Back when the mega ball lottery was up to a record $550 million I had an idea for a story. Since I was already on a roll with the 750 words a day routine, I decided to write those 750 words on my new story idea. Now I have 44,158 words done. In other words, I’ve written 100 pages! It started out as an unambitious project, but now I spend most of my free time writing and researching for this story. I’m a little less than half way done with it, but I’ll share a tiny portion of it now, and another excerpt when I reach the 200 page mark 🙂 Hope you enjoy!
Laura walked into the break room with her McDonald’s bag in hand. She took a seat next to the nearly mute mail guy and began unpacking her meal. Most of the fries had fallen to the bottom of the bag so she fished those out. They always seemed to be the best ones.
Ashley, the young receptionist, walked into the room holding her Tupperware of baby carrots. She took a seat at the table across from Laura. “Did you get a Lottery ticket while you were out?”
Laura nodded no, and shoved a chicken nugget in her mouth.
“You know it’s up to $550 Million? You’d have to be crazy not try at least.”
Laura smirked. “You’d have to be crazy to waste a dollar on that. The chances of winning are like one in a million.”
“Actually its two dollars a ticket, and the chances are one in 145 million, but who’s counting?” the accountant, Jed, stepped in. He had a lunch bag filled with leftovers his wife probably packed.
Laura looked at her coworkers and was amazed at how they fit the stereotypes of their jobs. The pretty receptionist, the nerdy accountant, the reclusive mail guy. And then there was her; the perfectly average executive assistant. Reliable, responsible, and lacking in any ambition or intrigue. “Well, I’m perfectly satisfied with buying two items off the dollar menu with that money,” Laura said, then stuffed another French fry in her mouth. She had promised herself she would leave more than half of the fries.
She loved her office, even if the girls gossiped too much, her boss did not deserve his job, and the temp that shared her cubical had bad b.o. It was a place where she could show up, feel useful for a few hours, and then leave it all behind. Work never crossed her mind at home. It paid her just enough to pay the bills and be able to go on one small vacation a year. She had no complaints.
“What would you do with $550 million?” Ashley asked Jed with what Laura thought a little flirtation.
“I’d buy you a pony of course,” Jed joked, which reminded Laura that he was just a dorky father incapable of flirting. He took out the contents of his lunch. His wife even packed real silverware. “And you, Miss Laura?”
“Ahh,” she blushed, “Let’s see. I’d help my parents to retire, and get Chase a sound studio so he could quit his job and make music. And Umm,” She looked off into the distance, “Maybe I’d buy a Wild Cat sanctuary and become like the Jane Goodall of cats.” She had no idea where that idea had come from and couldn’t help but laugh.
“Meow,” the flamboyantly gay Art director, Percy, interrupted. He put his hand up like a claw and silently hissed at Laura. Laura never knew how much of his personality was a shtick.
He popped his lean cuisine in the microwave and leaned against the counter. “Are you guys talking about the Lottery? You should just give up now. I’ve already won. My psychic told me.” One eyebrow was raised, challenging someone to mess with him.
“Well we must have picked the same numbers, ‘cause I know I’m going to win. Are you ok with splitting $550 Million?” Ashley was equally flirtatious with Percy. Laura wondered if it was part of the job requirement that all receptionists must be flirtatious.
“Heeeell no. I need at least that much to pay for my plastic surgery. By the time I’m done I’m going to be the greatest Lady Gaga impersonator in the world. And if I have some leftover money I’ll buy a house for my parents too. You’re not the only goodie two shoes in the office, Laura,” he teased.
“Go eat your diet food. Everyone knows your desk is filled with Reese’s.” Laura was one of the only people who knew how to talk back to Percy. Most people just laughed awkwardly and then walked away.
“Hiss,” he said as tapped his fingers on the counter, waiting for the microwave.
Always good to fill the awkward silences, Ashley jumped in. “Well I’d pay off my student loans, and all of my friends loans, and I’d get a personal shopper, and I’d get a lifetime supply of Crème Della Mer,” She said to no one in particular. She popped another carrot stick into her mouth. She rarely had anything but fruits and vegetables for lunch.
“I’d send Maddie to private school, buy a house for my parents-in-law far far away, a sailboat, and I’d invest the rest,” Jed said.
The microwave beeped.
“This is ridiculous. Why do we talk like it could actually happen? We’d be more likely to get a raise, and yet none of us talk about what we would do with that extra fifty cents an hour.” Laura finished up her lunch, crinkled the bag into a big ball, and then threw it into the waste bin. She hadn’t managed to leave any fries.
“Please she acts like she’s above it, but you know she’s going to run to the store after work and get a ticket.” He grabbed his steaming entrée and left the break room.
Laura smiled because by the time Percy was talking about Lady Gaga she had already decided that she was going to buy one, and that she was going to win. She was already picturing herself tan and coming home after a long day of feeding the lions to make love with Chase on a bearskin rug in front of the fireplace in his studio. They wouldn’t be interrupted by her mom calling incessantly because she would be off getting a massage in Tahiti. “Alright, I’ve got to get back to work. How will George ever find his stapler without his trusty assistant?”
- In praise of 750 Words (householdopera.typepad.com)
- Love and Freindship (beautifulrailwaybridgeofthesilverytay.me)
- Scott County Library to host a Laura Ingalls Wilder event (qctimes.com)