The Ticket

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man buys a National Lottery ticket, but what would he do with the the money if he won?

Submitted: September 11, 2016

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Submitted: September 11, 2016



Cedwyn had bought the ticket just before lunch. The lights were on in the newsagents, a perpetually gloomy shop due to Mr. Patel’s decision to place the upright refrigerator selling cold drinks (buy a sandwich and get a fizzy drink free) against the window.

Go on, buy a ticket! It’s a triple rollover! A allai fod yn fi?

Cedwyn had kissed the coins before handing them over, a lucky kiss, he always did that. Or, to be more precise, he’d always used to do that, when he’d brought a ticket every week. That was ages ago, months, even years. He never bought a ticket now. Except this week. Well, it was a rollover.

He hadn’t watched the draw. He’d gone to bed to dream of what he’d do with all that money. He could buy a big house, a fast car (a red one, he liked red), and maybe a yacht to anchor in the estuary. He’d never have to work again, his hands would recover from the calluses, and he’d learn to smoke cigars rather than cheap cigarettes.

“Of course,” he imagined the young woman from the Lottery saying to him as she handed over the cheque, “you’re the most eligible bachelor in the country now!”

Oh yes, how that girl in the off-license, the one without the ring on her finger, would smile at him when she found out! No more looking with disdain as he sorted through the coins in his pocket to see what he could afford. And that blonde with the tanned legs behind the desk the bookmakers, how she’d change her tune if he was rich!

Except if he were rich he wouldn’t be going to the off-license, nor frequenting the bookmakers in Gorseinon. That would be yesterday.

Never mind, he consoled himself, there’ll be others.

When he woke up the following morning he didn’t want to look at the results.  Keep the dream alive a little longer, he thought, standing on the doorstep sipping from a can of beer and listening to the birds singing.

It was going to be another hot day. A large refrigerated lorry rumbled by, southbound towards Swansea, and somewhere in the distance a dog was barking. Even the curving grey road of terraced houses seemed to look a little less bleak in the early morning sun.

Gallai fod yn fi? Plesio Duw!

Keep the dream alive a little longer!

I promise it won’t change me, Duw. I’ll give some of it to charity. I won’t ignore the homeless in their cardboard homes under the railway arch. I promise, Duw. I promise! Please believe me! I’ll go to chapel every Sunday. I’ll revere the Good Book. It won’t change me, Duw!

Os gwelwch yn dda yn credu i mi, Duw!

Eventually, of course, curiosity overcame him.

Taking the newspaper from the letter box, Mr. Patel always delivered early, Cedwyn slowly turned the pages until he saw the results. Taking the ticket from his pocket (how did it get so creased?) he carefully checked off the numbers. Then, to be sure, he checked them again.

He closed the newspaper and walked slowly back to the doorstep. The birds were still singing, and he could see dust in the rays of sunlight slanting in the door. By now the refrigerated lorry would be passing through Glendros heading into the centre of town.

Everything, or maybe nothing, seemed the same.

© Copyright 2018 Dan Lloyd. All rights reserved.

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