Writing Prompt: Day 77

77.jpgDay 77 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Your character won the lottery. What does he/she do after the first day.

Erin: When he won the lottery, he thought the news would be his ticket to freedom. But it wasn’t, it was his ticket to isolation. He shut out everyone the days following the win. He was worrying people and starting to lose friendships because of his secrecy. The only thing scarier than loosing those friendships though was word getting out and him loosing even more.

Shannon: I had enough money to buy anything I could possibly long for, but I wanted the first purchase to be significant. Sure, I would eventually use the money to pay off my loans, fix my car, and pay for all the other boring life necessities, but for right now I needed a good memory.

I didn’t want to screw it up, so I did what I always do and started looking up ideas online. Not to copy, but to be inspired. Also, to see if anyone had found a way to cheat the system and turn money into happiness. I found a lot of ecstatic people with their new purchases and some theories on how money can lead to happiness, but I decided to give up my search and go out to stumble upon it on my own.

I ended up going to the beach, which was kind of exciting because if I hadn’t won, I would have been working in an office instead. I was a little afraid to go out in public after being featured in so many top news stories, but out of the few people there no one seemed to recognize me. It was nice. I started out by lying on my towel, letting my body rest to soak in sun and watch the peaceful waves. Soon enough my mind was relaxing too, and for once I wasn’t thinking about what I needed to do next. I was actually living in the moment, and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t have to worry about my “grand” first purchase. It had already been made. I bought my time back, and I couldn’t think of a more valuable choice.

What can money buy your character?

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One thought on “Writing Prompt: Day 77

  1. She sat alone at the faded yellow table, with those ugly sunflowers painted on the rotting wood, that she’d always despised. There was a tall vase of freshly-cut alabaster roses that smiled cheerfully on the dismal woman. Spread out across one side of the table was an assortment of pamphlets for various charities that had aided her family in the past, or tried to help them, at least; they were a constant reminder to the woman, hidden in a filing cabinet that remained sorted neatly to avoid any reason to sift through its contents, that no one in her family had been capable of accepting help. But today she gazed at them with nostalgia-tinted glasses.
    Everything in her life had been difficult; bad first marriage to her high school sweetheart-turned-drug-dealer, her mother had fought cancer three times; her older brother was a drug addict since he was kicked out of the house when he was twelve; the stepfather incident; and her younger brother dying in a car accident last year. That wasn’t to say that she had it worse than anyone, oh no. She knew she was luckier, by far, than some of the people around her, but it was easy to feel sorry for her, all the same.
    When she’d been staring at the same brochures for half an hour, she turned to the tea that had been steeping in her thrice-repaired handmade teapot. A few years ago one of the neighbour girls was in need of a model for her art class, some kind of inanimate object that she wasn’t familiar with, and had borrowed one of the woman’s jewelry boxes. In exchange for the muse, against the woman’s wishes since she didn’t want anything in return, the little artist had crafted a stunning aqua teapot that looked fabulous on the shelf. Unfortunately, during one of her brother’s visits, he’d dropped the pot and it shattered into five pieces.
    At the time, it didn’t matter that it was broken, but she had carefully plucked each fragment from the kitchen tile, and had glued them, painstakingly, back together. Though it happened that the pot was dropped twice more, she thought the gold-dyed cracks gave the piece a more rustic quality. At any rate, the whole thing made spectacular tea, and that was all you could reasonably ask for from a teapot.
    With her tea poured in a plain, second-hand cup, she went back to studiously studying the leaflets. For a few moments she continued to scour the grouping for one that stood out; she couldn’t say what she was searching for, only that she’d know it when she saw it. Again, the multitude had her stymied in her decision, so she replaced her teacup on its plate and rose from the ragged table.
    Glancing out her second-floor window, she watched a couple shrouded in scarlet winter jackets strolling down the busy urban street and smiled at their simple joy. From her location she could also see a couple of homeless people who begged at her apartment complex; they knew it was a low-income compound, but no one else would give them the time of day. Across the street was a stray cat that meowed mercilessly at anyone who crossed its path, hissing wildly at the obvious dog-people. The world would continue on, even if her world had come to a complete standstill yesterday.
    Without wasting another minute, the woman strode to the rickety table in front of her door and rummaged through the canvas bag she carried about with her. After finding a small change purse that jingled merrily in her hand, she flipped open the cell phone lying on the second shelf and dialed a familiar number. After a short chat with the manager from her bank she hung up after he assured her, “Yes, the money has been transferred to your second account, ma’am.”

    After a quick stop at the bank, and the staunch assurance that she didn’t need to worry about her savings, she was back on her own street sucking in the polluted air of the busy downtown corridor. Wandering leisurely in her heavy, oversized wool coat that had lasted nearly twenty years of harsh winter months, she finally came upon the beggar couple shivering in the alley across from her house. When she stopped to speak with them, they perked up at the respectful attention. She gently tugged loose an envelope from her bag and passed it to the man, touching his shoulder gently before she continued on her journey.
    Her next stop was the cancer clinic her mother was in; everything in the foyer made her shiver as the cold fingers of death reached toward her. But when she arrived at the counter, and a young woman dressed in bubble gum pink scrubs with a kind, sincere smile on her lips, and she felt more at ease. Speaking to the young woman in a steady tone, she asked about how she could donate anonymously to the center. When the nurse asked if she was certain it was an anonymous contribution, the woman replied she was sure and passed a blank envelope through, turned around and left without another word.
    The woman visited a homeless shelter, food bank, therapist group, a women’s group and an addict’s clinic that afternoon with much the same story. When she was finished and her bag was much lighter, she took a dingy city bus to the pond that always had a flock of ducks. Carefully picking her way along the trail, making sure to avoid the patches of black ice that always formed, she found herself standing before the long pier that thrust out into the middle of the pool.
    Taking tentative steps, she made her way out to the end of the pier in her holey winter boots. Right at the end sat a park bench, bolted down and covered in fresh snow, which she sat down on to admire the view. For a while the woman who won the sixty-million-dollar lottery sat peacefully counting in her head how much she still had to donate. By this time next week, the woman would have just enough saved up for her to live a simple life with simple pleasures, having given the rest away to people she saw as worse-off than herself.

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