Sunday, 20 June 2010

Quattro

This is what I came up with for the writing exercise at last weekend's New Writer's Group. Remember: five items, fifteen minutes.

*****

The lottery ticket burned his hand. His vision blurred as tears filled his eyes. Blinking them away, he stared at the ticket again. No, he wasn't imagining it. Three in a row. He'd just won two hundred thousand dollars.

He glanced at the gold watch on his hand. He had ten minutes to get to the lottery office before it closed for the day. He spat out the chewing gum in from his mouth, not caring as it stuck on the painting his teenage daughter had done and proudly hung on the wall. He leaped from the chair he was sitting in, and raced for the door. The folds of his coat flapped around him as he dashed down the corridor, upsetting the candelabra on the side table. He didn't wait around long enough to smell the smoke as the carpet caught fire.

He puffed down the street, shedding his clothing as he went. First he pulled off the colourful beanie his wife had given him for his birthday. It went into the gutter without a thought. Then the bulky overcoat. Finally the jacket, which he flung at the side of the road.

The office lady was just locking up when he got to her. He was gasping and panting so hard he couldn't speak. He just held out the lottery ticket to her, his tongue hanging out of his mouth, sweat streaming down his face.

The lady looked at the ticket, and smiled. "I'm sorry, sir - you should have read our instructions more carefully. You need four of the same, not three. That's why we call it the Quattro. Better luck next time."

She turned on her heel and walked briskly away. She didn't see his face turn white as he clutched at his chest and tumbled into the gutter.

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