to assess was how much good luck he actually had to offer.  He didn’t have as much as some of the others she had encountered, and eventually the well ran dry.  She was using his good luck faster than he had the ability to tap into it.  She didn’t care, though.  At this point, she was going to get every last drop.

He had become an empty shell, but she was still trying to siphon.  Eventually, the empty shell completely dried out, cracked, broke, and crumbled. This caused a sort of karmic backlash.  She couldn’t figure it out, but things started going downhill really quickly for her.  People began to distance themselves from her.  She hadn’t prepared for this. She hadn’t saved any of her borrowed good luck. She had only used and used and used.

It’s a really good feeling whenever you pull yourself up, regardless of how you do it.  But when you fall back down again, it’s worse than it was before.  She was experiencing this, and she was scared.  She knew that her life was slipping back into the gray hole that she had fought so hard to crawl out of.

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Recently, I have adopted a different view of karma.  I think it mostly impacts those that are aware of it.  Too often we will sit back and comfort ourselves knowing that we don’t have to get even because the person that wronged us will get what’s coming to them. But will they?  If they don’t believe in karma or the golden rule or a similar philosophy, then they may just keep taking advantage of people and be very successful at it. Do you that they’ll ever be happy?  Sure, why not?  If they have a view that they aren’t doing anything wrong, then there is no guilt for them.  Their conscience is clear.

But maybe, just maybe, one day they’ll see their actions for what they are.  I can’t hold out hope for that. I don’t see how that person is going to see things from my point of view all of a sudden.  Maybe one day someone will take advantage of them, but even so, if they don’t realize how their past actions impacted you, then they aren’t going to equate how they were treated to how they treated you.

Does that mean that I live my life differently?  No.  I’m aware of reaping what I sow, and I don’t want to reap unpleasantness.  Since I’m aware of karma, I’m subject to it, just like a cartoon character that is aware of gravity.  It would be against my nature to treat someone in a way that I would not want to be treated.