Tuesday, 24 June 2014

She peered down at the half-smudged numbers on her hand

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She peered down at the half-smudged numbers on her hand. She blinked. When did those get there? They were on the back of her right hand and she was right handed, so she didn’t write them. She was not ambidextrous. Her left hand usually accomplished not a lot in the writing department.
Logic hurt her brain. She fell back on the bed and groaned. Way too much red wine with friends last night before she had tumbled herself into a cab. Her eyes closed and she went back to sleep.
When she woke up again, she wished she had taken the time to drink a few glasses of water. Her head really hurt.
Staggering out to the kitchen she rectified the water issue. Leaning against the sink she studied the number. It was a little more smudged but still legible.
Not enough for a phone number; landline or mobile. Only four digits, not eight or ten.
What the heck was it? A PIN number? A postcode? House numbers didn’t normally go up that high where she lived. And in any case, she had no street name or suburb.
She wrote them on the fridge whiteboard and left it at that.
And then she scrubbed it off in the shower.
The next day there were four more.
She had not gone out. There was no one else in the house, her flatmate was away.
It was weird.
She wrote those down, too.
By the morning of the third day, she had 1231 3401 2832.
She stared at them ... a lot.
When Craig, her flatmate got home, the first thing he did was grab a beer from the fridge. “Have you taken up gambling?” he asked as he took a swig.
“No. Why?”
He pointed the beer bottle at the board. “Aren’t these your lotto numbers?”
“Yeah. You pick six numbers.”
“That isn’t-” And then she understood what he meant. It could be 12 31 34 01 28 32. Six numbers, not three groups of four. “Huh,” she said.
Craig waited for her answer but it didn’t come so he wandered off muttering about having laundry to do.
After staring at the digits for a minute or so, she grabbed a pen and wrote them out. Then she grabbed her bag and ran for the local newsagent. She made it with five minutes before closing.
“Ha! I was right,” he said when she insisted on watching the number draw.
They got more excited as each number came up until she had ticked them all off.
“You won,” he said in a shocked voice.
There were five prize winners so the total was split, but $850,000 was enough for her to live on for the rest of her life.
© AM Gray 2014

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