Category Archives: Short Stories

The Winter Statue

I entered this story for a short story competition, unfortunately I wasn't chosen to go into the next round. I wasn't expecting to progress any further in this competition, but I was interested in the feedback the judges would give me. I was pleased with the feedback I received, it was very encouraging and some of the points they made regarding creating a back story for Billy, made complete sense to me. 

When you look at Billy sat on the bus, earplugs in, listening to his music, he looks like any other person on the bus, wearily making his way to and from work, life set out in a monotonous routine, gazing blankly out of the window watching the London landmarks race by. His eyes are his best feature, they are green, deep, deep green and are hypnotic, when you look deep into his eyes, you are willing to do almost anything.

But, if you looked at him extra carefully you’d notice that these eyes are darting back and forth, every time somebody gets on the bus, he quickly assesses them, steals a look in their plastic bag full of groceries from the supermarket and suddenly, in a flash of lightning, the bar of chocolate from that person’s bag is suddenly in Billy’s pocket. Nobody has noticed a thing.

The next person alights the bus, Billy takes a liking to their sweet dessert, in a flash, Billy is reading the instructions on how to cook it.  He smiles to himself, humans can be so stupid sometimes, they are so absorbed in what’s going on in their own pitiful lives, they don’t notice what’s going on right under their own very noses.

Now, if you were a passenger on the bus and you were wondering where your lovely cake was that you were sure you paid for just ten minutes ago and were looking forward to eating with a cup of tea later on tonight, then you should look very closely at Billy’s activities. You may think you’ve just seen a black mist, swooshing around the bus, you may think that it’s nothing important, but it is, it’s Billy, he’s perfected his spell and he can move faster than the speed of light.

You may have already guessed, but Billy is not a human, he looks like a human, dresses like a human and acts like a human, but he is in fact a warlock. His real name is Vlyvius, but that would raise suspicion, so he decided on Billy. He had seen the name Billy on a poster, Billy Smart’s Circus, and he thought that this Billy had sounded very clever, so Billy it was.

Billy spends his day as humans do, he has a job, he goes to the gym, he travels on public transport and he loves going to the cinema, especially when there’s a new fantasy film released, he likes to laugh at how the humans perceive his world. His favourite food is lasagne together with a nice red wine. Contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t eat rats tails or drink the blood of small sacrificial animals, maybe they did in the past, but they definitely don’t do it now.

He leaves the bus, with a few more items than when he first got on and heads towards his home. A very average house, but with an added bonus for Billy: it has a cellar.

Once home, he changes into something more comfortable, a robe, trousers, black shirt and black leather boots, “Ah, much better,” he says as he makes his way down to the cellar.

There are test tubes bubbling on the benches, a cauldron filled with oily black liquid and his prized possession is in the corner, patiently waiting for its master to beckon it, his broomstick.

Billy looks around the cellar, as well as his materials for conjuring spells, there is an assortment of bits and bobs laying around, he looks at his latest acquisitions, three garden statues that he has stolen, they come from a set: Summer, Autumn, Spring and Winter. Summer is a young girl with a basket, carrying apples and fruit. Autumn is another girl with a collection of acorns and leaves in her basket and Spring is a young boy with a sheaf of wheat in his hand. He just needs Winter to complete his collection, for what? Well, that doesn’t matter, Billy just enjoys the thrill of stealing.

Laying scattered around the cellar are reminders of past crimes, things he has stolen, which apart from the memory of how he felt when he stole the item, they mean nothing to him.

He looks at his Book of Contemporary Spells and asks it, “Where is the final statue that I need to find? The one that is Winter, show me a sign?”

A mist rises above the Book, it surrounds the three statues and Billy strains his eyes to see what is happening. The mist forms the figure of the fourth statue, it is a small boy with his coat collar pulled up to keep him warm and he has some firewood in his arms. The mist then forms the words, “The Berkley Mansion,” and then disappears.

Billy goes to his computer, (not everything is done by a spell nowadays, sometimes the internet works just as well) and he discovers that Berkley Mansion is a few hundred miles away in Scotland. Billy takes out his pocket watch, “Hmm, midnight, I should be able to make it there and back before dawn,” he thought. He looks at his broomstick, which gives a little shudder, it is ready to go whenever he says the word. So, he says the word, well four words actually, “Let’s go to Scotland,” and Billy expertly jumps on and they fly out of the bottom window of the house.

Up in the air, Billy looks down as he sees the landmarks rush by, The London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace all flash by and soon they are heading out of the city towards Scotland…

Pica is upset, she doesn’t know why, she just has a feeling that something wasn’t right, as if something was going to happen that she was powerless to stop, which was pretty surprising as she actually did possess some powers.

Her mother taught her all she knew, but Pica struggled to learn all the different spells, it was like a completely new language to her. Sometimes Pica wished that she didn’t come from a family of witches, it was a lot harder than people thought to control the spells, many times she had inadvertently cast a spell in the middle of a supermarket, when the frozen chips had flown into her shopping trolley by themselves, but so far no-one had noticed this happening.

But tonight didn’t feel like a usual night, she looked up at the sky, she couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps it was something she had ate and that had made her stomach feel jumpy.

It was late, but she walked into the garden, hoping that some fresh air would sort her out, she went to her favourite statue in the garden, The Winter Boy. She would spend hours sitting next to it, trying to imagine what his life was like, what his name was and if he had any friends. Pica would talk to him, telling him her problems, her successes, her failures. She had even tried a few spells to see if she could bring him to life, but none had worked.

It was getting cold and Pica stood up, ready to go inside her home, when suddenly a noise caught her attention. It was a gentle thud of someone landing on the lawn. She turned around and saw a male, he had a broomstick in his hand, she realised that he was a warlock and he was stunningly handsome.

“Hello, can I help you?” she asked him, half expecting him to mount his broomstick and fly off, “What are you doing in my back garden?”

Billy looked at Pica, he certainly hadn’t been expecting to see anybody in the garden this late, how on earth was he going to explain himself and he could see the statue right behind her.

“I’m sorry, I seem to have landed in the wrong spot,” he lied, “Is this Brownheath Farm?” “No,” replied Pica, “This is Berkley Manor, and you’re trespassing.”

Billy sighed, this wasn’t going to be easy, but she seemed like a nice enough girl, so he decided to turn on the charm. “What’s a lovely young girl like you doing out on a cold dark night like this?”

“I’m just talking to my statue,” she replied, “I know that sounds stupid, but I do feel like he listens to me.” Billy had to agree that it did sound stupid, but he didn’t say that out loud, but instead replied, “No, that’s not silly at all, I totally understand, I talk to my cat all the time.” “But I’m sure your cat understands you,” she said to which Billy had to agree that his cat, Hex, probably did.

“Anyway, what’s your name? I’m Pica and I live here with my parents, I’m pretty sure you’re a warlock, aren’t you? Which is fine, because I’m a witch, but not a very good one.” Billy nodded, “Yep, you’re right, I am a warlock and my name is Vlyvius, but you can call me Billy. What do you mean, you’re not a very good witch?”

“My spells have a lot to be desired, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t and sometimes they just have a mind of their own,” she admitted. “I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it, it took me a few hundred years to get mine right,” Billy sympathised with her. “Here, let me show you a simple spell,” and he waved his arm up and down, chanting, “I need some food to eat tonight, some juicy pears that I can bite.” And immediately some succulent pears appeared on the floor in front of him.

Pica was impressed, the most she had conjured up when she felt hungry was a few grapes. “Show me something else,” she urged him, “Make this statue come to life.”

Billy hesitated, this was the statue that he was going to steal, he wanted it to finish his collection, but her face was full of anticipation, so he gave in. “Statue of this little boy, come alive, don’t be coy.” The mist rose up and surrounded the statue, weaving in and out of its body, then suddenly the boy shouted, “Hey! What do you think you’re doing?”

Pica and Billy jumped, they didn’t expect the boy to have such a loud voice.  “We’ve brought you to life,” Billy explained, “It’s a spell.”

The boy looked at Billy with a hard stare, “I was quite happy standing in the garden with this lovely lady for company, how dare you ruin that?” Billy stepped back a bit, this statue had a bit of an attitude. “Well, if you don’t want to be alive, then I’ll just change you back.”

Pica stepped forward and said, “Hi, how amazing is this, that after all this time you can talk to me and I can answer you.” She smiled at him, but he didn’t smile back, “I want to be a statue, I was happy the way it was, you talking to me and me not having to answer you.”

Billy thought that enough was enough, “Statue of this boy so fowl, back as a statue, I beg you, now!” And just like that, he was a statue again.

“Oh, what a rude little boy,” Pica said bitterly, “I don’t think I will ever speak to him again.  I wish he would go away.”

Never one to miss a chance, Billy quickly said, “If you’re really sure about that, I could take him home with me, I have three other statues that make up the set.”

“Of course you can, I don’t think I want to see this statue ever again.”

So Billy waved his arms and said, “Statue come and join me in my home, it’s in London, not in Rome.” Billy immediately apologised to Pica for his rubbish spell, but it was the best he could think of. And with that, the statue disappeared and Billy mounted his broomstick.

“Goodbye Pica, it’s been great to meet you,” and he flew off into the distance.

When Billy landed back in his cellar, he saw that the statue was lined up with the other three, Billy felt a sense of achievement, he didn’t know why, he had no use for them, he didn’t particularly like them, but it had been a challenge to steal them, except for the last one, that one was the easiest one.

Billy went upstairs to get ready for bed, he had a long day at work tomorrow, he undressed and put his hand in his pocket to fetch his pocket watch. “Where on earth is that?” he thought, “I know it was in there when I left the house tonight.”

Pica watched Billy fly away until she could no longer see him, she felt a feeling of emptiness, she opened her pocket and took out Billy’s pocket watch which glinted in the moonlight.

She went upstairs into her bedroom and put it with all the other items she had stolen through the years, well she wasn’t called Pica, from the family of Magpies, for nothing!

The Magic Jigsaw Puzzle

Harry is ten years old, he lives with his mother and father and he is an only child. Harry loves jigsaw puzzles, he loves sorting the pieces out into corners, straight edges and the different shaped ones. He loves jigsaws with cartoons, scenery, people, animals, in fact, Harry loves jigsaws of any sort, so you can imagine how pleased he was when he saw that a new jigsaw shop had opened on his high street.

The Jolly Jigsaw Shop was squeezed in between the Chinese Takeaway and the Fish and Chip shop, it was hard to spot their front door, but Harry noticed it and excitedly opened the door and stepped into a world of jigsaw puzzles.

The shop had every kind of jigsaw imaginable; 500 pieces, 1000 pieces, large pieces, wooden and 3D. The shelves were stacked from floor to ceiling, he had never seen so many puzzles in one place. Harry had a hard time choosing which one he was going to buy, each time he chose one, he found another one he liked better.  Whilst he was trying to make a decision, the owner of the shop came up to him, “Hello, young boy,” he boomed, “What are you looking for today?” Harry looked up to see a large man, with bright ginger hair and a ginger moustache and beard.

“I’m not really sure.” Harry replied and added, “Do you have any favourites?”  “Well, I do like historical jigsaws, ones that show events in history, like this one for instance,” and the shop owner held up a puzzle which showed a picture of the Battle of Waterloo.

Harry thought that it did look interesting and so he decided to buy it. “No, no, young man, I won’t take any money for it, you are my first customer and I’d like to show my appreciation.” Harry did not want to accept this man’s kind offer and offered to pay, but the shop owner insisted, he just asked if Harry could return the puzzle once he had completed it, so Harry walked out of the shop with the puzzle under his arm.

Once home, Harry started to complete the jigsaw puzzle, it was 1000 pieces and the picture was very detailed; there were horses and soldiers fighting and a lot of gun smoke, so it took him a little while to complete.

A couple of days later, Harry had one final piece to put in the jigsaw puzzle. He placed it in its position and leaned back to admire the picture.

Then, a strange thing happened, the puzzle began to sway quickly from side to side, the picture became blurred and Harry felt as though he was being swallowed up into the puzzle and then everything went black…

Suddenly, Harry saw a bright light and he could hear voices, he looked around and he was no longer in his bedroom, it seemed as though he was in the middle of a muddy field. There were soldiers everywhere, shouting and rushing around, orders were being shouted by men on horses and then Harry saw a man sat in a tent, the tent had the English flag above it and he was surrounded by important looking men, Harry looked closer and couldn’t believe his eyes, it was the Duke of Wellington, whom Harry had just seen in his jigsaw puzzle. The Duke was deep in conversation with these men and they were earnestly pointing at a large map in the middle of the table. Harry moved closer and strained to hear what they were saying.

“But we are drastically outnumbered,” one soldier said, “We need to wait until the Prussians get here before we go into battle,” The Duke of Wellington replied, “The Prussians will be bringing about 45,000 soldiers, which will help us in battle because at the moment we are outnumbered by Napoleon’s army.”

At that moment, Harry heard soldiers shouting, “The French are attacking, everyone to the battlefield,” and he could hear gunfire and cannon shots. Harry ran down to the battlefield and found a safe place to hide, he watched as the battle raged on and eventually the Duke of Wellington’s army managed to force the French to retreat.

Harry once again saw the Duke of Wellington, “We have lost lots of soldiers during this fighting,” he informed his generals, “But we need to stop defending our position and attack the French,” and his generals nodded in agreement.

This was the last time that Harry saw the Duke of Wellington as everything began to sway and Harry felt as though he was falling again. This time when he looked around, Harry was back in his bedroom, he looked at the jigsaw puzzle and the picture had changed, it showed the Duke of Wellington riding his horse in celebration of his victory.

Harry rushed to his computer, he looked up The Battle of Waterloo and sure enough, what he had seen and heard had actually happened, he was amazed. He immediately broke up the puzzle and went back to the jigsaw puzzle shop.

When Harry arrived at the shop, the owner was there, he was completing a puzzle himself and he looked up when he heard the shop bell tinkle and smiled when he saw it was Harry. “Did you enjoy that puzzle?” he asked, “Did it teach you anything?”

Harry reached into his bag and placed the puzzle on the counter, surprised that it was now again showing the Battle of Waterloo on the cover. “That puzzle was amazing, I learnt a lot about The Battle of Waterloo, do you have any others I could do?”

The shop owner reached up to a shelf above him and pulled out another puzzle, this time it was a scene depicting The Boston Tea Party. “How would you like to do this one?” he said, “There’s a lot you could learn from this one.”

Harry nodded, he couldn’t wait to get home and see what would happen when he completed this puzzle.

Life is a Lottery – Part Seven

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It was easier than Sam expected to get Debbie’s interest on the online dating site, Love Mate, he had put on an image of a sports car as his profile picture and had invented a whole new life story for himself, even calling himself Samir. He had always fancied himself as an investment banker, he liked to keep an eye on the stocks and shares but had never had the courage or money for that matter, to participate himself.

His conversations with Debbie were mainly around the morning, when he had gotten into work and late afternoon when he was about to leave work. Their conversations had been generalised, but she seemed happy enough to chat with him.

One day, out of the blue, she asked him for some investment advice, this was what Sam had been waiting for, he had dropped enough hints about stocks and shares to her and now she had finally taken the bait and was asking his advice. So, Sam started with small amounts, some of his tips worked and she made money and sometimes she lost money, but she didn’t seem to particularly mind either way.

All the while, Sam did feel hurt that she felt the need to be on this dating site, he wondered if he was the only one messaging her? At home, things seemed to be the same as usual, though Sam had to bite his tongue a few times when the subject of paying bills came up.

Over the next few weeks, Sam started to turn on the pressure, encouraging Debbie to invests more and more money until one day he decided to go for the big one and he messaged her:

“I have a hot tip, but it does require quite a bit of money to make it worth your while.”

He gasped when she replied to him:

“Just let me know how much and I’ll put the money up for you.”

Sam held his breath as he wrote:


And he couldn’t believe his eyes, when moments later she had transferred the money into his personal bank account.

He quickly closed his online dating account, feeling a twang of guilt, but she had deserved this, she hadn’t told him about the win, they could have enjoyed the money together, gone on holiday, paid their mortgage, live a happy and wealthy life, but for some reason she hadn’t found it necessary to inform him.

The next morning he got out of bed, grabbed his computer and said, “I’m off,” to Debbie, “Okay, darling,” she had said, “See you tonight,” to which Sam informed her, “No, I’m off, I’m leaving you,” and he walked out of the door.

It was the hardest thing he had ever had to do, but he couldn’t trust her anymore and besides, Sandra was waiting for him at the end of the road, keen to start their new life together…





Life is a Lottery – Part Six

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Sam looked at the balance of Debbie’s account is astonishment, how on earth did she get that much money? Did a relative die that he didn’t know about? He scrolled back through her transactions, she certainly had had a great time spending this money, she had spent money at shops that normally they wouldn’t even venture in, knowing they could never afford their prices.

Sam scrolled down a bit further and saw a transaction that made his gasp, “One million pounds transferred from Camelot,” he said, “She won the lottery and failed to mention this to me!” He was transfixed by the screen, trying to come to terms with what he was seeing and not quite believing it.

He scrolled down the history on the computer, she had browsed lots of different cruises, “Well, she hasn’t gone on one of them, I’m sure I would have missed her if she had,” he thought bitterly, she had Googled cars, played online bingo. “Hey, what’s this?” he exclaimed, “She’s signed up for a dating agency, Love Mate.” He leant back in the chair, “Why would she do that?” he couldn’t think why, he thought they were okay, but obviously she didn’t.

Sam closed the laptop, he was in shock, he didn’t know which was worse, the fact that she had hidden the fact that she had won the lottery or that she had signed up for a dating agency.  He closed the laptop and minutes later, he heard a key turn in the lock and Debbie entered the kitchen, smiling and asking what he wanted for tea.

The next day Sam was in his office, he had tried to act as normal last night and hopefully Debbie was non the wiser.  He logged onto his work computer and Googled the Love Mate dating site and when he found it, he joined. Sam started going through the members until he came across Debbie’s profile, at first he didn’t recognise her, her picture was obviously a photoshoot, he began to feel that he didn’t know her at all.

When Sam had joined the site, he had used a false name as he didn’t want anyone to know he was on this site, but as he scrolled through Debbie’s profile, he began to hatch a plan…







Life is a Lottery – Part Five

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After what seemed like forever, Sam and Sandra had completed their stocktake, he was eager not to spend any more time than necessary at work on a Sunday, so he was pleased with the progress they had made.

Sam said goodbye to Sandra and drove home, hoping that Debbie had made one of her roast dinners that he enjoyed so much.

Yes, he was in luck, as he opened the front door, there was the unmistakable smell of a roast dinner wafting from the kitchen. After a quick shower, he sat at the dining table with Debbie as she asked him about his day. “Good day at the office?” she had enquired, “Yeah, we got a lot done today, I’m pleased with how much we accomplished,” he said as he put a roast potato in his mouth, there was no need to tell Debbie about Sandra crying in his office and him having to comfort her. Debbie had questioned “We,” and he told her that Sandra was there.

They had sex that night, Sam wanted the feeling of togetherness with Debbie, after Sandra’s revelation that her and Pete were splitting up, he wanted the assurance that they were still close.

The next few days were fairly uneventful, they went on with their daily routines, but Sam did notice that Debbie seemed to be wearing different clothes from her usual ones, they seemed better quality with a better cut and once when they were out, one of their friends had commented on her shoes, asking how Debbie could afford the Gucci shoes she was wearing to which Debbie had replied that they were her charity shop bargain.

One day, Sam got home early from work, he wondered where Debbie was, but then remembered that she had told him she had a hairdressers appointment, “Again,” he thought, “She’s always either at the hairdressers or the salon recently, she must be getting a steady stream of work lately to pay for all this.”

He wondered into the kitchen to make himself a cup of tea and whilst waiting for the kettle to boil he noticed Debbie’s laptop on the kitchen table, it was still on, so he reached over to grab it and switch it off.

As he did so, the screen burst into life and a bank account appeared, it was Debbie’s personal account and as he peered to look at her balance, what he saw was about to change his life forever…










Life is a Lottery – Part Four

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Sam let out a groan when the alarm on his iPhone went off, surely it couldn’t be half six already, it only seemed like a matter of minutes since he had gotten into bed.

He grabbed his iPhone off the bedside table, he didn’t want to wake up Debbie, she was sound asleep next to him, so he quickly stopped the alarm. He grabbed his jeans and a t-shirt and dressed in the bathroom, after having a quick shave and wash.

On his way downstairs, he glanced at Debbie, she was still asleep in the bedroom and he crept out of the front door. Mission accomplished, he didn’t want to wake her as she had been out with friends and had got in late last night. 

Sam drove his car to his workplace, he was a General Manager at a printing warehouse, they were always busy and once a month he had to stocktake and unfortunately Sunday was the only day he had the time to do this. Debbie never made a fuss when he had to go into work, she understood that he had to do this and she accepted it. Their relationship of 26 years was still going strong, they were comfortable with each other and Sam felt that she was his best friend.

As soon as he arrived at the printing warehouse, Sam had the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. His assistant manager, Sandra, was already there, she had volunteered to do some overtime with him, he had heard rumours around the warehouse that she wasn’t happy in her marriage, so he wasn’t surprised to find her crying in his office.

“What on earth is the matter?” he asked her, “What is wrong?” “It’s Pete,” Sandra cried, “I’ve found out that he is cheating on me, with a girl from the local supermarket,” she exclaimed.  

Sam wasn’t very comfortable in this type of situation, he never knew what to do or say for the best, but she looked so vulnerable that natural instincts took over him and he reached out and pulled her into him, wrapping his arms around her waist, her head sunk into his chest as she cried and Sam let her cry for as long as she needed to.

It seemed like a long time until Sandra was ready to release the hold, Sam felt relieved as he felt the hug was going on a bit too long for comfort and he was beginning to feel uneasy about the situation. “Thank you so much,” Sandra said, “I feel a bit better now, perhaps working will take my mind of things, what do you want me to do?”

Sam told her what needed to be done and she left his office with his instructions. Sam returned to sit at his desk, deep in contemplation and thanking his lucky stars that his relationship with Debbie was rock solid…..








Life is a Lottery – Part Three

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Over the next few days, Debbie had a ball, she went through the pretence of having her breakfast before going upstairs to her office, making Sam think she was still working and as soon as he left for work, she was driving to beauty spas, having massages, getting her nails done, going for fancy lunches and of course, shopping for shoes and clothes. If Sam had looked in the boot of Debbie’s car, he would have seen more high brand clothing items than a reality TV star owns.

She nearly got caught out once, when a girlfriend of hers, asked in front of Sam, “How on earth did you afford those Gucci shoes? They are super expensive.” Debbie managed to mumble that she had found them in a charity shop and they were her bargain of the century, which seemed to satisfy Sam.

But, shopping all day and getting your hair and nails done, turns out, can be quite boring and so Debbie found herself staying indoors and sat at her computer. She started playing online games like bingo and Candy Crush, but that too, became boring and one day, she happened to see an advert for online dating and still feeling hurt and betrayed by Sam’s work affair, she signed up for one.

She found it fun to write her little bio at the top and she had had a photo professionally done, so she used that one as her profile picture. She filled in her likes and dislikes and what she looks for in a man and it wasn’t long before she was getting virtual ‘winks’ from some men and messages from others. She looked through the messages, quickly being able to delete the lewd ones, the weird ones and the nerdy ones, until she had a core of men she was chatting to. There were a couple that Debbie particularly liked, one was called Tim and the other was called Samir, both she felt a certain connectivity with.

All was going smoothly with Tim, until he let it slip that he was married and Debbie couldn’t do that to somebody else, she knew how it felt to be betrayed by someone. So Samir was the one that she turned her attention to. They messaged each other first thing in the morning and again in the late afternoon, which suited Debbie as she didn’t want to be messaging when Sam was around.  Once he had told her he was an investment banker and so one day, she cheekily asked for some advice, which he freely gave her, she invested and made a little bit of money.

This had carried on for a while, sometimes she would make money and sometimes she would lose it, but to Debbie it was all part of the mating ritual, she would love to meet him sometime, but they hadn’t gotten to that point yet.

One day, Samir messaged Debbie stating: “I have a hot tip, but it does require quite a bit of money to make it worth your while.” Debbie was excited, she was loving the risk involved with trading and readily agreed saying, “Just let me know how much and I’ll put the money up for you,” and she gave a little gasp when the reply came back: “£800,000.” “That’s all I have left from the million I won,” she thought, “But I trust Samir, he’s not let me down before,” so she agreed to this and sent the money to Samir.

A few days passed and she heard no word from Samir, no word on how her investment was doing or even a message from Samir, full stop. For the first time Debbie was nervous, what if it was a scam? But Samir could never have known that she had a lot of money, as she had never told him, he was probably just sorting the deal out. So, she waited another few days, still nothing then she was dealt another blow, Sam left her.

It was out of the blue, he got up for work as usual, he got dressed in his suit and tie as normal, picked up his computer bag and said, “I’m off.” “Okay darling,” she had said, “See you tonight.” “No, I’m off, I’m leaving you,” and that was it, he was gone. Debbie was shell-shocked, what had she done? How could he leave her, especially after what he’d done?

Debbie turned her attention to the money, she tried tracking Samir down on the dating site, but he had completely disappeared, no profile, nothing. She looked on Facebook, no account that she could see, Twitter, Instagram, nothing, it was as though he never existed. Her money never appeared in her account and she never heard from Samir again.



Life is a Lottery – Part Two

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By the time Debbie had driven home, she had formulated a plan in her head.  She logged into her Lottery account and hit the ‘Transfer Funds’ button, this money now went straight into her personal account, Sam would have no idea about this money and after what she had seen, that’s what Debbie wanted.

They had been married for 26 years, they were both 20 at the time and even though some people said it wouldn’t last, her own mother being one of them, they had, in fact, outlasted most of their friends. The only thing they had never managed to do was to have children, it was just never to be, but they did have two nephews and a niece that they could spoil.

Debbie thought they were happy, okay, it wasn’t all passion and spice, but after 26 years, perhaps it wasn’t supposed to be like that anyway. They loved to go out for meals, go to the theatre and the cinema and they made each other laugh, so why would Sam do this to her?

The money wouldn’t clear in her account for another few days, so Debbie decided that she wouldn’t confront Sam until at least then and then she could hear what he had to say. She knew she wouldn’t be able to “splash the cash,” around else he would get suspicious, so she would just have to be clever with how she spent it.

Sam arrived home at about five o’clock.  Debbie had been to the supermarket and picked up some food for tea, she had made a roast chicken dinner, one of his favourites. “Good day at the office?” she enquired, searching his face for any reaction, but he just said, “Yeah, we got a lot done today, I’m pleased with how much we accomplished,” and put a roast potato in his mouth. “We?” Debbie asked, “Who’s we?” knowing full well who he was referring to. “Um, Sandra was there as well, she’s a good worker, really knuckles down to it,” he replied. “I bet she does,” thought Debbie, but just smiled at him in reply.

That night they had sex. Debbie was very surprised at this, she wasn’t expecting it, but despite what she had seen, she was excited about the money and this new found wealth was something of an aphrodisiac for her and perhaps he was still turned on from his day spent with Sandra, “So it’s a win, win, situation really,” Debbie reasoned.

The next day Debbie checked her bank account, yes, the money had cleared, much quicker than she had thought, she just sat in the kitchen, drinking a cup of coffee, staring at the balance.

Debbie worked from home and Sam had already left for work, so she went upstairs to her office and sat down at the computer, waiting for her work to come online. She started Googling cruises, world cruises, Caribbean cruises, cruises around Britain, any cruise really. She Googled houses for sale in her area, hot tubs and how much does it cost to have a swimming pool built in your back garden?

“Don’t be silly, you can’t do any of this,” she said aloud and then went online shopping for clothes. “Now, this is easier to get away with,” she thought, “He doesn’t know what clothes I have or don’t have,” and she spent a very enjoyable half hour ordering clothes from the internet until she heard the ‘Ping’ of work being delivered to her In Box.  She clicked onto it, there was a lot to do, “Do you know what, I don’t have to do this anymore,” she said to no-one in particular, “I’m going to hand my notice in,” and that’s what she did, straight away.

“Wow, that feels good,” she thought, “I’m free to do whatever I want now,” and she did.

Life is a Lottery – Part One

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Debbie woke up, the sun was cutting through the gaps in the curtain, showing the promise of a beautiful sunny day.  She squinted her eyes as she looked at her alarm clock to see what the time was: half past nine, she hadn’t slept that long in for ages. Debbie rolled over and saw at once that his side of the bed was empty. She wasn’t surprised Sam was working on a Sunday again, he had to stocktake and because he was so busy at work, this was the only time he could do it.

She rolled back over to face her bedside cabinet, grabbed her glasses and automatically reached for her mobile phone. Debbie glanced at the screen, some Whatsapp messages from her groups of friends that she had spent last night with, some Facebook notifications and what was this? An email from the Lottery:

“We have some good news about your ticket.”

Debbie immediately sat up when she read this, “Wow, it’s about time, I’ve been doing it for years and only won the odd £10 here and there,” she thought as she excitedly logged into her account, “I’m pretty sure it will be about the same amount this time as well.”

As she nervously waited for her account to update, she wondered what it would be like to be a millionaire, not having to worry about money every again… Her total funds in her account had definitely updated, it was now £1 million!! Debbie couldn’t believe her eyes, she had won a million pounds, that kind of thing never happened to her, she had never won anything, not even in the local church raffle. She updated the page again, feeling sure it would show her usual, £0.05 credit, but no, it still showed the million, well, one million and five pence to be exact.

Debbie exited the account and called up Sam’s phone number, she should tell him as soon as possible, he’d be so excited, they could give up work. As she pressed to call him, she suddenly thought better of it, “No, I think news like this should be given in person,” and she jumped out of bed, pulled on her jeans and a jumper, pulled a comb through her hair, grabbed her car keys and practically ran out of the house.

Driving to the printing warehouse where Sam worked as a General Manager, Debbie’s mind was full of what the future now held for them. They wouldn’t go mad, perhaps a nice holiday, a bigger house, they could both have nice cars and perhaps leave their jobs, or they could go part time.

Even though the journey usually took about 20 minutes, today the traffic was horrendous and it seemed as though every traffic light on her route was waiting for her to approach it and then turn red at the last second. She couldn’t wait to get there and share the good news.

When Debbie arrived, she went to the back door, it was normally open for the cigarette smokers who, on a normal work day, congregated there to smoke, chat, gossip, flirt or do whatever else smokers do whilst smoking.  But today, apart from the stale stench of tobacco it was deserted and Debbie walked through the door, from the bright sunshine into the comparative darkness of the corridor.

Her eyes took a few seconds to adjust to the darkness and when they did, perhaps it would have been better if they had stayed blinded as what Debbie saw made her whole body freeze and her mouth drop open. She could see into Sam’s office from where she stood and there he was, his arms around Sandra, his assistant manager, embracing her, his hands around her waist, her head in his chest, they were lost in each other. Debbie felt like she was intruding on a very personal moment and wasn’t sure what to do for the best. So, she quietly walked back up the corridor, back out into the sunshine.

Once outside, Debbie took a deep breath, she had come to give Sam the most amazing news, life changing news and what she had seen had now changed her life, forever.