Flash Fiction Challenge: Run of Luck

Photo by K.S. Brooks

Luck comes in all varieties. Mostly, folks think of it as good luck or bad luck. The simple truth is, most of the time, people don’t know the difference.

Getting a flat tire when you’re already late for work might seem like bad luck, but it may have been the thing that kept you from getting T-boned at another intersection.

Sometimes, the things we think of as good luck really turn out not to be so good. It was that way for Jeff. He’d had a long run of good luck gone bad. He’d pretty much gotten everything he’d ever really wanted. It’s just that it always turned out that what he wanted wasn’t what he really needed.

Jeff was no gambler, but he felt he had no choice but to take the last little bit of his money and head to the riverboat. He didn’t win at the tables that day, but what happened would change his life forever.

In 250 words or less, tell us a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time on Tuesday, October 16th 2012.

On Wednesday morning, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted.

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4 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Run of Luck”

  1. Lady Luck’s Smile

    Jeff crossed the frozen Ohio River to the Louisville Riverboat. His stiff hands ached as he swung on board. “Change my luck, Lady.”

    Not a gambler, he knew one game for him. He entered the noisy, warm place, seeking his table. It sat dead center.

    A huge pile of chips was in the middle of the table. The dealer said, “Sixty thousand Low-ball Pot goes to the high-low split, Deuce to Seven, Cards Speak Game. Everyone set?”

    “I’m in,” Jeff said, taking his place next to Tubby, Spectacles and Miss Kitty Gunsmoke, smiling enchantingly at him.

    The dealer tossed cards at them. Players shielded theirs. Jeff’s were a four and a two, but his third card flipped on the floor.

    “No, House Rules; hand it back; you get another.”

    Jeff returned the Ace, hoping this wasn’t his usual bad luck.

    His new card was a seven. His next card was a three, followed by a five.

    The others were confident. Miss Kitty purred.

    “Players, reveal your hand.”

    Tubby’s layout was: 8-7-5-4-2.

    Spectacles’ cards were: 8-5-4-3-2.

    Miss Kitty’s hand showed: 9-5-4-3-2.

    Jeff’s hand shook as he lay down his 7-5-4-3-2. He didn’t have a clue.

    The dealer announced, “Winners are Number One Nuts and Miss Nine Perfect; you split the pot. It’s your lucky day.”

    “Who’s the Nuts?” Jeff asked.

    “Darling, it’s you. I’m yours; in fact, let’s tie the knot.”

    Tubby and Spectacles hooted, “Lucky dog!”

    “Lady Luck, keep shining on me. Let’s go, baby. This, I need.”

    “How fortunate!”

  2. Jeff cast his eyes around the poker table. Curly Sue’s chewing of her lip indicated she had nothing. The slight narrowing of Cigar Breath’s right eye meant he had no better than a three of a kind. It was Piggy he couldn’t get a read on.

    There was something off about the corpulent, sweaty Piggy. Maybe it was because he seemed more interested in those playing the game than the game itself. His shifty eyes were unsettling to say the least.

    Jeff shifted his thoughts from Piggy to his sure win. “All in,” Jeff announced. The others were dumb enough to follow suit. But then Piggy had a royal flush to Jeff’s straight flush. Jeff’s entire life savings, lost.

    Jeff stumbled out onto the Southern Belle’s deck, the paddlewheel sending up a mist of river water. From behind, a sausage-fingered hand clapped down on his shoulder.

    “How would you like your money back?” Piggy asked as if with a mouthful of marbles.

    Jeff turned slowly, justifiably suspicious. “I’m listening.”

    Piggy’s jowls shook as he chortled. “I would like you to participate in a human study.”

    For some reason, Jeff shook Piggy’s hand and agreed. Piggy pulled something from his pocket and spoke into it. “Beam us up.”

    Jeff awoke in an empty field, naked, and hurting in places he would prefer not to. Beside him were several crisp stacks of hundred dollar bills. Jeff turned his eyes to the night sky. “I am never gambling again.”

  3. Posted on behalf of Dick Waters:
    Title: Winning for Losing

    He thought everything was important, but losing his sister to cancer—now he knew what really mattered. Recently, he avoided the doctor’s requested MRI. He knew what part was broken.

    Tonight’s ‘Lorena Lucky 77’ event was a women’s shelter fund-raiser. How fitting his sister had taught him Texas Hold’em. The buy-in would take his remaining $20K. Money wasn’t important any longer. First prize was $200K. However, the event would net $500K for the shelter.

    Seats were assigned by drawing a seat assignment from a scale model of the shelter. His hand shook drawing his seat assignment. The attractive lady read the slip. “You’re table number is seven, seat seven. Thank you for your donation. Good luck…Jeff Rooney. Please stay for the final award ceremony; we have a surprise announcement for one of the players.”

    There was something about her that piqued his interest.

    Hours later with four remaining players, his full house lost. How fitting?

    It’s time. He was at the rail contemplating the cold water.

    The side doors opened and he heard the cheers inside. “Jeff?” He turned to see the young lady and a crowd gathering behind her. “Please come inside. You won the special seat-assignment prize. How do you feel about winning $77K?”

    He thought about his sister and what he had been contemplating. He studied the young lady holding his arm for pictures. She could be his sister’s twin. “I’ll donate half, if you will do me the honor of a date.”

  4. “You in or out?” asked the dealer.

    Jeff slammed his cards on the table. Every eye in the room turned. The last of the billions he had inherited disappear into the dealer’s box. This riverboat gig had been his last hope. All his dreams were blown to hell. Now he had no family, no home, and no way to buy his next meal.

    Real gamblers don’t like it when you owe them money, especially these. A sharp wind practically tore Jeff’s shirt off as he landed on the river bank miles from the next town. The landscape lay eerily silent under a blanket of snow as the boat floated away. His only chance now was to walk and pray he find shelter before freezing to death.

    It was a glowing light that caught Jeff’s eye an hour later, drawing him into the woods with the promise of a warm campfire. Hours passed before he realized his footprints had vanished. Tired, numb, scared, and ready to give up, Jeff stopped. Instantly, a blinding white light surrounded him. Warmth permeated his body.

    “It’s about time you got here,” said a woman. “I’ve been waiting all night.”

    Jeff only stared, too stunned to think.

    “You’ve had everything thing you wanted, Jeff, now it time to have what you need, a purpose. It’s time to give back some of the luck you’ve enjoyed all these years. I’m here to teach you to be a Dream Guardian.”

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