Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Lottery

Chuck has us writing about Luck... you know how Friday 13th is unlucky? Well, he's thought a good twist to this would be fun. It is - kinda.


You’d think winning a lifetime’s worth of money would be a great thing – right? I could pay off all my credit cards, buy the car and house I’ve always wanted, go on that huge overseas trip which would last years. I could give money here, there and everywhere and do whatever the fuck I wanted.


Well, yeah I guess.

Um, no, not really.

The house and car were a no-brainer. I mean, why in the hell would I live in a complete dump of a neighbourhood and drive a shitty little crap-shooter car when I could have my dream motor at my fingertips – yeah the one I’ve been walking past at the Chrysler dealership in the city for the past six months on the way to work.
And then again, why would I ever go back to work again? I mean, let’s weigh it up: $400,000 per year to live on and do what I want with – tax free on one hand. And then there’s that pokey little fucking cubicle on the fourteenth floor at the insurance company I worked for the past fifteen years where I don’t get to see the daylight unless I stand up and look to my right or to my left. And even then, my supervisor walks around and asks me: ‘Exactly what in the hell are you thinking of doing? Sit down and take that call.’ I’d look down and that phone would have all the lights all lit up with the unending maggots on the other end of the phone asking for their insurance to be changed, cancelled or they would be asking me stupid questions about this or that on their policy and failed to read the book that came in the mail with all their bits.

Oh yeah, I’d really want to go back to a place where I arrive in the dark and go home in the dark. Sounds like a solid plan!

And my win took just me going out shopping one afternoon. I didn’t even need to pick up anything really – it was just dumb, stupid luck that I happen to walk into the newsagents and pick out my Golden Circle card from my wallet and ask for the ‘Set For Life Lottery Game’ for that week. It had been advertised for about a month before and I thought to just get in it like everyone else; and there was only going to be one winner.
The guy printed out the ticket for me (I had preset numbers picked) and swiped my card and then I paid the $60 for the game, pocketed it all and pushed my shopping trolley out to the car went home – not even thinking about it.

I mean, I don’t buy lottery tickets. They’re just not in my budget!

The big night came up and I was working overtime – so I didn’t even seen the numbers get called. So, it took me around a week to find the lottery ticket they were calling out for. The news kept saying: ‘Golden Casket has yet to find the lucky winner of the ‘Set For Life’ winner of their ‘Lucky Little Bastard’ Game; which, if it’s you? Well, you will be a lucky little bastard, won’t you?’
So, I looked through my pockets of all my jackets and slacks and found it in the bottom of my recycling – forgetting that ticket almost cost me! I mean, it cost me $60 to buy and I almost threw it out!
It was almost midnight when I went out to the all-night grocer down the road and he ran it through his machine not once but three times... then he looked up at me, with disbelief written all over his face, picked up the phone and called the after-hours number on the back of the wrinkled ticket.
“Yes, we found him. The lucky bastard. He’s here.” He whispered into the phone looking around the store quickly making sure nobody else was around to hear it, “What? You’re sending a car? Okay.” He hung up the phone and turned to me, handing me that ticket, “Have you got picture I.D on ya?”
“Sure.” I nodded, “Always do.”
“They’re sending a car for ya.”
I took my ticket, turned around and found a limo was outside the door with the door open, “Well, fuck, that was quick.”

And quick indeed did my life change from me working my guts out at a place which didn’t appreciate me one iota to me being a rich bastard with every single asshole after me asking for money for this and money for that... they claimed their invention needed ‘a quick little boost of cash to get off the ground.’
Another guy showed up on my doorstep claiming his ‘daughter is on the brink of death... please I need your help.’ There wasn’t a lie you couldn’t say that I hadn’t heard – and if you told me a new one, well, it wasn’t going to be believed anyway.

I now live a life of seclusion.
A lot of my ‘friends’ aren’t friends anymore. They were always out for money in one way or another and I got to hate them in some way. I can’t have a Facebook account, my phone calls are screened (so if you call me, and I don’t have your phone number already, I’m not talking to ya), and I’ve been married three times – divorced three times just as quickly after finding out they were all gold-diggers.

Now, all I wish for is to be left alone.
If I had the chance again to do this over, I’d have not looked for that fucking ticket! Was I lucky? Are you kidding? No fucking way! I’m not lucky... why would I be lucky to have won that much money for the rest of my days only to have every shithead out there hound me for their own pound of flesh – and I don’t know any of them!

Luck! Ha!

As I sit here and write this, the phone rings again and my machine picks up – again. It’s another person who wants to ask me to back their great dealings – again.

Gotta ask: when in the hell will they leave me alone?

Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Shining

Chuck has had great ideas and this week, he used Sai King titles. Well, I picked out 'The Shining' - which I'm currently reading - and have put a great spin on spin on it. 


Uncle Charlie was an amazing man. He had amazing things around his brilliant home out in the country; and I loved visiting him as a child and throughout my teens and right through my university years. But when he died at the rich old age of eighty-seven, out in his garden with his carer by his side helping him tend to his rose garden, I thought he would have left me more than his cockatoo.
The bird eyed me suspiciously as I approached the massive cage in the living room, knowing his owner was no longer around, cawing a little at me.
“Hi, Richie. You know me.” I said.
A low whisper came from the bird: “Hi Richie. I’m Richie.”
“Well, Uncle Charlie thought you and I got along well and you’re to come home with me.”
“Well, not quite.” The lawyer’s voice said behind me and I turned to see him walking in from the study, “You have to live here seeing the bird has lived his whole life at the house.”
“So, is it Richie’s house or mine?”
He shrugged, “It’s both of your house.”
“I have my own house in the city with my own furniture and my own... oh jeez.... what do I have to do?”
He smiled handing over an envelope, “Read the instructions and you’ll have the house, the bird and the money.” On ripping open the envelope, I heard a moving truck pull up the long driveway and looked out the window. Before I could say anything, the lawyer said, “Oh, while you were here, your house in the city was packed up and everything you own was moved out here.” He patted me on the shoulder as he walked out to the front foyer to pick up his coat, “Your Uncle Charlie believed greatly in you.”

I sat and read the contents of the envelope next to the window as the truck was unloaded. At the bottom of the letter, it said: To get to the valuables, there’s a password: ‘whatcha got there?’ I had no idea what it meant.

For the first night, I walked around the massive country home looking at everything in the place. I felt as though I was in a Scooby-Doo episode; waiting for something to jump out at me, and that Great Dane to come galloping down the hall looking terrified.
But instead, I left on only a few small lights, covered over the cockatoo and pulled all the curtains to keep out the cold and made sure the kitchen was tidy before heading off to bed.

‘Help me!’

I sat up in bed and turned on the light, forgetting where I was for a moment.

‘Help meeeeeeee!’

Rubbing my temple I groaned,“Oh, jeez that hurt.” I looked over at the book I had been reading before I turned out the light and found it was ‘The Shining’ by Sai King, “I’m imagining it. It’s the book I’m reading.” And I settled back down in my bed and turned out the light.

‘Help! I’m being choked! Help me!!!’

This time, I pulled on my dressing gown, shoes and grabbed a torch and my mobile phone to see what was going on for me to hear this weirdly haunting screeching noise in my head at the ungodly hour of – I looked at my phone – three in the am. Heading down the main hall, I raced down the stairs with my dressing gown billowing out behind me.

There was a draft of cold breeze coming from the front door.

I didn’t leave that open.

“Squark!” Richie screeched from his large cage, “Help me!! I’m choking! Help!”

I felt for the light switch, flicked it on.

Light flooded the room.

I stood there shocked to find Richie’s cage was open and Uncle Charlie’s carer was there with his hands around the bird, murder most foul in his eyes!
“What are you doing?”
He spun, still with the bird in his hands, staring at me, “Um... I’m sorry.”
Richie took the opportunity and dug his large accommodating beak into the man’s wrist, drawing blood – and refused to let go.
The carer howled in pain, flapping his arm – in which Richie began flapping his enormous wings. I did all I could to not laugh at this as my new companion defended himself against his would-be murderer and called the police.

“What we don’t understand, sir is that you came here to kill an innocent bird?” the attending constable said as he took notes and the on-call vet checked on Richie.
The carer glared at the cockatoo and then at me; and it dawned on me and I walked over to my new pet, “Richie, where’s Uncle Charlie?” Richie looked around me and glared at the carer, unable to say anything. I turned and looked at the carer, “Were you with my Uncle Charlie when he died?”
The carer nodded, “Yes, he was tending to his roses and I told him it was time to come in. Richie was in his travelling cage and...”
“I’ve looked around this house thoroughly, Richie never had any other cage than this one.”
The carer looked to his hands, “Um... well....”
The cop looked at the guy, “Tell us the truth.”
“The bird guards something in his cage. It’s valuable.” The carer said, “And the bird only trusted one person.”
We all turned and looked at the cage and Richie looked at me. I approached him, whispering: “Hey Richie, whatcha got there?” as the bird heard the words, he moved across to a tiny nesting box in the corner and retrieved a key from within it and handed it over to me.
I looked around the room: now to find the thing to fit this key!