Category Archives: Story

The Lottery Ticket – Part 2 (written 8/12/2012


This piece follows “The Lottery Ticket”.

The Lottery Ticket – Part 2

The ticket flutters in the wind, Tim’s mouth is opening and closing, but he’s unable to form a single, coherent word. One-way flight to the moon?Is this for real? What a strange lottery!

The news announcer expectantly glances around the crowd waiting for someone to yell that he or she has won. Except for the crowd muttering to itself, silence reigns.

Tim finally breaks his reverie and yells, “I won!” The crowd swarms around him, pressing in.

“Out of my way, out of my way,” the announcer says as he tries to get to Tim. Slowly the crowd parts and he eventually makes it to Tim’s side. Someone tries to yank the ticket out of Tim’s hand. The cops begin moving the crowd back, using force where necessary.

Tim swallows nervously and eyes the crowd.. This whole experience is surreal. Is he dreaming?

“Ladies and gentlemen may I have your attention please?” The crowd begins to quiet down and look expectantly towards the announcer.

“Sir, what is your name?”

“Tim Ryan. Is this a joke?”

“No, sir, it is not a joke. Lunar Landings is offering this once-in-a-lifetime prize to help populate their new development on the moon. The prize includes the one-way shuttle flight to the moon, a job at Lunar Landings, plus your own house. The only requirement is that you must stay with the company for at least 10 years and if you decide to return to earth you will have to pay the cost of the return ticket.

Tim grins. A job, a house and his ex-wife and her mother far, far away. What could be better?

“When do I leave?”

~~~~~~~~~

 

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The Lottery Ticket – Part 1 (written 6/7/2012)


The prompt: You have 500 words to write a piece, fiction or non-fiction, which includes the phrase to the moon.”

Now showing my age, I have to admit the first thing that popped into my head was “The Honeymooners” with Jackie Gleason, where Ralph Kramden says to his wife Alice, “You are going straight to the moon, Alice.” However I couldn’t work that into anything helpful.

While I was trying to figure out what to write I pulled a bunch of books out of the shelves and read the first lines. One of them struck a chord and something flowed from it. I didn’t use that person’s line, but it was enough to send my creative juices flowing.

500 words seemed like a lot when I started and then once I got to writing I found that it wasn’t enough so I spent last night during my sleepless hours tweaking it down to about 496 words according to the word counter. This is my finished version.

The Lottery Ticket

By Teresa Smeigh

The wind whistled loudly down the alley and Tim Ryan tried unsuccessfully to turn up his collar to protect his neck and ears. He should have dressed warmer. He didn’t even have gloves or a hat. He couldn’t leave to go get them either because the line behind him was growing rapidly.

He had been daydreaming ever since they announced on the morning news that they were holding a special lottery at midnight. A lottery where you didn’t have to purchase a ticket. Only so many tickets would be handed out, but they wouldn’t announce how many they were going to hand out. You had to be there to win. They weren’t even going to announce the prize ahead of time, but they promised that it was a once-in-a-lifetime prize.

Tim Ryan was down on his luck. His ex-wife was demanding her alimony and he didn’t have it. She was threatening to report him and get him thrown in jail for not paying his support. He had lost his job a few weeks ago and hadn’t been able to find a new one yet, but being in jail wasn’t going to help. Surely she had to see that? He knew this lottery just had to be the answer to all of his problems. He would do anything to get her off his back.

So here he was, standing in a freezing alley with hundreds of others. He had hurried to the drawing spot as soon as he had heard the announcement. He just knew that the place would be packed. He noticed that the line was getting even longer behind him.

Tim was jumping around trying to keep warm. He certainly hoped that the prize was worth all of this. He was cold and tired. He had to stay alert to make sure no one jumped the line. This prize just had to be his.

The clock tower struck midnight and the crowd quieted down expectantly. The announcer stood on the back of a flat bed truck and spoke into his microphone telling everyone to stay in a straight line and begin moving towards him and take an envelope, but they were not to open it yet. The line would continue to move until all envelopes had been handed out.

Tim followed the line in front of him. Finally he was close enough to see that they still had a pile of envelopes. He was going to get one. He was told to move over with the others. Once the last envelope was given out, the announcer wished them luck and told them that the winner would know what their prize was when they opened the envelope, there were 99 blank tickets and one prize, but not to open it until he said “go!”

Once the announcer yelled “go” the crowd ripped open their envelopes. Tim ripped his open and his mouth fell open. Printed on his ticket was “ONE-WAY FLIGHT TO THE MOON.”

I AM a writer! (first blog piece written 6/4/2012)


I am in my late 50’s right now and have been writing something ever since I was in grade school. I wrote poems and short stories and  people told me they were good. However I didn’t think of myself as a writer.

My recent research has told me that if you write, anything, you ARE a writer!

This thought was shocking to me. Me, a writer? I sure wanted to be, but how could this be?

However I spent some time to reflect on this and I believe they are right. I may not have been paid for any of my writing, but I did have a poem published in an anthology and a mention in a contest even if I didn’t become one of the top winners, I WAS mentioned. Plus I am writing all the time. So yes, I AM a writer.

This blog will be a way to post what I am up to and to capture my progress as I continue my journey of becoming a real published writer.

I have entered several contests over the years. The first time I sent a short story to a magazine I was in my teens and it was rejected. I was broken-hearted and the rejection to me was a failure. I couldn’t take it and after that no one ever saw my writing. I wrote for me only.

When I was in my 30’s I entered a contest for “Writer’s Digest” magazine. That is where I got the mention, although it wasn’t a win, it gave me just a little more confidence. I also wrote some poetry one of which was published, but in an anthology which I believe is sort of like a vanity press type of deal. But seeing it in print gave me another boost. So I have entered some of my poetry and another short story in the last 10 years. The rejection stings, but it didn’t result in the same feelings of failure. My skin is thickening.

I enter NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) every year, however I never make the full 50,000 words that are required. It doesn’t have to be a polished novel. Just write, and keep writing for a full month. After that you can edit and proofread if you want to do something with it. If you are interested just go to www.nanowrimo.org and check it out. I just found out that they are now doing it in June too. The original was in November. How about that. This is June. Maybe I should see about entering again and make it a goal to finish this time.

I know that professional writers make a time to write every day and stick to it. It takes discipline and I am sorely lacking that right now. Perhaps I can work on that discipline and make it a goal to write so much per day. Now how long should I make it. Since I am just starting out I should probably make it for about an hour to begin with. An hour is not that long.

I am researching writing prompts. I know they exist and just might be the boost I need to get started writing again.

Here’s to my brand new life, the writing life!

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).

Will Power – Inspiration Monday


WILL POWER

The coffee was steaming. Sue drank it in an effort to warm up after her long walk to the coffee shop to meet her girlfriends from college. She hadn’t seen them since graduation last year.

While she waited she fantasized about her new boyfriend. They had gone to college together and she ran into him last month. They went out for dinner on their first date and by the second one they had slept together at Sue’s apartment. She couldn’t wait to tell her friends how happy she and Steve were.

She wanted to see him more often, but he told her he was really busy at work and would contact her when he was free to spend time with her. She wasn’t happy with this. She had no will power and it took all of her strength to keep her promise to not call him while he was working. He told her he worked nights and weekends mainly. This made her happy since she also worked nights and most weekends, leaving her days free.

They hadn’t talked much and she had no idea where he was living at the moment. They exchanged cell phone numbers and then chatted briefly. She did most of the talking as Steve didn’t seem inclined to tell her much.

She wondered briefly what the girls had been up to. They really hadn’t kept in touch and this was their first meeting to catch up on each other’s lives since they graduated. She wished they would hurry up!

She heard laughter at the door and looked up to see a group of girls and one guy entering the coffee shop. Her friends, but she was shocked to see Daisy arm and arm with Steve. She became aware her mouth was hanging open and she closed it and stood up to greet her friends trying not to stare at Steve.

She was shocked when Daisy introduced Steve as her new husband. They had told no one and eloped a few months ago.

She wanted to cry, but shock kept her from doing anything at the moment. She tried not to stare at them, but she felt Steve staring at her. Tears were starting to form and she quickly excused herself to go to the ladies’ room. She didn’t realize that Steve was following her and he grabbed her arm once they were out of the front of the coffee shop.

“I am sorry I didn’t tell you that I was married, but it really doesn’t have to matter.”

“It matters to me,” she said fighting back tears. “I don’t want to be the other woman. Besides Daisy is one of my friends. She deserves better.”

“Come on Sue we had fun the other night. Don’t break it off! I have plenty of free time during the week days. I work for myself and determine my own hours.”

Sue had claimed earlier she didn’t have any will power. She agreed weakly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Inspiration Monday

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

LUKEWARM REVENGE

WILL POWER

MADMAN’S TRICKS

WOODEN KEY

ANTI-MAGIC

Want to share your Inspiration Monday piece? Post it on your blog and then give Stephanie the link in the comments below the prompt. (She’ll also love you more if you link back to her); She’ll include a link to your piece in the next Inspiration Monday post. No blog? Email your piece to her at stephanie (at) bekindrewrite (dot) com.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).