Due to an injury, plus a new project, I will be unable to continue writing short stories for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, please enjoy this short story, which was originally published in January 2015.
Aunt Jenny gasped. “Oh, my goodness, Douglas, would you look at that?” She grapsed his forearm as she stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk.
“A penny.” She stooped to pick up the penny lying on the sidewalk with the head facing up.
“So, pennies are good luck, you know. Especially when you find them lying face-up.”
“I thought pennies were an outdated form of currency that aren’t worth the copper used to make them.”
“Nonsense, they’re good luck. Everybody knows that.” She brought it close to her bespectacled face in order to examine it. She gasped again, her mouth falling open in a large oval and her free arm twirling in circles. “It’s a 1952 penny!”
“I suppose 1952 pennies are especially lucky?”
“They are to me! It’s the year I was born. Oh, it’s a sign, Douglas.”
Doug rolled his eyes. “It is not a sign.”
“Yes it is. Just think of it: a form of currency that has been printed with the year that I was born. It means that wealth and fortune are coming my way.”
“It does not, Aunt Jenny. It’s just a penny.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. Only fools don’t recognize signs like this when they’re staring them right in the face. Come on, we have to go buy fifty-two dollars’ worth of lottery tickets.”
Aunt Jenny was already heading for the gas station on the corner ahead of them. Doug had no choice but to follow her.
“Aunt Jenny, you can’t spend fifty-two dollars on lottery tickets. That’s almost half your social security check for the month.”
“Yes, but that’s nothing compared to what I can win. Just think how high my chances will be with fifty-two dollars’ worth of tickets.”
“Still not as high as your chances of getting hit by lightning.”
“Oh, I don’t believe that. That’s just a rumor that anti-gamblers have invented to keep us from our chances at winning the lottery.”
“Do you have any idea how many lottery tickets are sold?”
“I know that fifty-two dollars’ worth are about to be sold right here,” she said as she opened the door to the gas station.
Doug came in after her and shot a pleading look at the cashier as his aunt opened her wallet and announced that she would like fifty-two dollars’ worth of lottery tickets.
The man ignored Doug as he kept his eyes focused on his customer. “Tickets are five dollars each.”
“Oh, well, fifty-five dollars it is then.”
“What about your sign to spend fifty-two dollars on lottery tickets?”
“Well, clearly I can’t do that, so it will have to be fifty-five dollars. One can’t argue with reality, after all.”
“Shouldn’t you round down?”
“Of course not!” She looked at him as though he had suggested she take her clothes off right there in the gas station. “That extra ticket could be the winner.”
Doug gave up.