A few weeks ago, I wrote something of a short story. Now, I’d like to share it with you. If you’d like to download it, click the following: Some People Are Lucky V_2. Please do not claim any of this as your own (though I can’t see anyone doing so as this isn’t anything phenomenal) and if you’d like to share, just be sure to include a link back to this post! 🙂
A crumpled wad of paper flew across the room as a frustrated groan wrenched itself from the man’s throat. He raked his hands through his hair and dug the fingernails into his scalp, gripped handfuls of hair and tugged until it stung.
Darkness replaced the image of a cluttered room. Books stacked upon books rested on the desk. Scattered papers made it impossible to stay mentally organized. When he opened his eyes once more, the writer sucked in a deep breath as he set his fingers to the typewriter for the seventh time that morning.
A slight knock sounded on the door just before it squeaked open on rusty hinges. “It’s past midnight, dear.” The woman with dark circles under her eyes twisted her thin lips into a smile. “You should get some rest.”
He shook his head and frowned. “It must be nice being able to sleep so much. But some of us have work to do.”
The writer’s wife sighed. “Well, good night then.” She turned and closed the door as she left.
He swore at the night and stared at the single flame burning beside the typewriter. The writer rested his chin in his palm, heaving a tired breath.
“It must be nice not being a writer.” He shook his head and shifted his gaze toward the window. “It must be nice having a steady paycheck; having someone other than yourself to be held accountable to if the work doesn’t get done.” He stood and stretched. “Some people are lucky.”
Two a.m., two dark circles beneath two bloodshot eyes, two deadlines to meet, two jobs to juggle, and too many lives to live.
The businessman with four kids, a wife, and three-story house stared at a Toshiba’s computer screen covered in building blueprints. He rubbed his eyes until stars danced in the darkness. He yawned and ordered another coffee from the barista behind the counter. Stretching, he swept the room with a gaze.
Only one other customer occupied the cozy room. She was burrowed in a sweater several sizes too large, slouched on a cushioned couch, hypnotized by something playing on the Mac before her. Earbuds drowned out the world. She glanced up and hit a button on the keyboard, took one earbud out.
“Can I help you?” Her voice held an irritated note.
The businessman shoved his hands in his pockets. “Did you buy that yourself?” He nodded to the computer on her lap.
She shook her head. “My parents did.”
He nodded once and turned away, muttering something about rich peoples’ spoiled kids.
Taylor Swift crooned over the speakers.
“…chose the Rose Garden over Madison Square,
And it took some time, but I understand it now.
‘Cause now my name is up in lights, but I think you got it right.
Let me tell you now, you’re the lucky one…”
The businessman scoffed at the lyrics and accepted the black coffee from the barista, exchanging his money for the caffeine. He sat back down before his laptop.
“Must be nice. You’re rich, kid.” He sipped the dark liquid. “No deadlines to meet, no one to please. Some people are lucky.”
Red lips curved in a smile. Camera lights flashed, blinding her. She turned to the other side and placed a hand on her hip. A dozen more clicks, a dozen more flashes, another dozen pictures for the tabloids. She walked off the stage, waved to the ravenous crowd, and climbed into the black limo.
Behind the tinted windows, she dropped the smile and reached for the bottle of bourbon. Her producer looked on in disgust from the seat before the singer. She held the liquor between her knees and reached for the hoodie beside her, pulled it on before taking another swig.
The producer rubbed his forehead. “You need to be more careful. People will talk.”
She turned jaded eyes on the man. “They already do.” The star rubbed her eyes, smearing the previously perfectly-placed eyeliner. “Her makeup isn’t symmetrical. She looks hideous in yellow. Did she even put any effort into that song?” The singer flashed the man a dead smile. “I’m not perfect, but they expect me to be.”
Shifting her gaze to stare out the window, she inhaled and sighed. “Must be nice not being known; not being scrutinized and criticized. Some people are lucky.”
“You realize that’s what people say about you, right?” The producer raised an eyebrow.
“There’s lucky and then there’s a misunderstood perception of lucky.” She closed her eyes and leaned back. “Some people are lucky.”
The soldier clenched his teeth and squeezed his eyes shut. He grunted as he rolled onto his back, stared at the make-shift hospital ceiling. A young man jogged up to him and saluted, raising a stiff hand to his bandaged temple. Blood had soaked through the once-white cloth. “Sergeant?”
He sat up, grimacing. “Yes, Private?”
“Your daughter’s on the phone.”
The sergeant accepted the communicative device. “Hello, baby!” He didn’t need to force a smile into his voice. The pain subsided for a moment when she spoke, her five-year old voice blurring some words together.
“Daddy!” A giggle came through.
“How are you?”
“Good. Mommy said I could call you. She misses you.” The flow of conversation flooded through the phone and he didn’t mind. “We had oatmeal this morning. Again. Can you tell Mommy to make something different tomorrow?”
He grinned. “Well, what do you want for breakfast tomorrow?”
“Um… French toast!”
“I can try, love. How’s school?” He reached down to scratch an itch on his calf. It wasn’t there. He tried not to think of the pain. They’d run out of anesthesia. The amputation was hell.
“Good, I guess.”
“You guess?” He focused on her voice.
“Yeah. Hey, Daddy? Why do you have to be away so much?”
He smiled and thought for a moment. “So you can complain about whether or not you get oatmeal or French toast for breakfast, baby girl. So my uncle can complain that writing is hard when he could easily get another job. So my brother can complain that he doesn’t make enough money or have enough time when he’s got a beautiful family and nice house. So my sister can complain about the rich and famous life when that’s what she worked hard to achieve. Darling, I’m away so you guys can complain about the results of your freedom.”