Friday 3 April 2015

The peoples lottery

Short story written by Arthur for BBC 500words competition:

“And the 4 contestants are…” Anodiwa listened backstage as the names were publicly announced - she already knew of course one of them would be hers.

“Anka Burack the Polish painter,”- a tall blonde woman stepped onto the stage fake smiling.

“Brian Hurt, the man with a business plan,” - the crowd laughed as a plump man in a suit strutted on.

“Rosetta Drowningsdale, a person who wants a bit of power” - a scowling woman draped in gold was revealed.

“and finally Anodeewa Maritz a South African kid living without a mother…….” the presenter paused to allow a collective ‘aaaaaaaawwwww’ from the crowd as Anodiwa nervously stepped in to an unknown world of glaring stage lights and cheesy music.

“And now time for a private word with each of our contestants.”  After all the others were done rambling about fame, wealth and power, it was Anodiwa’s turn.

It’s 2801 and democracy is so out of fashion. Who needs it?  In the end its just an extra chore to vote. Yeah, it was a bit unpopular in the beginning, but now it’s problem solved.  We have ‘The People’s Lottery’; every year ANYONE can win.  The theory behind it is to give the people a voice. But is it just keeping people quiet?

“Ok kid,” the backstage assistant muttered “You’re on in 3, 2, 1…”

“Let’s welcome to the stage a small town girl with big dreams, Anodeewa!!!” The crowd erupted as she paced ever closer to the grinning presenter. “So, how are you feeling tonight?”

“ANODIWA!” yelled a familiar voice from the audience “IT’S NOT WHAT I TOLD YOU!”

“Y-you pronounced m-m-my n-name wrong” Anodiwa stammered, ignoring the voice.

“Wonderful!” the presenter replied. It was obvious he wasn’t listening. “Now, more importantly I want to know everything.  What is your greatest desire? Who deserves most to win? On a scale of 1 to amazing, how great is my haircut?” He winked at the crowd as they giggled obediently.

“I haven’t decided, I have no idea and urmm 3 I guess”

The presenter’s smile wasn’t as big now. Whether it was her lack of information or a score of three, he obviously wasn’t satisfied. He turned and said quickly:

“Thank you so much for your time!  Lets hear it for Anodeewa Maritz!”

“I-it’s actually pronounced Ano - ” but it was too late. The backstage assistant was already ushering her off.

Later, Anodiwa was back on stage with the others as the winner was announced.  The presenter pulled a lever. A little note popped out and he read it aloud.

“The winner is… ...Anodeewa!

The answer came to her immediately: “I choose to be with my mother. Forever.”

The presenter clicked his fingers and the light left Anodiwa’s eyes and she dropped to the floor. The crowd (and everyone else) screamed in horror and Anodiwa’s father burst onto the stage.

“Anodiwa your mother is…” his eyes moved to his daughter “...dead.”

By Arthur Belben

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