"The Lottery" by Judith Higgins
The morning of her birthday, Meryl contemplated her Cezanne print hanging over the fireplace. How she longed to be centre stage again like those peaches lolling on the sun-bleached table.
She imagined the great artist cupping the roundness of her shoulder, pressing his cheek against her fuzzily soft skin, and then capturing her fullness in paint for a birthday portrait. But even as she thought this, she saw herself behind glass, all her ripeness trapped and flattened.
She stripped off her clothes, flung them around the room and pulled back the curtains. She’d be a Dutch whore for the day, pose with lewd abandon in the bay window.
A rapid knocking on the door made her fantasy vanish – Raymond, her lodger up far too early for a Sunday. She rushed into the folds of a curtain as he burst into the room.
‘Mrs. Writhlington,’ he cried, his eyes wild. ‘Meryl.’ He waved a piece of paper at her. It was clear he wasn’t aware of anything unusual in the room although her knickers were hanging on the teapot spout, her bra draped near his stocking feet. ‘I’ve done it, I’ve won the lottery.’
She let go of the curtain and swarmed all over him. His grey acrylic cardigan felt hard against her skin, but his hand was hot and firm on her breast. The lottery ticket floated to the carpet beside them.'Yes,’ she said. ‘You have.’
This story has been published in the Fish Prize Anthology, 2014
FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words). So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?More information about these and the Day itself available at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk.