Response to a writing prompt from A Writer’s Path.
Include all these elements into a scene: sports tickets, a candle, discouragement, and drawing.
I confess I just looked at the topic quickly and didn’t see that Ryan had said “drawing” not “a drawing.” But the deed was done by then. ‘Scuse me, Ryan, for skewing your prompt. (rolls eyes…)
She was so excited she could barely wait for her husband to come home. For months now she’d saved what she could, nickels here, quarters there. She’d even resorted to snagging pennies and other change from the ground. The $10, now THAT was a stroke of luck. She’d gone without lunch at work, she’d bought the cheap hand lotion instead of the stuff that smelled so good. She’d even bought the generic, store-brand Frosted Flakes and dumped them into his emptied cereal box praying he wouldn’t notice the difference. He didn’t. For a whole year she had scrimped and saved to buy tickets for the opening home game of the season for the New England Patriots. They weren’t the best seats, she knew, but it would be far more exciting for him than watching it on TV.
Now here she stood, marveling that she was holding them in her hands. It was going to be the best birthday surprise she’d ever given him. All there was left to do was put the finishing touch on his favorite dessert. The roast was done, the salad was mixed, and the baked potatoes were warming in the microwave. She’d put a tablecloth on the table and set it with their best china and glassware. She’d even dragged out the two antique candlesticks her grandmother had left her. She set them on the counter and lit the harvest gold candles she’d bought for the occasion.
Smiling at how perfect his birthday surprise was going to be, she’d picked up the tickets to check the dates just one more time when she saw him pull into the driveway. Not wanting to give away the surprise, she leaned in to pull the window blinds above the counter shut then jumped back in horror as one end of the two cardstock tickets began to turn to black char in her hands. She had leaned right over a candle flame! She dropped the burning tickets into the sink and swatted at them with her dishtowel. Perhaps they could still be salvaged. But by the time she heard the front door close and her husband call out to her, they were all but gone.
He found her standing at the sink, tears staining her char-smeared face, disappointment fixed in her eyes and the corners of her mouth. One look at the table and he knew she’d been planning something special. Without a word she motioned to the sink where the stubs of the tickets lay in a pile of ash. His look betrayed his own disappointment, but he pulled her into his arms, cooing that it wasn’t the end of the world and that he knew how much of a sacrifice she must have made to get them.
She sure did love him, she thought as the phone rang. Absently she answered and listened. Her eyes grew big, her mouth formed an O. “Yes, of course I’ll hold.” She placed her hand over the mouthpiece and turned to look at her husband. “Did you enter a drawing at the sports store in the mall last month?”
“Seems we’ve just won two tickets to the Patriot’s opening game — on the 50 yard line…”