Not #5MInuteFiction: Another Holiday Prompt

We’ve got another great tradition to celebrate Tuesday evening this week that will keep me, at least, pretty distracted. I hope you have a thrilling yet safe and happy New Year’s Eve. Although we won’t be having our traditional #5MinuteFiction contest this week, we do have a prompt, which we’ll play the same way we did last week.

Instead of the traditional contest, I’m giving you a prompt today that you will have until tomorrow night at midnight to post (no more than 500 words please, even if the comment box allows more).

The next step will depend on how many stories we have. If necessary, a poll will be up all day New Year’s Day (Wednesday) and the top 5 entries will be featured, in the order submitted, through the next 5 days (with the possible exception of Friday).

Your writing prompt: Your character’s name was just pulled in the national lottery. They will be executed in one year. To compensate, they’ve also received $100,000 directly to their bank account. How does your character plan to achieve his/her bucket list within that time, assuming they cannot touch any other savings (since their family will need it after they are gone)?

Bucket List
by thepipe26 on Flickr – Creative Commons

* If you’re still feeling creative, you are invited to join us over at Tipsy Lit Prompted as well. You have until Friday to enter that flash fiction contest.

Wendy Strain

My entire life is full of writing and creativity. Whether copywriting for exciting new projects, crafting web content for creative companies, ghostwriting, editing, coaching, or exploring my own imagination as a fiction writer, I am constantly engaged in stretching boundaries and exploring possibilities.

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3 thoughts on “Not #5MInuteFiction: Another Holiday Prompt

  1. Last night I tuned in, just like everyone else. It’s the third year of the national lottery. Ten thousand names were drawn across the nation to receive 100,000 bucks. That’s right, 100,000 US dollars directly deposited into your bank account. No taxes, no fees, no questions, no catch…well, not really. Eligible winners are drawn from what those in power consider the cesspool of America – unmarried, unproductive (the PC term for those unemployed and on welfare), male citizens. You know, the group that drains society and offers absolutely nothing back. Can’t even have babies that might grow up to be “good” citizens.

    The lotto is backed by anonymous donors – but you know them. They are the right-wing, mega-rich that funnel ridiculous amounts of money into Super PACs during campaigns, funding bullshit ads aimed at brainwashing us into voting for wackos like Newt Gingrich (really, will that guy ever give up?). So they have come together to create a lotto (unofficially government-sanctioned) that awards 100,000 smack-a-roos to bunch of lucky guys – folks that mainstream society won’t miss in one year when we’re executed.

    That’s right – yours truly is one of the lucky winners. I’m looking at a public execution 365 days from now. Why, you ask? I guess since they can’t deport or jail us, they’re making a show of the wastefulness of the dependent class – a group that has only swelled like a pregnant belly since the Recession of 2007.

    It’s been twenty years since that economic downturn and things have only gotten worse. Seems like the rich have only gotten richer while the poor have gotten, well, screwed. Things are pretty bad. I’ve watched it my entire life – decent jobs are scarce, welfare check is smaller but government regulations are bigger, and schools have just turned to shit. Guess that’s why I’ve never been motivated to chase after that American dream. Why bring an old lady and babies into that picture? It’s no question now.

    One-hundred-thousand dollars. Doesn’t go too far, but it’s something – more than I’ve ever had. Bucket list, you ask? I’ve dreamed of going to sunny Cozumel, sprawled out on a pimped-out yacht with bikini-clad hotties around me, sipping Cristal, playing those retro albums by Snoop Dogg so loud that they can be heard across the ocean. Or maybe a trip to Mars. Since celebrities like Justin Bieber and Leo DiCaprio paved the way, commercial space flights come with some fairly swank amenities – at least that’s what I hear. But that’s exactly the picture those elite jack-asses would like to show the day of my execution. “Look at this, America! Look at his excess, his waste. He hasn’t worked hard for this – not like you do.”

    Working hard. The American dream. Such bullshit. That dream has been long dead. Dead, like me in one year, but not if I beat them to it. Not if I stick it to those sons-of-bitches first. Like in that old movie – it’s time to get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.


    “We’re losing her, Doctor.” said the woman in blue scrubs.

    It wasn’t fair. Actually, none of it was fair, but this was horrible. Erin faded out of consciousness as the doctor poked at her. All of her life had come to this. In the half-dream of pain and medicine she floated back to the day she won.

    The government men had come to the house. Sharply dressed, all business – for them it was a job, not the changing of everything. They had come right inside, no invitation necessary, and her tracker had been inserted. Direct spinal insertion. You didn’t take it out. Will had watched helplessly from the couch, covered with the neural-reducer net that paralyzed everything except his eyes.

    “It’s a 12 month stipend.” said the man in charge. “Don’t spend it all in one place.” Erin wasn’t sure if he was making a sick joke or just following the script. It didn’t matter. The subtext was deafening, “You’ll be executed in a year.”

    “What do you want?” asked Will, holding her in his arms after the men had driven away in their government car with their government salaries and government exemption from the lottery.

    Erin stared at the wall. “It’s a lot of money.” he continued. “We could do anything.”

    “Not anything.” she said.

    Days passed before she could function. It’s easy to ignore mortality when you’re young, with time to burn. The lottery didn’t really change that attitude, except maybe for your friends. For the man you were going to marry when the government finally allowed it.

    “I want a child.” she told him. He laughed. “To hold my child.” He cried the entire time they made love. She wouldn’t let go of him. Morning found them still together and this time urgency replaced sorrow.

    “We should do in vetro.” he said.

    “Let’s wait one more month.” said Erin. “I want it to be ours.” They waited, and tried, and she did not conceive. “It’s too expensive.” she said. But it wasn’t. They had the stipend. And she spent most of her last year pregnant.

    The beeping of an alarm brought her back to consciousness, to the hospital. The woman in blue scrubs washed Erin’s face with a cool cloth. “My baby?” The pain was very strong.

    “Shh.” said the woman. She pointed to a monitor, blips and lines and a strong heartbeat. “Your baby is fine.” Erin jerked in a painful spasm. “I have to get the Doctor.” said the woman.

    Erin could hear Will’s voice. “I don’t care if she’s the lottery winner. She has to hold that baby before she dies.”

    The Doctor was back, scowling, uncomfortable. The woman in the blue scrubs held Erin’s hand.

    “Please.” said Erin.

    The woman in blue scrubs looked at the Doctor. He shook his head. The woman said, “She has two weeks left.” A long moment passed before the Doctor turned, washed his hands, and walked away — taking his lottery exemption with him.

  3. My character creates this list.

    ╚5,561 boxes of Twinkies – $50,000
    ╚Plane ticket from D.C. to Rio de Janeiro – $1,825
    ╚Bus ticket from Rio de Janeiro to Iguazu Falls – $120
    ╚Full Day tour of Iquazu Falls – $40
    ╚Donation to The A21 Campaign – $48,015

    Then he purchases 5,561 boxes of Twinkies, a plane ticket to Rio, then rides a bus to Iquazu Falls. Once he arrives, he pays for a full day tour, and donates the rest of it to the A21 Campaign. For the rest of his year, he munches on Twinkies in the jungle’s of Brazil.

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