Shared Stories is a state Catholic schools production that publishes creative writing and artistic interpretations by primary and secondary school students from around Victoria. In 2016, students were asked to engage with the theme ‘Connection and Renewal’. This year, De La Salle submitted 14 entries. This week we continue to showcase exemplar entries for your enjoyment and reflection.
Fortune in Unfortunate Circumstances
A lonely snowflake cascaded down the still night’s sky, trailing down until it reached its mass of likeness on the ground. An extended black canvas scattered with white dots was a worthy comparison of the eerily dark sky that appeared to have no end. However, this eeriness also provided a sense of tranquillity and peace, as in essence- this was nature in its purest form.No stranger to nature’s ruthlessness, Chloe made her way through a cul-da-sac and down a menacing alleyway, on her way to the supermarket bins. All the while silently praying that the hostile rats hadn’t of gotten there first. The hostility of these rodents wasn’t due to poor manners, but because of the crippling hunger they faced. This similarity in circumstance Chloe had in common with the rats, led to a sort of respect and rapport between the two parties. However, this didn’t prevent the rats from taking all of Chloe’s potential pickings from time to time.
The sight of the withered apple tree by the sidewalk caught Chloe with a lump in her throat,the sudden death of her mother was still fresh in her mind, and her mother’s parting gift;the apple tree, didn’t bear fruit, almost as if in detest of her mother’s dying promise: that because she wouldn’t be there to see Chloe through her life, the tree would. This tree was also supposed to bring good fortune to Chloe and her grandmother, however this promise was also shunned away. As Chloe turned the last corner before her destination,she reminisced about the day she just had. Grandma Jane had gotten far worse; her lungs resorted to coughing out blood, and her bony figure was struggling more and more as the indifferent nature of time caught up with her. Due to Grandma Jane’s dire condition and Chloe’s young age, none of them could work and their wallet dried up quickly.
The night’s pickings were slim, and as Chloe desperately searched the very bottom of the bin for something edible, she came across something that peaked her interest. A half- mangled piece of paper with a sequence of numbers and the logo of the ‘Melbourne town Lottery’ plastered o nit.
“I’ve seen this before,” Chloe said to herself — her lack of education was becoming more apparent with each passing year.
“Hmm, must be old, explains the dirt.”
And with this, Chloe discarded the ticket into the howling winter night.
Bringing her sparse findings home, Chloe walked with a distinct sense of vulnerability in her stride, she tried to counter this with a brave face, but her capacity to do so was limited due to her young age. All of what was happening to her and her Grandmother was too much for her innocent-self, and she broke down into tears in the middle of the sidewalk. Walking past the electronic shop, Chloe halted and gazed into the hypnotising light from the display TV through the window. She used to spend many hours doing this with her mother when she was younger, and the memory of this made Chloe weep louder.
The Tatts Lotto segment of the news program was playing, and as the presenter finished pulling the last number out of the sphere, Chloe’s stomach dropped. These numbers had a strange familiarity, almost as if she had encountered them before. With a jolt Chloe realised, “Those….. those numbers can’t be, no… no they aren’t!”
Whatever denial Chloe forced onto herself was futile. She knew for certain that those winning numbers were the same ones found on the lottery ticket she had discarded only 10 minutes prior. With a heavy heart, Chloe realised that there was no way she would be able to find the ticket in this post-war haze she called home.
As Chloe grudgingly made her way home, she thought in disbelief; the world had successfully taken everything it could off her, what remained was a shell of a girl- a lost facet from what could have been a happy life. Another tear streamed down her cheek ass he caught a glimpse of her mother’s withered apple tree, this tree had failed on providing Chloe with the faintest hint of good fortune, and she hated it for it. But something suddenly stood out from under the tree, and she was forced into a second look. There, under the neglected exposed root, laid a piece of paper. Chloe couldn’t believe her eyes, laying in solitude,the lottery ticket wavered in the breeze, threatening to be caught by the wind once again.
After a slight hesitation, Chloe snatched the ticket from the tree’s grasp and hurriedly made her way to the Newsagents before they closed for the night. Running as fast as her legs allowed, Chloe got there with 5 minutes to spare.
“I’m here to bring in ticket” Chloe gasped in-between breaths, as she handed in the ticket.“Mm-hmm,just one minute girl”the News agents aid with a laboured tone.
“Ok yep, this has been accepted”
A wave of immense relief washed over Chloe.
“The grand total comes to $20,000. Not a bad payday little one, how are you going to spend it?”
A wave of possibilities flooded Chloe’s mind,
“I’m a goin’ to buy Grandma’s medicine, a bigger house and some food,” Chloe said through a beaming grin.
“Well goodon ya. Here it is,have ya-self a goodnight little one”the newsagent said with a wave.
Astounded, Chloe giggled with delight all the way home, as she realised that her life had finally taken a turn in the other direction — a turn for the better. Finally all that praying had paid off, Chloe had found fortune in a very unfortunate circumstance.