Bottle of Hope


Mike was having that kind of day.   The 1968 Camaro convertible was finally road ready.   His grandfather’s car rescued from the family barn.   It’s candy red finish gleamed!  It’s electrical system not so much.

Teresa’s Hot Dog Joint was how far it ran.  Dying leaving the lot.  Blocking half the driveway at lunch time.   One large lady came out to check on him.

“Get that piece of shit out of my driveway! Move it! Move it!  Or I’ll push it into the street myself!” Theresa was not joking.  Her jet black hair and lineman’s build made her imposing.   She could probably scream it out of the way.

“Hey!  I called a truck.   It’ll be gone in a couple minutes.” He tries

“It’ll be gone alright! Five minutes or my truck will move it for you!  Don’t make me come back out here, young man.” Theresa cuts him off like a hatchet.

Leaning against the car, he pulls out three lottery scratch of tickets.  His luck can’t get worse.   Matching three symbols is all it takes.   His nickel feverishly digs at the silver rubbery surface.   Like a dog scratching a flea, he works over the same areas going for a different shape here or there.  Two tickets nothing.   Number three hits golden stars, not just one, but three.   Two hundred bucks!

Forgetting the large lady’s advice he runs to the drive thru store next door.   Running past the back tables he is counting the cash with each step.   A passing glance spies the old bottles on the shelves.  He uprighted the brown one right before buying the winner.

“Hey Daniel. Pay the man! Two hundred dollars!”giddy he hands off the ticket.

Daniel runs the ticket through. Slowly grabs some twenties. Counting then really slow, like it hurts to give away one of his babies.

A loud truck horn responses instead. Persistent rapid blasts. Mike knows it time to go.

16 thoughts on “Bottle of Hope

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