FRIDAY THE 13TH AND THE “F” WORD
Hi, Bri. Thank you so much for having me as your guest blogger today. My name is Debbie Christiana and I write paranormal romance and women’s fiction. I’m excited to be here on such a fun day as Friday the 13th. I was born on Friday, October 13th and often wondered if that contributed to my fascination and love of all things unexplained and mysterious.
There are a couple different names given to the fear of the day, all of them long and unpronounceable, but Friggatriskaidekaphobia is the original Scandinavian word. The English word Friday is derived from the ancient Norse love goddess and wife of Odin, Frigga. The story goes she threw a banquet with twelve gods in attendance, purposely not inviting Loki the god of Mischief. He came to the party anyway making the number of guests thirteen. Chaos ensued and in the end, the God Balder the Good, was dead. The moral of the story: Never have thirteen people for dinner. Judas was guest thirteen at the Last Supper.
One in fifteen Americans suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia or the irrational fear of the number thirteen, including our own 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. He refused to travel on the thirteenth of the month, no matter what day it fell on. Even in death, he escaped the dreaded number. He died on Thursday, April 12th, 1945. Both FDR and Herbert Hoover would not attend a dinner party with thirteen guests.
Why the lethal combination of Friday and the number thirteen? We can once again turn to the Norse goddess Frigga for a partial explanation. The Germanic pagan tribes worshipped her on Friday. Early Christians thought her a witch and declared Friday the witch’s Sabbath. Friday being Roman execution day, Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
The number thirteen’s history is more involved. For reasons that aren’t clear, twelve was believed to be a complete number. There are twelve months in a year, twelve hours in a day, twelve Gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel and twelve disciples of Jesus.
The earliest recorded misgivings about the number thirteen may be in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi dating back to 1760 B.C.E. This tablet states over 282 rules of law but has no law numbered thirteen.
High-rise buildings tend not to have a 13th floor. Quite a few cities and towns don’t have a 13th street or avenue. The hangman’s noose has 13 knots and you must climb 13 steps to the gallows.
One popular speculation of how Friday the 13th became a day of ill fortune goes back to the Knights Templar. These warrior monks, sent to protect the Holy Land and battle Islam, enjoyed admiration, veneration and enormous wealth for nearly two hundred years. They had also become very powerful and posed a threat to political and church leaders. On Friday, October 13th, 1307, King Phillip rounded the Knights up, accused them of heresy, tortured and killed them.
As for me, I hope to have a good day of writing. This superstitious day has always treated me well.
My only advice is to be weary of a man named Jason wearing a hockey mask!
Happy Friday the 13th!!
OK that was a fabulous post. I can't think of such a great example of using your blog to share your voice, personality, and flair to readers as this one. Wow! I love the mythology around the Norse gods and I myself and a big witch buff. Thank you so much and again wow.
Debbie Christiana’s novel, Twin Flames, is available through Black Opal Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.
She’d never met him before…or had she?
The last thing forty-year old Natalia Santagario expected was to be sitting on a Manhattan barstool ogling a man she’s never met, but swears she knows.
He didn’t know her at all…or did he?
The mysterious dark-haired woman at the end of the bar stops twenty-eight year old Marc Tremonti in his tracks. His head assures him she’s a stranger, but his heart tells him otherwise.
Together they embark on an adventure that will change their lives forever.
Their attraction instant and enigmatic, they undergo past life regression and discover that, not only have they spent hundreds of lives together as lovers, Natalia holds the secret to Marc’s puzzling birthmark.
But what should have been a joyful reunion is complicated by a kind, albeit confused, almost ex-wife, a bout of temporary amnesia and a mischievous ghost from their past.
What else could possibly go wrong?
No sooner had they hopped up on their barstools than a young waiter appeared.
“What can I get you ladies this evening?”
“Hi,” said Natalia. “I would love a glass of wa—” She sat completely still, staring past the waiter.
“We’ll have three glasses of Merlot, please,” Christine chimed in. “Could you bring my friend some water? She isn’t feeling well.”
“Sure,” the young man said and left.
“Nat, what are you looking at?” Christine asked.
“The man over there making drinks,” she said, pointing to the side of the bar.
“Looking? Ogling is more like it,” scoffed Ellie. “She’s practically drooling.”
“I know him from somewhere,” Natalia said.
“His back is to us. You can’t see his face.”
“I don’t need to see his face.”
Having no logical answers to give them, Natalia ignored the rest of her friend’s questions and continued to watch the fascinating man behind the bar. He was tall with broad shoulders and dark curly hair. His sleeves were rolled up, his strong arms and hands visible. He was good at his job. Quickly dipping his hand in the ice and dropping the cubes into the glasses, he had three drinks made in a just few moments.
Then something changed.
“Hey, Marc. I need two Absolute Martinis and two Cosmos,” the older waiter said patting him on the back.
“Okay, give me a minute.”
Marc reached for Martini glasses on the shelf. The regular bartender couldn’t have picked a worse night to call in sick, although Marc didn’t mind helping out. It beat sitting home alone on a Saturday night, which had become customary as of late. He put the three drinks aside and started on the next order.
Getting four new glasses down, he suddenly felt warm and woozy. Leaning over, he reached into the ice with his right hand, relishing its coolness. He straightened abruptly and stopped what he was doing, as the same odd affliction he’d felt a month ago hit him once more. Within seconds, first his left, then his right shoulder burned as if hot coals were blistering his skin. He took a few deep breathes and the throbbing subsided a bit. Feeling startled, but not knowing why, his whole body twisted to the left knocking over the glasses.
Clutching a fistful of ice, he turned and gazed into the considerable crowd at the bar. What was he looking for? He didn’t have clue, but when he saw it, he would know. Of that, he was sure. He moved in a near-full circle. Then he saw her.
She had a bewildered expression on her face but an intense gleam in her eyes. He cocked his head and gave her a curious look knowing she had been watching him.
As he walked toward her, the pain in his shoulders all but disappeared. Feeling his whole body relax, the ice fell out of his hand onto the floor, but he kept moving.
“Marc! What are you doing?” asked one of the servers. “Someone is going to slip on the ice.”
“Oh, sorry, I’ll get it in a minute,” Marc responded never taking his eyes off her.
When he reached his destination, he was at a loss at what to say. “Hi,” he said, unsure of himself. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but have we met before?”
Debbie Christiana would sit in her room as a little girl and write stories about ghosts, unexplained events and things that go bump in the night. She combined her love of the paranormal with her fascination of unusual love stories and decided to write paranormal romance. Her novel, Twin Flames, was released in the summer of 2011 with Black Opal Books. In February 2012, her short story, The Land of the Rising Sun, was one of ten included the anthology BITES: Ten Tales of Vampires. Debbie is a member of RWA and Secretary of the Romance Writers of Connecticut and Lower New York. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.
Visit Debbie @
Facebook Author Page: Debbie Christiana