Alas, the final chapter in Captain Tragedy's career is upon us. A HUGE 'thank you' to everyone who has continued to read (and hopefully) laugh along this far! I will be around to scribble in your guestbooks soon :)
Make sure to read the ending credits, as there will be an opportunity for you to voice your opinion about whether or not this story should have a continuation!
Make sure to read the ending credits, as there will be an opportunity for you to voice your opinion about whether or not this story should have a continuation! "Ms. Jolina--"
"Wozny, not now."
He almost stepped aside. And then he remembered that refusing to speak up was what had gotten him into trouble in the first place. "I understand that you have more pressing needs to attend to, but I really--" "Listen, mush-for-brains! In case you can't see or smell, I'm covered in molasses! Was I not clear? NOT NOW!" So he walked back inside, up to the triage area, and gave them him his ID and his lab coat. And he accepted his final paycheck from the hospital comptroller and went home to tend his garden. At least the plants didn't yell at him.
"You know," Gwen said later that evening, "In all the excitement of the trip I forgot to tell you that I found some relics in Egypt. Rosalind looked at them and said that they're pretty valuable. You should be able to sell them to the museum for a good price, I think ... and it would be enough money to support you until you find a job that's a better fit." Holden didn't say much in return--he couldn't, not with his jaw nearly swollen shut. Between the medicated tea in his stomach, the slimy aloe and camphor mixture on his skin, and the Tylenol currently in his mouth, he probably wouldn't have to go to the hospital after all, but he sure was sore. Who would have guessed there were hornets in the plum trees?
"Who would have guessed there were hornets in the plum trees?" Gwen mused aloud as she looked at his swollen arms. "And why'd they coming flying out today? I've never seen them before."
Holden rolled his eyes. Gwen looked insulted. "Oh, cut it out. It doesn't have anything to do with bad luck."
He glared at her.
"It doesn't! Don't you remember the first time we met? It was sixth grade. You fell on your face in a mud puddle right before the class photo. And you wouldn't let anyone even clean it off because you said 'It doesn't matter, I'm just having a bad day.' Remember? You took a yearbook photo covered in mud because you couldn't bring yourself to get clean again. Ever since I've known you, you always sabotage yourself. Anytime anything goes wrong, you're having a bad day. Or you're unlucky. Or cursed. Or whatever! Don't you understand that you make your own luck?" Her voice became gentle again. "I know people look at me and say 'Man, I want luck like hers.' But I'm not BORN lucky, I just make sure that I take advantage of every opportunity life gives me. It's totally okay to be afraid, but it's not okay to do nothing at all because you're afraid. I promise you, Holden, if you would just have some confidence in yourself, you would see life as something to live, not to fear. So stop being afraid, get out there, and start taking some chances for once!" And then she very quickly ducked backwards to avoid a kiss. "But not with ME, goofball! I don't like boys."
"R'yoo s'yin' 'm 'mmatoor?" "I'm not saying that you're immature, I just don't ... like ... boys." "Oh," he mumbled. Then it hit him. "Oh! Damn it!" "And you're really sure about this?" Jamie Jolina asked for the fourth time. It had taken her nearly two days to scrub the molasses from her hair and skin, so by the time she returned to work, Holden's dismissal paperwork had been finalized. It was too late for her to stop him from leaving, but apparently just the right time for her to layer on a sloppy heap of massive guilt. "I mean, you just made resident, and you were a good employee. The hospital is finally saving more people than it kills, and you could ride that wave to the top. Are you SURE you want to leave now?"
Holden barely heard. They stood outside City Hall, where protestors stood screaming about 'cruelty to jellyfish' and something else about how bludgeoning the slippery things to death wasn't humane, or something like that. He just wanted to go inside and register as a professional gardener. But he wasn't about to do it with nosy Jamie hovering over his shoulder. She'd make sure that everyone in town was on his doorstep begging for cheese plants.
"Just think about it a little longer," Jamie continued. "They haven't removed you from the system yet, we can reverse it."
"Probably not necessary. Thanks for everything, though." Holden shook hands with his former boss and crossed the street to visit the park. Gwen was merrily plunking away, surrounded by admiring fans, scattered coins ... and Rosalind. Hmmm. "Hey there!" Gwen said as soon as she could find an opportunity to set the guitar down. "So did you get registered? Are we all going to be buying Wozny potatoes soon?"
"Maybe not. See, I thought about what you said ... and I think I'm gonna apply for another job. That lady in the yellow suit wants to talk to me for a while, so I guess that's gonna be my interview. Wish me luck ... err, I'll let you know how it goes. I'm sure I'll be fine."
"That's the spirit!" Gwen said in approving tones. She watched as Holden walked away. Rosalind came over to her side. "You sure this is such a good idea, Gwen?"
"Not really. But I told him to take some chances ... and this is about as big of a chance as he's gonna take, so what can I do but wish him the best?"
"Well, like he said, he'll be fine. But what about the rest of us?" They both watched as Holden greeted the chief of the fire department. Gwen smiled sheepishly.
"Invest in a smoke alarm ... and hope not to have a grease fire?"
Connor: What do you mean, you KISSED her?!
Rosalind: It was in the script!
Connor: ... was ... was she a better kisser than I am?
Rosalind: ... oh gawd, Connor ...
And so ... we come to the end. Please check my minisite for a poll about this story, and let me know if you want a sequel or if I should just leave well enough alone! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read! I really appreciate your feedback and interest :)
Luck Like Hers: Chapter Six
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