She opened her eyes, simmering in the silence of her dark apartment. Kicking the blankets off her ankles, the cool morning seeped into her bloodstream. The clock’s ticking jogged her memory of the calendar she must keep. As the fog lifted, the sound of water caused her to bolt up! She turned a bionic ear, afraid to cross the border of pillows to see what lied in wait for her! Living in the only ground floor apartment meant anybody else’s plumbing issues become hers since, as is just her luck, it rolls downhill. As her brain surged to squeeze the Comaquil oiled cogs, she recognized the rainstorm she’d been expecting.
After traversing the pillow mountain, she walked down the hallway, honed in on Mr. Coffee. The floor creaked announcing her reentry to the land of the living, alerting her cats. Her grouchy old cat sat by the wall heater scolding,
“Turn on the heat!” He thanklessly curled into a ball when the heater clanked into action.
Her younger cat danced about with his huge inquisitive eyes and question mark tail,
“I don’t know what this means, but we’re surrounded! By WATER!!” She rubbed his ears and he retreated to his bed protected in the deepest basement of his play structure. He covered his eyes with his tail and catnapped.
Tasting the coffee already, she blindly opened the fridge reaching for the coffee can and filters that sit side by side. The empty spot shocked her awake!
“Just my luck!” she cursed as her cold haze parted enough to recall the supermarket decision to buy green tea instead for her cold. She stomped back to the hallway to retrieve a jacket to dress up her sicky uniform of sweats. In the reflection of a framed picture on her wall, the outline of a person with matted caveman hair walking up behind her scared her until self-recognition scared her more. Gathering her hair into a black elastic band, she grabbed the keys, flip-flops and headed into the rain.
Thankful for others staying indoors, she made a beeline for the 7-11 counting down the seconds until her hands wrapped around a warm coffee. From her perspective at the last red light standing between her and caffeine, she grimaced at the full parking lot. She scanned the street next to it for a spot, with no luck, noticing a collection of news vans. Making a mental note to check the headlines online, she silently hoped for nothing too crazy as this area suffered from a few uncharacteristically bad headlines recently. Her light and her luck changed and a spot right in front opened up!
She scanned the store from her car, planning her route to get in and out without encountering anyone she knew. The owner, now a friend thanks to her frequent visits, would forgive her appearance. The coast looked clear and as she entered without seeing a soul! She pulled up to Coffee Paradise Island, rashly throwing any flavored creams and sweeteners into her cup. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the never-seen passageway to the inner workings of the store open and for a split second considered abandoning her coffee and fleeing if foul play were the cause of the empty store. Vowing to boycott headline news, she continued without deliberating what combination of coffee to fill her cup to the rim.
She walked to the register, glad to see a second-in-rank smiling cashier waiting for her. The owner then emerged from the back room tailed by the media. She whispered to the Vice Cashier,
“We were notified that a winning ticket came from this store.”
“No way! How exciting for you!”
“Did you buy one?”
“You should check it!”
“That’d be my luck to share my news with the world looking like this!”
He persisted so she retrieved the $1 ticket and stuck it under the scanner. The press and the owner, hearing the machine’s beep, stopped talking and leaned in eagerly. While waiting for the verdict, she grabbed a pen from the counter and signed the back of the ticket in case hell broke loose.
“Sorry, not a winner” flashed on-screen and everyone exhaled.
“It’s fun to dream!” she smiled and paid for her coffee.
“There’s always the Mega Lottery… it’s up to $241 million!”
“Alright, $1 quick pick please!”
NOTE: Since I didn’t make my 365 words Friday night, this made up for that plus interest – 730 words this morning! Just a fun story as a result of too much cold medicine and not enough caffeine.