Thursday, April 17, 2014



For Stuart Hoppledinker III, a.k.a. Hop, of Henderson, Nevada, he’s the unluckiest kid ever born given that a ruthless birthday jinx spells disaster every year on his special day. Recent birthdays have found Hop falling into an elevator shaft, flattened by a flying mattress, and struck by lightning. He’s convinced his fast approaching twelfth celebration will finish him off for good. Determined to scare the jinx away, Hop tries a variety of crazy remedies. In the meantime, his mother and father seem on the verge of a divorce; he’s about to make the transition to middle school; and his best friend is turning from a tomboy into a girl. With the clock ticking down to another catastrophe, a connection with a classic book and a man who helped build the Hoover Dam may be Hop’s best hope. But will it be enough to keep Hop out of the E.R. and his family intact? This birthday will unwrap some surprising answers.


The sight is horrifying. Bright, splashy colors, happy faces, and balloons. Last year’s birthday cards – my birthday cards.


I slam the desk drawer shut. My head tilts back and I see another reminder that makes me cringe – the calendar on the bedroom wall showing July almost gone. Another unhappy birthday will soon be terrorizing me for the twelfth straight year. Most kids are happy to be a year older. Not me. I dread the day it arrives. You see… I’ve got the birthday jinx. August 10th is an accident waiting to happen. Believe me – it’s bad.

Pick any other day and I’m a kid with few worries – homework, smelly shoes, an occasional cold, keeping my room down to one layer – the regular stuff. Not so on my birthday. I end up bloodied, broken, or downright scared to blow the candles out on my cake. Each birthday is worse than the previous and this time I may not survive.

I’ve got to do something. Anything. Yeah, I always say that, well, at least since I turned eight and figured out I might have a jinx after watching a cartoon about that very subject. Once I recover from each birthday mishap, my mind figures I’ve survived another year and why think about it until the next happy day gets closer.

I stand and leap to the bed. With my head planted in the pillow I hope to see a solution. Nothing – just the feeling I’m in the middle of a raging river heading towards a steep drop off.

No comments:

Post a Comment