Over the last couple of months, I have been working on a short story. It was inspired by friends, Mags and Diane, telling me an enthralling anecdote about a litter of lottery cards. It was too good to pass up, so I have made a story of my own around their theme. I often find it hard to come up with my own fictional stories but there is nothing more strange or intriguing than the truth. I hope I have done justice to the essence of their story while unashamedly creating my own characters and version of events.
The story is called The Draw and explores the unintended consequences of a random situation. It is included in a collection of five stories in Hagiography published through Blurb.
‘It’s litter, Cat, litter. Nothing interesting about it.’ Gerri couldn’t share Cat’s curiosity. She was in full flow with a spreadsheet and could have used some peace and quiet.
‘I think it’s a woman desperately trying to make ends meet. She must have two jobs because she doesn’t come every day.’ Cat fired out her speculations ignoring the lack of engagement. She’d started to flesh out her character as she checked out the contents of the fridge. No leftovers. She picked through the vegetables left at the bottom of the organic box and decided to rustle up a stir fry.
‘Uh huh.’ Gerri looked up at Cat standing at the sink, busily scrubbing misshapen carrots, musing quite contentedly about her imaginary friend without the need of an audience. Gerri’s stomach rumbled.
‘It’s not even the same days or times each week. I thought it was only Mondays the first few times, but now it’s random days of the week. She’s on a zero-hour contract. Kids to feed.’
Litter had become Cat’s perfect obsession during lockdown. The drama that she was scripting in her head right now had started with her finding a trail of used scratch-cards at the number seven bus stop at the end of their street. It wasn’t random litter. This was a deliberate drop. Cards tossed from the hand as feet hit the ground. Not like the usual trash, which sadly included a mountain of plastic protective gear, grimy masks and blue latex gloves alongside the split sweetie wrappers, greasy crisp packets, crumpled cans. The two of them grumbled about it on a daily basis.
Read The Draw in full by previewing Hagiography.