by D.K. Holmberg
The bright green truck pulled in front of the house and parked in the driveway. Tracy watched as the driver leaned toward the passenger seat before getting out. He wore bright blue coveralls and a funny looking hat--not quite a beret--with a shamrock logo on it and carried a thick wooden clipboard in one hand.
She pulled the door open before he reached the step. Taylor squirmed in her arms but she refused to set him down until she knew what was happening. Noise blasted behind her as she pulled it closed.
"You called for a pickup?" the man asked. He had a thick way of speaking, as if his tongue was too big. Up close, his lips seemed puffy and one eye had a dark ring around it.
Tracy nodded quickly. "I wasn't sure if you were serious."
The man nodded. "Yup. We get that a lot." He tipped his head toward the door. "So what you got there? Pretty noisy. Some kinda golem or leprechaun or--"
A loud rattle at the door cut him off.
"Worse than that?" He frowned at Tracy, eyes skimming over the stack of boxes still in front of the garage. A ladder leaned against the green siding, threatening to fall. With everything that happened, getting the boxes put away from the move seemed less important. "Let me guess--streak of bad luck?"
Tracy nodded. How could she be having this conversation? "I don't know what happened. One moment everything was fine, the next..." Somewhere in the house, glass shattered. Tracy hoped it wasn't a mirror.
"Anything... unusual... happen?" the man asked.
"You mean like all of this?"
He tried to offer her a smile, but it only made his face more grotesque. "Walk under a ladder or have a black cat cross your path or spill salt or break a mirror or pick up a penny or--"
"What was that?"
"Break a mirror?" The man shrugged. "That's the most common one I see." He nodded toward the boxes. "People moving and don't pack things well enough, and then..." He shrugged again. "Kinda starts up. Keeps me busy at least."
She shook her head. "Not the mirror. At least, not until this all started. But what did you say about the penny?"