Tag Archives: fortune

2256. Over the teacups

Pricilla was an expert at tasseography, and she made a pretty penny at the trade. Of course, she did it for fun although some people took it seriously. To read tea leaves in cups brightened everyone’s day. Occasionally a group of friends would come along together and after drinking their tea would insist on a communal reading. It was good for a laugh!

Sometimes however Priscilla took things more seriously. Reading teacups could be more of an opportunity to listen and help people who were at a loss. They had come to the tasseographer because they were reaching out for help. Pricilla was an expert at divining those who were distraught and bringing out the best in people. Telling fortunes by reading tea leaves was simply a vehicle. In fact, once in a very long while, a friendship would form “over the teacups”.

Once a woman had come along to have her tea leaves read (although it should be noted that Pricilla also read coffee dregs if that was the client’s preference). Pricilla could tell she was distressed. It turned out that the woman had murdered her husband. It had been all over the papers and the police had been at a loss as to who had done the dastardly deed. And here was Mavis A. Clenovavitch of 29 Hartford Lane (sorry, I shouldn’t have used her name) telling Pricilla what the police had spent weeks trying to find out.

Now things had reached a pretty pass for Pricilla. Should she, or should she not, tell the police? I mean, was she under any obligation to report such things or should she regard confidentiality as sacred?

In the end Pricilla decided not to tell a soul. That is why to this day Mavis A. Clenovavitch of 29 Hartford Lane walks scot free, and both she and Pricilla enjoy the substantial fortune Mavis’ late husband left in his will.

1988. Granny’s gift

It was the year 2064. Mary (such an old-fashion, uncreative name for the 2060s) had come across some old (really old) family videos. They were in a box in the attic. At first she didn’t know what they were. Then a friend suggested they were videos and Mary spent quite some time going from expert to expert to find out how they should be played. Eventually a state-of-the-art studio managed to copy them for Mary onto her Clockdropia.

The first one she watched was labelled “The Family – 1991”. Mary didn’t recognize anyone in it, and presumed (even though the house with the attic where they were found had been in the family for generations) that the video was not of her own family.

The second video was more revealing. Mary recognized her late grandmother when her grandmother appeared to be in her teens. Grandmother was holding paper bags, and in them she said were wads of money. “Wads and wads of money. I’ll show you where I’m going to hide them so that a person in the future who finds and watches this video is welcome to get the money and become instantly rich!”

Would you believe! The paper bags were under a loose floorboard in the corridor cupboard. It was a miracle the house hadn’t burnt down accidentally or that the house hadn’t been sold or that someone hadn’t accidentally stumbled across the bags of money while returning the vacuum cleaner to the corridor cupboard. Mary went to the cupboard immediately.

There underneath the floorboards were bags. Inside each bag was an unbelievable pile of money. Mary counted it. It came to just over four hundred thousand dollars!

Goodness! It was 2064. What does one do with worthless paper money? Mary chucked everything into the dumpster.

1927. Bon voyage

Dear Gentle Reader

Here’s your chance to make the world a better place. You are so kind-hearted – I know you are; I know that you desire the sweetest outcomes for people in strife. That is why, in today’s story, when something unfortunate threatens the main character, something will occur that turns everything to good. It is your kindness that dictates this, So-Kindly-a-Reader.

Irene had had a bad week. Her dog had taken ill and she had to pay the astronomical veterinarian’s fees; on the way home her motorcar ran out of gas, and she had to walk for what seemed like miles with the sick dog to get help; her mail delivery service informed her that her mail box was at the wrong height; her kitchen sink seemed to be leaking into the cupboard below; her… Need one, Kindly Reader, go on and on? Why not get to the point and have something nice happen? And indeed we shall!

After having taken the dog to the veterinarian, Irene popped into the supermarket on the way home to get some white vinegar, because she had run out, and while there she bought a ticket in the lottery.

Miracle of miracles! Two days later Irene discovered that she had won millions and millions of dollars. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Kindly Reader for making such wonderful things happen!

Irene did what she could only dream about. She booked a ticket to sail in luxury to America and back! Who would have thought she would ever afford such a thing? Thank you! Thank you!

Her first few days on the Titanic were fantastic.

1828. Who’s the lucky fella?

No sooner had I hung up the phone then there was a knock at the door. The phone call had been from the local supermarket saying I had won a $500 grocery voucher for entering a competition to write a jingle advertising spaghetti. The money would be put automatically on my supermarket card. Of course I was excited, because I was practically skint, and then came the knock on the door.

There stood a man and a woman who said “Congratulations!” I said “What for?” and they said I’d won a car. Well I was completely over the moon because to be honest I hadn’t had a car for eighteen months. The last one had died – utterly died – and I had been unable to replace it even with a beaten up old bomb.

Well, I got into my car as soon as those people had gone and went off to the supermarket to get some much needed things and a couple of not so important things like some chocolate and some coconut cookies. They say things come in threes! No sooner had I stepped out of my car at the supermarket than I was approached by a woman, I’m guessing around about fiftyish.

She said “Good morning!” and I answered “Good morning” and then she said, “Excuse me, I don’t mean to barge in but…”

“But would you like a house? I was recently diagnosed with a terminal problem and the only thing I care about in the world are my chickens. If you would like my house when I go you can have it provided you care for my chickens.”

Goodness! My first thought was coq au vin, which is what you can do with tough old chickens, but I said out loud instead, “Goodness! What a fabulous thing! Of course I will see to your chickens!”

So the woman arranged to meet with who-ever-it-was to officially hand things over, and when I got out of the car this man approached and said that he’d just won forty-eight million in the lottery and he knew it would destroy his family, so would I like the ticket? I said I had little or no family to destroy, so he gave me the ticket.

The handover of the house went without a glitch, and I’ll sell the house once the old lady kicks the bucket. On the way out of the building there was an old guy asking for money, probably for drink like always, so I said “Get a job you last lazy slob instead off bleeding off other people.” I like to tell it like it is. Some people would take the shirt off your back if you gave them half a chance.

1589. Manageable portions

I’m sorely tempted to write about something horrible – just for a change. Yet, as a theatre reviewer once said of one of my plays, “There’s enough trouble in the world already without this play.” I shall therefore avoid the temptation to indulge in horribility and keep to the usual niceties grounded in a tender reality. So here goes…

When Anastasia murdered her husband she had little idea of the wonderful repercussions it would have. She had chopped him up into manageable portions, put each into a plastic bag, and stacked them in the freezer. Each week she put a bag of a piece of her husband out at the gate to be picked up by the trash collection truck. She had only the one plastic bag left. She had overlooked it because it had been covered (in the freezer next to the chicken drumsticks) with a flannel for the sake of modesty.

Anastasia had thought that last week’s trash collection had ended her saga of weeks of removal, and now, with the discovery of what lay hidden beneath the flannel there was yet another week to go. But that is not what matters. What matters is what else she saw. Beneath the flannel-covered remains there was a key. She knew instantaneously what the key unlocked.

For weeks she had searched the house for the key to the safe. How it fallen into the freezer was anyone’s guess. Immediately she went and unlocked the safe. There was nothing inside but a piece of paper and a bank card. On the paper was written a pin number. Anastasia dashed straight down the street and inserted the card into the bank’s hole-in-the-wall ATM. What a discovery! What a huge amount of money! What a fortune! Anastasia did a little dance in the street there and then.

By now the once-flannel-covered portion of husband, which she had inadvertently been holding when she dashed out of the house, was starting to defrost. A kindly neighbour saw it and asked, “Anastasia! What on earth is that you’re holding?”

“Oh!” said Anastasia, “it’s a leg of mutton for my dinner. Perhaps you’d like to come for dinner and we’ll share it.”

Of course, the neighbour came to dinner. And of course, of course, Anastasia put the trash out at the gate to be picked up early next morning, before serving her guest chicken drumsticks.

1581. Dopp kit, sponge bag, toilet bag

Half the problem of being a writer of international fame in the English-speaking world is the limitation placed on vocabulary. Merton wanted to write a story involving a sponge bag. But would the readers know that a sponge bag was the same as a toilet bag? Or what if, after searching online, he discovered that some people call it a Dopp kit?

Whatever it is called, Merton was determined to tell his story, so he called it a sponge bag, because that’s what he’d grown up knowing it as.

Kathryn’s family was rich. Well, not rich exactly, but comfortable. They never had to think more than twice before something was purchased. A replacement mattress for a queen-sized bed might be pricey but it was always affordable when such a thing was required. Kathryn was sent to a private school for girls. It wasn’t cheap by any means. In fact, it was possibly the most exclusive girls’ school this side of the Mississippi.

When it came to “having things” at the school, Kathryn had nothing but the best; the best clothes, the best luggage, the best school bag, the best sponge bag. In the mornings, when she went to clean her teeth and wash her face, her exquisite sponge bag was sometimes stared at by the other girls. It had prints of lavender on the sides, with a silver-coloured zipper at the top, and a little mirror when it opened. Yes, indeed. Kathryn’s mother had guessed right when she said (part jokingly of course) that the sight of a sponge bag first thing in the morning establishes ones social standing firmly in the minds of others for the rest of the day. In fact, possibly not because of the sponge bag but because of the confidence it instilled into Kathryn, she was elected to be the one to give the speech on the teacher’s birthday.

Even though the school cost a pretty penny they accepted three girls from poor families free of charge to alleviate their conscience for overcharging everyone else. Margaret was one such girl.

Margaret’s mother had sewn together a sponge bag for her daughter. To be honest, it wasn’t much. It was fabric with little hearts on it, and lined with plastic. A drawstring took the place of a zip, and it didn’t have a mirror. Margaret kept her toothbrush and toothpaste and other things in there. It served her well enough.

All that sponge bag stuff was years ago. Time waits for no one. Kathryn’s sponge bag has long gone. She lives in a comfortable walled-estate known as Meadowlark, and sends her daughter to the most exclusive school for girls this side of the Mississippi.

Margaret on the other hand lives in an unbelievably beautiful mansion. She has three children, a gardener, several cars, and everything else. She made her fortune making and selling sponge bags with little hearts on them, and lined with plastic. A drawstring takes the place of a zipper, and it doesn’t have a mirror. It’s the type of sponge bag that most people purchase because it is pretty even though such things don’t really matter.

 

1459. A hair’s breadth

Astrid was very community minded. She wasn’t neurotic about it, not obsessed, but if there was a bit of discarded trash on the sidewalk she’d usually stop, pick it up, and drop it in a waste bin.

On this particular Wednesday she did just that. It was a discarded ice cream paper. Clearly some child had torn the cover off their ice cream and dumped the screwed up bit of paper on the ground.

Astrid’s picking it up and placing it in the street waste container added three seconds to the mission she was on; and that was to go into the shop and purchase a lottery ticket.

Those three added seconds meant she got a different set of numbers than those she would have got if she had been three seconds earlier. And the numbers that she would have got but didn’t were the numbers that came up.

She would have won one hundred and twenty-seven million. Of course, she’ll never know she missed out by a hair’s breadth.

1410. In which Constantia buries her husband and buys a hat

After her husband’s death, Constantia hit the bottle. Even during the funeral in church, she was so drunk she had to be supported by her brother and brother-in-law. She kept calling out “WHA! WHA! WHAA!” which people took to be an utterance of grief, but as Constantia’s brother pointed out, it was an exclamation of exhilaration at having come into the possession of gigantic opulence.

A week or so after the funeral, Constantia decided to sober up and get on with life. Insobriety had been her way of covering up for lack of grief.

Constantia celebrated her new found fortune by buying a hat.