Sunday, 4 November 2007

Making the world go round...



Loto flicked moodily through his copy of Take a Break and thought what an utter, utter git his brother Loki was. The magazine provided a fairly efficient barometer of Loki's success at spreading despair and despondency about the world and if today's issue was anything to go by he was indeed "cooking with gas bro'!" as he had claimed in his last email. Loto on the other hand was doing his level best to make people happy- you'd think that giving money to people would be easier than it was turning out to be. He'd been thrilled when he'd thought up the idea of the Lottery, it gave him the ideal vehicle for dishing out money - and that was his job. As demi-semi-dinky-teeny god-ette jobs went it was okay - could be a lot worse, he could be like HÅ“nir and not be allowed to say anything ever; talking to him was very frustrating because frankly he was rubbish at charades. Anyway - it was Saturday and therefore the day he most often had prayers directly sent his way. He tuned into the white noise that swirled around him most of the time and sifted through the susurration of the many voices whispering prayers "Let me win, please, let me win...". It was difficult to decide who deserved the money most. Sometimes he got lazy about doing his background research and the money ended up with someone who by popular assent of his worshippers just did not deserve it, a yobbo who frittered his money on drink, drugs and other unwholesome pursuits or someone who already had more money than they knew what to do with. Sometimes he gave all the money to one person and sometimes to many; sometimes he dropped actual winning tickets into the handbags, pockets, purses of his people and sometimes he put the idea in their head about the numbers he would choose that week. You'd think that would be enough but no, people lost their tickets, didn't bother checking them and hardly ever listened to him in their head - they stuck to the numbers they always used, some odd combination of birthdays, ages and door numbers usually. He listened again to the prayers coming his way today it was a bit like turning the dial on a radio until he found a message that was clear and precise...


Enid wondered if it was necessary to look at stars when attempting cosmic ordering. She’d read Noel’s book, well, read some of it anyway but she couldn't remember whether star gazing was mentioned. She’d tried cosmic ordering her lottery win both last week and the week before. The first attempt failed she thought because she had been too non-specific, she had just asked for some money. Last week she had been quite specific (£5 million) but perhaps a bit greedy. This week she had decided to ask for £93,427 based on the premise that it was (a) pretty dashed specific and (b) not terribly greedy. It was the amount she thought that would allow her to pay off all her outstanding bills, buy a new carpet for the parlour and get a few new clothes from Jaeger, and leave her with a wee bit over. The bills were beginning to worry her. She’d been so downhearted when Henry had died, it might have been a bit different if they’d had children but they had never been blessed. Then everything had become so much worse when she discovered that Henry’s pension didn’t come to her after all and the stocks and shares they had were really rather worthless. She’d had to sell some things from the house, none of which were worth very much but the money had kept her going for a while. Now there was nothing left to sell and the house looked as sad and bereft as she felt. The friends she had once had seemed to have drifted away whilst she was lost in her grief and now she couldn’t afford to have them back, it cost money to socialise and she just didn’t have it. Her social contact was limited to the people she met when she volunteered in the children’s hospital shop, the Doctors and Nurses were just lovely, she saw how hard they worked and how hard they tried to make the children well and keep their families nourished in their hope. She saw the families too, learned which child was theirs, how they were faring. She wanted to let them know how much she cared what happened, how hard she prayed for their child to be well, how she wanted to do more – but they only saw the pleasant, tweedy lady from Morningside and she didn’t know how to connect. If she won a lot of money on the Lottery she would give some of it to the Hospital, she decided, that way she could show how much she cared. If it was more than £200,000 she would give half of it away she thought. Oh Great God Loto, in all your munificent beneficence please let me win.


Loto like the Great God bit. He wasn't a Great God, but he liked it anyway. He wasn't sure about the munificent beneficence though. Actually, he wasn't even sure what it meant but she was a nice old duck and he felt sure that she'd stick to her bargain and not blow it all on drink, drugs and Ferraris. As the balls spun in their machine Loto nudged out the numbers that appeared on Enid's ticket...


2 comments:

The Alchemist said...

Lesley from Fife, your story was my personal favorite this week. A wonderful post with many memorable lines...Loto liked the Great God bit. he wasn't a Great God, but he liked it anyway.
I'm bookmarking your site and I'll be looking forward for more.

Herb Urban said...

Great story. Everyone in my family played the lottery every week. Though it seemed like they were throwing their money away to me, there is something admirable about keeping your hopes and dreams alive while barely making through the daily grind. If there is a loto God, he/she is pretty tight with the purse strings.