(This is probably my most favorite assignment from my creative writing classes.)
I pinballed back to Osawatomie through the gravel and dirt country roads, and the last few miles, with the suicide hills and cow pastures, were among the most stomach churning of the trip. It only remained to perform some acte symoblique to give the drive coherence, tie the present to the past. I stopped at the grocery store in Osawatomie and stepped inside. Only a mean little girl would come home and not go to her daddy’s store. The aisles were full of moms and shopping carts, teenagers in high school tees, and old men in fedoras. The music pouring out of the ceiling was a song that I sang along to but couldn’t name.
The courtesy desk clerk was a bronzed brunette baby with eyes that spoke little beneath layers of think black liner. She slapped the lottery ticket down in front of me and turned on her heel to snap up the phone, a move I had perfect when I was in her shoes. The ticket looked like paper money from some distant land named “Kansas Lottery” that was worth precisely two American dollars.
“Lucky numbers?” The little girl peered at the ticket still sitting on the counter. “How cool would it be to win? I bet there’s nothing like getting home and finding out you’ve won the lottery, huh?”
“No, Kiddo, there’s not,” I sighed.