Friday, September 21, 2012

Matchstick Post 1: " Luck of the Roll"

So, back on Tuesday, I was waxing poetic (har) about a book that one of my volunteers lent me at work regarding starter sentences for short stories.  I've decided to dedicate Friday to "short stories" based off of these sentences-I've gone through the book and found dozens of neat little starters that, depending on my mood, the day, life circumstances, and POV taken....will make interesting stories.  Or at least force me to flex my little writing muscle on more than just what I ate, made, did, or trained for.  Feedback is totally welcomed and encouraged.  Enjoy!
Starter Sentence: (dialogue prompt)  "Heads, we get married.  Tails, we break up.  How's that?"

"Luck of the Roll"

Sarah and Matt were two ordinary, middle of the road twentysomethings in Anytown, USA.  Sarah was a school teacher, Matt worked at a plant manufacturing playing cards.  They lived a somewhat banal, if not satisfying life in an apartment minutes away from the city.  They had been together since high school, living in harmony as two committed, contented people in middle class America.  With one caveat.
While they were frugal in terms of clothing, dinners out, and entertainment, they both loved the game of luck. Of chance.  Of the magic displayed by America's playground....Las Vegas.  As kids, they grew up about an hour outside of the strip, never venturing into the city until Sarah turned 21.  For the last four years, once a month they would take off on a Friday, stay at motel 6 for the weekend, and bask in the excitement of the city.  They stayed away from the all you can eat buffets and the bawdy shows that crowded the strip, instead focusing on the casinos.  Specifically, the craps tables.  They both found it fascinating that one roll of the dice could change your luck, forever.  And someday, with the one roll, they surmised....they could move out of their apartment.  Out of Podunk.  And onto a bigger, better, and more amazing life.
As the months ticked on, Matt began to plan for their 7 year anniversary as a couple.  He thought of the, jewelry, and other splendors associated with the fairer sex.  Dismissing all the usual suspects, he knew, deep down, what he wanted to do for Sarah on this special day.  Even though the two had decided years ago to forgo marriage until they could buy a home and become stable....they weren't getting any younger.  And he knew, deep down, that there wasn't another woman he would ever want to spend the rest of his life with.
As the big day approached, Matt began to make his plans for the Vegas weekend.  He picked out a small wasn't much, but her knew Sarah would appreciate the thought and not the size of the rock.  He also spoke with some of his buddies at work to devise the "perfect proposal"...Sarah wasn't the type of woman to need something over the top, but he wanted it to be special to both of them.  Slowly, the ideas came together.
On the 7th (such a fortuitous day!) Matt and Sarah headed out for the strip and checked into their hotel.  They had decided to forgo a fancy dinner and hit up the craps table with their "big bet of the night" in order to see if they could change their luck through the roll of the dice.  As they approached the table, Sarah laid down the cash and waited for the casino employee to roll the dice. A crowd gathered on this busy Friday night.  Matt took a deep breath and pulled Sarah aside as the other betters laid down their dollars for the game of chance.
"Sarah" he began, "I love you more than words can say, and I want to spend 70 more years living life by chance with you.  I know that in a normal situation, I would ask you to marry me, but since we live our lives by chance, how about we let a roll decide?"  She gasped.  He continued on, " Heads, we get married.  Tails, we break up.  How's that (sound to you?)"
Despite her trepidation, Sarah laughed and agreed to let the game of chance decide their fate.  He flipped the coin, just as the dice were rolled on the craps table. 
She squealed as Matt pulled out a ring and slipped it on her finger.  "Lucky Sevens!" the roller cried and the couple watched in disbelief as he handed over $10,000 in fresh winnings to the newly engaged. 
"Our wedding money!"  Sarah breathed in shock.  Matt smiled in complete contentment.  The perfect night.
As Sarah turned to collect the money that would surely result in the wedding of their dreams, Matt quietly picked up the double headed penny and slipped it back into his pocket.