I entered a 53-word story contest and convinced myself I would win. I did not win.
This is not the first time I have deluded myself. I once applied to Stanford Business School and was shocked when I didn’t get in. At first, I assumed it was a mistake, that my name must have ended up in the wrong pile. After rereading the letter several times, I understood that, in fact, there was no mistake. I thought about writing the university a rejection letter. We received hundreds of rejection letters, and unfortunately, yours was rejected. Rebecca looks forward to attending Stanford this fall.
I suggested to my daughter that she run for office at her middle school. She has lots of ideas about how students can learn more, and how teachers can share classes. She asked me if I ever ran for anything and I told her I ran for sixth-grade president with the catchy slogan, Handler Can Handle The Job. I have clear memories of making campaign posters and taping them to the gym wall, but I do not remember the election result. Both she and I find that odd.
In my twenties, I was a waitress at Legal Seafood in Boston. I sold the most bluefish and won a brunch at the Ritz-Carlton. I brought my dad. He was very proud of all the bluefish I had sold. When we clinked our mimosa glasses together, he leaned in and asked, “How’d you do it?” I told him what I had told the customers. That the bluefish was the freshest fish that day, and that they shouldn’t bother with anything else. After brunch, Dad and I smoked cigars on Newbury Street and he asked me more questions.
Many years ago, I tried to win a trip to Australia. A local radio station was holding a contest that involved quickly translating Aussie slang into American English. Dog & Bone equals telephone, that kind of thing. I made it to the finals, and my time slot was immediately following the funeral of my husband’s grandfather. While grieving guests were in the living room swapping stories, I was hunkered down at the kitchen table furiously trying to remember if knackered meant drunk or tired. I did not win.
Recently I bought some almond milk that tasted off. I wrote to the company and one week later I had coupons for two free bottles.
This is my 53-word story inspired by the assigned theme, majority:
The raven-haired girl asked the new boy, “Truth or Dare?” The boy fiddled with his shoelace while the other children giggled in anticipation. “Truth,” he whispered. She sneered, “Do you want to kiss every girl in this room?” He raised his eyes and stared bravely into her beady blue daggers. “Most,” he replied.