The Lottery Ticket – The Speakeasy at Yeah Write

 

The Lottery Ticket

There was a loud crash in the hallway. Elspeth looked up from her computer. With a groan she stepped out the bedroom door. The front door was open and cold January snow blew in. The little table beside the door had fallen over. Muddy, icy deer tracks dotted the floor beside the pile of unpaid bills. “No way,” she groaned. She checked. No deer inside. Apparently, the poor thing ran off. As she bent to clean the mess, she found a plain envelope. Inside was a lottery ticket and a note. In crude handwriting it said:

An answer to your dreams
–Or–
Stick this ticket to the door at midnight and become the dream.

She ran to her computer and checked the ticket number. It was a winner. $227 Million. She screamed. She danced. She ran through the house whooping. Eventually, she collapsed on the couch. She looked out the window at the snow blasting by. I’ll buy a house in Maui. And I’ll give $2 Mil to Natalie. She could use it. Her neighbor, a single mother of three, struggled to make ends meet. The proud yet kind woman always refused monetary help from Elspeth.

Then she started wondering about that, “Or,” in the note. It couldn’t hurt. She taped it to the door and stayed up late watching TV.

She sighed when the power went out and the front door suddenly popped open. She passed a clock which read midnight, and braved the icy wind to close the door. The lights popped back on and she headed back for the couch. She stopped in her tracks. He sat calmly on the couch. His antlers swung as he turned his head. He had a short muzzle and pale blue eyes. He raised a cup with tawny furred hands, saying, “Tea?”

Elspeth fainted.

When she came to on the couch, he was still there, sipping tea. “I hope I didn’t frighten you.”

Now she was annoyed at the persistent phantasm. “No. Frighten? Pshaw!”

He smirked and rose to open the front door. “Let me show you something.” When he opened it, she could see green hills and forests. Flower blossoms blew in the door on a warm breeze. “Let me show you…the dream.”

Accepting that she was dreaming, she followed him into an untarnished landscape. Once on the other side of the door, he lost his deerish features and became a quite attractive and lean young man wearing only a short leather kilt. “This is how I look in my world,” he explained. He introduced her to his tribe of people living in teepees and living off the land. They hunted with bow and arrow and made knives with flint. They called themselves simply, The People.

He called himself Cerunn, and each midnight, she would spend weeks with him learning to hunt and fish. She would return to her own world to find ten minutes had passed. The next night, they would do it all again, collecting berries beside mountainous vistas, feasting on wonderful and exotic foods with The People at day’s end.

She’d given up believing she walked in a dream. She lived in Cerunn’s world for a week at a time and returned to her world of balancing budgets and cranking clients demanding her painting consignments yesterday. Cerunn’s world became more real for her each time she visited. She asked him, “Why are you showing me all this?”

“In all this world, there is only us,” he said. “We are human, but with only 84 of The People, we need new blood to sustain us. If you stay, you can never return to your world. You would look as I did when you first saw me. Someday, you must choose us or the lottery ticket.”

One day, as she and Cerunn gathered wild potatoes, she saw a magnificent flower just below the edge of a 100-foot cliff.

“I’ll get it!” said Cerunn with typical boyish enthusiasm. He stretched but couldn’t reach it. His hand slipped. She snatched his hand in time and pulled him back. “I don’t want it that much,” she said. She hid a smile, keeping his hand in hers until they returned.

Days later, a glow flowed from the Shaman’s hand. Amazed, she watched Cerunn’s bones knit completely. His eyes opened and she smiled. “Why?” Sheepishly, he held up the flower she’d seen at the cliff.

Eventually, she made her decision.

Her antlers scraped the door as she slid the lottery ticket with a note under Natalie’s door.
______________________________
The speakeasy is where to go when the muse strikes. This week, the writing prompt is to begin a 750-word story with the sentence, “There was a loud crash in the hallway.” Here’s the prompt for this week for more information: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/143-open/

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About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
This entry was posted in Short Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to The Lottery Ticket – The Speakeasy at Yeah Write

  1. J. Milburn says:

    This one has my vote! My favorite one this week by far. Well done, sir. Well done.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Wow, thank you, J! I had some doubts about this one. I felt I was cramming too much into the 750 word space. But now, you’re making me feel better. Muchos Gracias!

      Like

  2. Robin says:

    Another great story! I can’t say I would have done the same as your heroine. A very inspirational tale.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you so much, Robin! Not everybody would, but she found a happy home there. Maybe Natalie will join her or maybe not, but at least they had the opportunity. I’m glad you found it inspirational, and thanks so much for your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  3. Silverleaf says:

    Wow. I have been so impressed with so many pieces here today but this is absolutely amazing. I love it. It’s one of the best bits of fiction I have read since I started blogging in June. I loved it!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      My gosh, thank you so much! I’m blushing from the high praise. I really appreciate the kind words. It only makes me want to write more. I’m very happy the story worked for you. Thanks again! 🙂

      Like

  4. Laith says:

    That is really good!

    Like

  5. Catherine says:

    So creative and interesting! Excellent story!

    Like

  6. jannatwrites says:

    I can merely agree with the comments before me – great story!

    Like

  7. Impower You says:

    Your stories are so arresting. When will you put those all in a book?

    Like

  8. List of X says:

    Great story, but I’d take the ticket. Once you actually live in the wild with no bathrooms, medicine, or proper shelter from the cold, it’s no longer as enticing as a long-term prospect 🙂

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Yep, it’s not for everybody. I think that’s why The People give folks a choice. I imagine most people take the ticket. For Elspeth, she found something she wanted more in this other world. Thanks for your thoughts, and thanks for reading. 🙂

      Like

  9. Shey says:

    One of my favorites! Sweet love story.

    Like

  10. Lyn says:

    Awesome! I just loved, loved, loved this story Mr. Momus. Simply brilliant!!!

    Like

  11. Lala Rukh says:

    Wow what a story ! Totally amazing. It is hard to chose humanity over money….But the heroine did. I loved her character.

    Like

  12. rubyemz says:

    Very imaginative! I wonder what made him choose her for 227mil or the life of her dreams?! If only hey . . 🙂

    Like

  13. That was such an original take on the prompt! I’m in awe!

    Like

  14. znjavid says:

    Good choice she made in the end. Enjoyed it. ~Zainab

    Like

  15. jenbrunett says:

    I love this one!

    Like

  16. Suzanne says:

    This is fantastic! Beautifully written story and what a great world. Now I wish a deer would show up at my house. 🙂

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you so much, Suzanne. I sometimes wish a deer would show up at my door too. I’m happy to hear the story appealed and thanks bunches for your kind words. 🙂

      Like

  17. Indira says:

    You are already blushing with Silverleaf’s comment so I would not make you blush more but I agree with all the comments showered on you. You deserve all that. Very imaginative, interesting story.

    Like

  18. Pingback: Winner of the Speakeasy #143 | the speakeasy at yeah write

  19. Joe Owens says:

    Congratulations on your Editor’s Pick. It seems you have found the sweet spot. Any tips for those of us trying to breakthrough here?

    Like

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