Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Entry #105

The Lottery Winner
by Tiffany King


Ben leaned heavily on the handrail of the escalator as he rode to the second floor jewelry department. A woman’s voice crooned “Silver Bells” over the sound system, mixing with the hollow clang of the Salvation Army bell. The thought rushed into his mind that this could be his last Christmas.

He slammed his fist onto the handrail, causing the woman in front of him to jump. Why did he have to leave behind all his hopes and plans? How could he ask Karen to marry him when his future was so uncertain? All for some war half way around the world, which he didn’t even understand. When he watched the television broadcast of the draft lottery a few nights ago, he knew he would see his own birth date drawn out, but when it was the first date called he felt it like a blow to his chest. The air rushed out of his lungs and he hadn’t been able to fill them since.

Now he stepped off the escalator and found himself looking into a case of gold lockets. A heart shaped locket with filigree etched into the gold caught his eye. It would be something for Karen to remember him by. A morbid thought.

“May I help you?” a young woman asked.

Ben wavered a second before asking, “May I see the engagement rings?” He couldn’t leave for Vietnam without knowing Karen loved him enough to wait. Her promise would give him the will to survive.

15 comments:

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Awww!That was so touching.

Love can do miracles.Well done :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

Nice atmospheric piece. War is such a bitch.

laughingwolf said...

hope is to be cherished...

Jenners said...

This was wonderful! So much told in such a little bit of space.

McKoala said...

Wonderfully evocative first para.

Lena said...

Love can do miracles and the will to survive through the war is sure one of them. Good work here!

Elftea said...

I feel for him. He seem so real. Being a deployed (many times) Marine wife, I have a spot in my heart for those leaving loved ones.

BernardL said...

Hope can work miracles.

Terry said...

Tiffany, I agree that your first paragraph is especially wonderful. This piece flows really nicely. My favorite line is, "The air rushed out of his lungs and he hadn’t been able to fill them since." The reference to the Vietnam War caught me off-guard and was a poignant reminder of our repeated human history. Good work!

Catvibe said...

Those were the days, eh? When your birthday could mean your death sentence. Well written and poignant.

Aine said...

Very nice! Sometimes we just need something to live for-- a connection to tether us. I feel hopeful for him.

Sarah Hina said...

Heartfelt, inspired story, Tiffany, in spite of their murky future. His desire for something to come back for is overpowering. I'm glad he seized the moment, in spite of his terror.

Lovely writing, too. I liked your poignant take very much.

bluesugarpoet said...

Beautiful story of hope!

jana

September said...

ohhh....so beautiful. So sad but beautiful. I loved it.
You pulled at heartstrings with this one.
It was great.

jason evans said...

Great job with pacing, storytelling, and voice!

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest!