Lucky – A fictional short story by Lee Santiva
There was a loud crash as glass and beer went flying as a heavy-set man in his late 60's dropped his drink and then fell off his chair.
Ricardo hurried out from behind the bar over to the patron who had been coming to the bar alone every night for almost a week now. Cadiz is a quiet seaside town on the Atlantic coast in Spain, which is nothing like the party mile of Palma de Mallorca, and this tourist was not drunk. He seemed also not to be hurt but was sobbing.
It was a Saturday night and the tavern was full, so with the help of several men Ricardo managed to get the big man outside into the cool night air, propping him up against the outside wall. It was around eleven o’clock and the local news had just ended with the weather report and the lottery results. Back inside, the tavern was abuzz with speculation of what could have set off the old man. He had just been sitting there quietly drinking his beer, watching the big screen TV behind the bar just like everybody else.
After some time, Helmut heaved himself up from the pavement and staggered across the beach frontage road just making to the dark, empty beach before collapsing and falling face first into the cold sand.
Helmut had considered himself unlucky ever since he had lost his wife while they were still so young, until several weeks ago when he had won a week’s vacation to Spain playing a scratch-and-win ticket. The train station in Mannheim was the only place he would buy a ticket for the German National Lottery, because that was where he had met the love of his life - his wife - over 45 years ago. He was a superstitious man and always played the same numbers on the same day at the same place. His lottery numbers consisted of his wife’s birthday, March 10th , the day they got married which was September 22nd , and her age (47) when she passed away on January 31st.
Before he left on vacation he stopped in to play his weekly lottery ticket. The owner of the kiosk said to him “Helmut, after all the decades you’ve been coming here week after week, I think we can say we know each other. And as a friend, I just have to say that playing numbers related to death will never bring any good luck.” Helmut replied, “Look Mario, I just won a vacation. I’m on a lucky streak, I can feel it: my numbers will come in! Mark my words!”
The winning numbers in the Spanish National lottery on Saturday were 3, 9, 10, 22, 31, and 47.