Jackie, Dean and I sat in the car, waiting for the funeral procession to pass. I was behind the wheel. Jackie was up front with me, Dean was in the back.

"Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three..." I counted as the cars drove past, headlights on, little brown flags magnetically attached to their roofs waving.

Jackie punched me in the shoulder. "Don't do that!" she said. "Haven't you heard the saying, 'Count the cars as they go by and you will be the next to die'?"

"I had not heard that," I answered, rubbing my shoulder. I looked out the windshield and couldn't identify the last car I'd counted. She'd made me lose track. I fumed as the rest of the procession went by and squealed the tires when it was finally our turn to go.

At the next red light, Dean spoke from the back seat. "Got a light?" He had a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

"Sure," I said, reaching into my shirt pocket for a box of matches. I struck one against the side of the box and it flared to life. I turned around and lit Dean's cigarette.

"Me too," Jackie said. She was holding a smoke. I lit hers and used my free hand to shake a cigarette out of the pack on the dashboard. I put the cigarette in my mouth and brought the match up. Julie leaned toward me and blew the match out.

"Do you have a death wish?" she asked. "'If three on a match you light, you won't survive the night'".

"You just made that up," I accused.

"I did not," Jackie said. "It's a well-known phrase".

I frowned and shook the matchbox. It was empty. I reached forward to punch in the dashboard lighter. It was gone. I stuffed the cigarette back into the pack.

We arrived at our destination and climbed out of the car. Dean and I walked in front of Jackie.

"Watch your step!" she warned. "Step on a crack..."

A grand piano fell out of the sky onto Jackie, pulverizing her.

Dean and I stopped and looked back at the sound of the crash. I shrugged.

"Evidently," I said, "Jackie never heard the phrase, 'Three dumb sayings shared with friends will bring you an untimely end'."

Copyright: © 2010 Robert C. Eccles

Robert C. Eccles is a radio news reporter and anchor who enjoys writing short horror and sci-fi stories.


  1. Fun story. I love dark, ironic humor.

  2. You think she would have known that. Amusing story. Nicely done.

  3. Fun! She didn't know that saying.

  4. Hey Bob, nothing like being tickled by the ivories!!