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The Lottery

by BP | Score: 4400

Clara listens to the ocean. It's been years since she's done this. Feet dug into the cool sand, eyes closed. The water rushes in, kisses her toes, recedes. She imagines herself on a boat. Lifting and falling with the current. She wonders if there will be an ocean on the new world.

"Congratulations! You have been selected for the Exodus lottery. We know this is a scary time, and there's lots to prepare for, but for the moment rest easy knowing your place in the new world is secured."

The lines still seem like a dream. Two million. Just two million people across the entire world have been selected. Not counting the "Essentials," of course. There are those who get selected and there are those who do the selecting. The selector's act like it's a terrible burden. Who to those who must make the terrible decisions. But terrible decisions are the province of the privileged. Given the choice, Clara knows which side she'd rather be on.

She still hasn't told Rick. She had intended to earlier that morning. He was sitting at the kitchen island, buttering a piece of toast, his tattered roofing shirt clinging to his back. Out of work two years and he still had the body of a laborer.  Full chest, broad shoulders, firm back. A slight paunch had started to form around his stomach. He still struggled with it. She tried easing him along, joking about now and then whenever it stuck out. How silly that seemed now. He was perfect. Always had been. When was the last time she'd told him that.

They had built that kitchen themselves. Remolded the whole thing on a piece of paper. Each of them taking turns drawing it out. For all his rough work over the years, he drew the daintiest of lines. A stark contrast to the thick, bold lines that had won Clara acclaim in her indie comic circles. "Striking," critics called it. Of all the stories she had told with those lines, one of her favorites was still the story of their future together. Sitting in the old kitchen, working together on what their new home would look like. First the kitchen. Then the basement. Then the upstairs bathroom. On and on, until their fixer upper was no longer in need of any fixing. 

Now the house didn't matter. Their dreams had all been turned to dust. But their was a strange kind of comfort in knowing that they would turn to dust together.

Except now she didn't have to.

Rick put the kitchen knife down. They both hated this set. Spoons, fork, knives, didn't matter which. They were all thick and bulky and if you weren't holding on to them for dear life whenever you moved a plate, they'd slide off and hit the floor like a bomb. She wouldn't miss those, Clara thought.

"Win big today, baby?"

His daily joke. Like most young couples they had decided early not to have a child. It had been surprisingly easy, but as the years went on Clara could see something was missing in Rick. He'd started collecting toys. "Collectibles," he called them. Tried out dad jokes with reckless abandon. She couldn

Completed challenges

The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:

Begin Start typing to begin
Location An ocean
Letter Use the letter N
Words Reach 50 words
Event Someone wins the lottery
Words Reach 100 words
Words Reach 200 words
Words Reach 300 words
Character A respectful roofer
Words Reach 400 words
Words Reach 500 words

This story was written using Taleforge, the free writing exercise app powered by The Story Shack. Curious? Try it yourself.

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