Saturday Centus

My second week of participation! This week, Jenny Matlock gives a normal writing prompt — but this week, she cranks down the word count to a mere 25 words, not the usual 100. Aieee!

Anyway, the prompt is “the lottery ticket…”. Here’s what I did with it.

The scraggly 7-11 guy
takes my dollar,
hands me the lottery ticket.

Next day I check the numbers.

New life, here I come!

…or not.

And there we have it.

BTW, working at The Store, I have come to loathe the lottery in all its forms. The scratch-off ones are annoying as all hell, because there are a couple of spots where people like to scratch them off, leaving that gray powdery crap all over the place, and for some reason, lots of folks don’t bother throwing them out when they’re done. They just leave their worthless, non-winning scratchoffs sitting in the exact place where they were when they scratched them off to reveal their non-winning glory, so it falls to the employees to throw them out. Back when I was the guy who had to clean the bathrooms, I would frequently find stacks of worthless scratch-off tickets in the bathroom stalls, left on the toilet paper dispensers, this despite the fact that if just exiting the bathroom and returning to the sales floor of The Store took you past at least two garbage cans. Some people even threw them in the toilet.

And there are few sights as generically depressing as watching old ladies in threadbare coats standing in line to put five or ten of their limited-income dollars into a damned lottery ticket dispensing machine. That, in its way, is even more depressing than watching young people buying cigarettes.

Yeah, I don’t like the lottery very much.

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20 Responses to Saturday Centus

  1. Kelly Sedinger says:

    By the way, folks, I actually did two versions of this week's prompt and posted the one I liked better. But here's my other one:

    The scraggly 7-11 guy
    takes my dollar
    for the lottery ticket.

    But wait!

    Don’t I owe him
    my dream, too?

    I rejected this one because if you're unfamiliar with the old New York Lottery advertising tagline "All it takes is a dollar and a dream", the joke will probably fall flatter than a Chinese pancake.

  2. Unknown says:

    Well, you did well with your few words. This was not easy. I had to write a long backgound explanation to my micro-fiction! Is that cheating?
    Best wishes,
    Anna's SC#37-The lottery ticket

  3. Susan Anderson says:

    You chose well, because I did not recognize that phrase from New York and would have missed the meaning.

    At any rate, I really enjoyed the one you chose!

    NIcely done.


  4. Ames says:

    I guess you see all kinds of depressing and inconsiderate people coming into the store. It must feel like a thankless job at times. Well I for one want to thank you. You make the best coffee in the world. I appreciate your kindness when I need milk late at night. Be safe my friend!~Ames

  5. Jason says:

    There is something creepily predatory about lotteries; they seem to appeal most to those who can least afford to waste their money on them.

    We don't have them in Utah — they're illegal here — but I know lots of people make monthly or even weekly expeditions to Wyoming and Idaho in order to buy lotto tickets. I've picked them up myself when I've been traveling, just as sort of a fun little thing to do. But I often wonder how many people who already don't have much are wasting their precious resources on gasoline to make a couple-hundred-mile drive in the hopes of striking it rich?

  6. Bookie says:

    New Life…isn't everyone hoping for a miracle cure for their ills!

  7. Kat says:

    Nice and tight, this is really well done. I'm with Sue, you chose well, I wouldn't have gotten the first one either. I always cringe when I see people in front of me scraping together pennies and nickels to buy a lottery ticket. Or the ones that really chap my hide are the people who buy scratch offs and insist on checking them while they are still in line. Meanwhile, my Slurpee is melting 🙂 Kat

  8. Judie says:

    A Dollar and a Dream! I haven't bought very many lottery tickets, but when I have, my dreams have always been dashed! Hahaha!

  9. Tina says:

    Nice one! I worked in a liquor store as a second job when I was a new teacher and The Engineer was still in engineering school. The day our owner decided enough with the lottery tickets was a fine day indeed. As a mathematician, I've always wonder why people decide to invest in such impossible odds…to each his own I guess.

  10. Tgoette says:

    I think many of us have the same dream of a New Life. I wonder how many realize how much more complicated and stressful winning the lottery can make it? Great job!

  11. Roger Owen Green says:

    As a New Yorker, I did get the one you rejected. But good to know your audience.

  12. Malisa says:

    I think we all have that "new life, here I come" feeling when we buy that ticket…or not.

  13. cj Schlottman says:

    Love the way you left us hanging. I agree with Kat. This is tight and powerful.

    Great post……….cj

  14. Jo says:

    ah, the poor man's tax … they see us coming …

  15. says:

    Well done. I really like the "or not." You said it for everyone who plays.


  16. Terra says:

    way to leave me hanging…and the scratch off ones – they leave a mess no matter where you scratch them but I can't imagine just leaving my mess behind…how rude

  17. Viki says:

    I loved it. I think that's pretty much how everyone feels when buying a ticket. Most times it's the NOT, LOL. I can see your dilemma at the store with people leaving their not winning tickets here, there and everywhere. It doesn't surprise me though with all the litters around, ha.

  18. Tina says:

    ooh i wonder what the or not means? nice hanger 🙂

  19. Anonymous says:

    Will the dream come true? Keeping my fingers crossed. 🙂

  20. Jenny says:

    Wow. This was tight.

    What a gem of micro-fiction.

    Your postscript actually has me thinking of a story for a writing contest. I can see that spinning out slightly differently in my head.

    Thanks for linking and for the inspiration.

    I really like your writing style.

    This week I wasn't too nice either, but next week I might be sweeter…

    …or not.

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