Henrietta Maddox Webloner


One strange day
October 10, 2015, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Telling stories, Writing | Tags: ,

a-crumpled-up-lottery-ticket Peter read the Unclaimed Prizes page on the lottery website again. “£329,451.90” he said, taking another slurp of cold tea. The monitor started blaring the baby crying.

“Come on, darling,” said Peggy, “Freddie’s awake now. Let’s go out; try and get our mind off things.” She swiftly ran upstairs and returned holding her little man in one hand, the changing bag in the other.

Driving through the village and up into the valleys, Peter said nothing, simply staring at a spot on the window. His lack of interest in food left him feeling empty and sluggish. A feeling that complemented his mood since finding out.

He looked over to his wife, who seemed content as always; almost happy, actually. Her sunny disposition made him want to drink to obliteration. “Fancy taking me to the pub, love?” he said.

“Are you sure? Our favourite Farmer’s market’s on today.”

“I just want to forget.”

At the Bell tavern, he made sure he sat four stools away from the other bar dwellers and kept his eyes firmly on his phone, swiping rapidly through his news feed. He wanted to bash himself in the head as he kept thinking, “why didn’t I get my ticket online. Then I would have proof. I would be able to pay off the mortgage and then some.”

Six days previously the winning numbers of that week’s national lottery were announced live on television, four days and ten hours since the Feens realised they had won, and four days and nine hours since Peggy found the chewed, sucked and slobbered on ticket in Freddie’s toy box. As if things could not get any worse, Peggy then tried to cheer Peter up, “Don’t worry darling. There is some good news.” she had said, patting her stomach.

Garden Shed£329,451.90 would go a long way in helping them with the baby. £329,451.90 would get him that Jaguar. Or he could finally have given up his job and start up his own business. He imagined the beautiful office he could make in the box room, or even better he could buy one of those big sheds that you can build in the garden. He grunted out loud as he thought “Man Cave” to himself. Though if he wanted to drive his Jaguar every day, he would need an office a good distance. Not too far way, mind.

Remembering his current situation, his dreams dissipated jolting his focus back to his pint and the menial emails on his phone. “Peggy” flashed up on his phone, he answered. Although quiet and perhaps undetectable to others, he could hear his wife’s sobs.

**************

Closing his eyes, Peter tried to imagine himself back with his frothy pint but there were too many distractions. The strong smell of disinfectant, the oppressive lighting and the shiny, rubbery-looking floors made him fidget where he sat. He cricked his neck and rubbed the muscles around his shoulders, reluctantly listening to the cacophony of high-pitched beeps coming from strange looking machinery whilst curtains constantly being scraped across rails.

Men and women wandered the halls wearing well ironed scrubs in a plethora of colours while his wife sat next to him, staring off into the distance. He looked at her face, still raw from hours of crying and her once beautiful nails all bitten to the quick.

“I can’t help thinking it was all my fault, Pete. I’m so sorry.” He took her hand in his and rubbed it gently. Nothing could be said to comfort her. All words seemed pointless whilst her current state of mind remained. As she began to twiddle her lip with pinched fingers, a man in scrubs finally headed their way in the waiting room.

Peter released a long, deep sigh as the doctor relayed Freddie’s condition and took them to go and see their precious little boy. Freddie slept soundly in the huge hospital bed. Peter took a step back and gazed at his son’s angelic face. So perfect, he thought, stroking his son’s cheek. Freddie gave a slow smile in his slumber and turned over cosying up to his blanket. Peter desperately wanted to pick him up and squeeze him in his arms. Just the idea of being able to do that again, made him smile.

Peggy came in to view holding much needed refreshments and passed her husband a cup. “Darling, there’s something I need to tell you. Just before,” she stuttered, “it happened. I found a receipt for the lottery ticket and spoke to Belinda at the newsagents. She said she can use the reference number on the receipt to print us another copy of the ticket.”

“£329,451.90” he said, taking a slurp of his tea.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Aww that’s a nice end!

Comment by Helen A. Howell

The ending really made me smile 🙂 I loved how he dreamed on how to spend the money

Comment by Sylvia van Bruggen (@sylviavbruggen)

can they have both? A healthy son and the cash? Otherwise I guess it’s no choice

Comment by Marc Nash




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