Highly Commended Story - L for Lucky
“L for Lucky” by Rahma Arif, J. Percy Page School, Canada, is the Highly Commended story in the senior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2020.
L for Lucky
Bam! The door shuts behind me as I stomp into my room. Hearing the loud commotion my mom rushes in, shock stricken. Once she analyzes the situation her facial expression softens as she asks, “What’s wrong, honey?”
“I lost the art competition,” I say in one breath as it hurts to admit defeat once again, “I haven’t won a single stupid competition, ever mom! It just isn’t fair!” I yell, pouring out all my frustration.
I glance up to see her face which has pity written all over it, “Yet, but there’s always more chances like the science fair results coming tomorrow”
I cut her off, getting more irritated by the second, “Forget it, mom. I’m never winning a single contest. I have such bad luck. Stop giving me false hope. I don’t need your useless speeches, just leave me alone!”
“Liam, I’m sure you’ll win. Just put your mind to it,” she heaves a sigh of exasperation and leaves me alone with my thoughts.
Put my mind to it? As if I don’t already! Wait, that’s it! This time I’ll make sure I won’t fail and I’ve got just the plan. A smirk comes over my face as I wait for night to fall.
Soon, darkness envelops the night. Snores are heard through the house, as I tiptoe my way to the front door. The school was only a five-minute walk from here. On the way I revise my master plan in my head one more time.
1. Get the guard’s key.
2.Go to the office.
3. Change the marks for my science fair.
4. Go home and tomorrow at the assembly, get my first place trophy.
I shift my backpack higher onto my shoulders and find my way to the security guard’s room. Dealing with him would be a piece of cake. I bet he’s slacking off right this moment.
As I come near the door, audible snores fill the surroundings. I smile as I peek inside. The shiny key dangles from his pant pocket as he has his feet propped up on the table. I tiptoe my way in and discreetly take the key out of the pocket. I grin from ear to ear as I make my way to the front door of the school. I fit the key in and turn it. The door makes a loud screeching noise and I cringe at the volume trying my best to not wake the guard, I slowly close the door behind me. Shuffling through my backpack, I pull out what feels to be a flashlight. Turning it on, I look around to spot any signs of danger. When the way seems clear, I start for the office. Coming upon the office door, I notice that it’s locked. Worry slowly creeps it’s way into my mind, as I pray for the guard’s to open this door as well. I turn the key in the lock and with a click of the handle, I’m in. I’m cautious to close the door. If I wasn’t mistaken the papers should be on the receptionist’s desk. I walk my way behind the desk and lower myself down. Noises come from outside as I hear footsteps approaching the main entrance. The guard is awake, probably due to the screeching of the main door. I hide under the desk, waiting until the footsteps drift further down the hall until I can't hear them anymore. Heaving out a sigh of contentment and pointing my flashlight at the desk. I shuffle through some paper until I come upon the pile with the science fair results. I flip through the piles until I reach my name. I attempt to pull it out but suddenly a loud Bang comes from behind me. My whole body jumps with surprise as I slowly turn around. I gulp down my saliva as I come face to face with an infuriated guard standing by the back door of the office. My heart picks up speed as I anticipate for what’s to come next.
“In your room now!”, my Mom yells and forcefully shuts my room door as soon as we are both inside. “You have been suspended for a week. Think about what you have done and I want an apology to the guard by tomorrow.” And with that she spins on her heels and leaves.
Sun soon shines, and my phone ringtone wakes me up. I pick up the call and put it near my ear.
“What is it?”, I speak, groggily.
“Dude, where are you? They’re about to announce the winners.” my enthusiastic friend screams in the speaker.
“I can’t make it. Long story.”, I say, not bothering to explain my epic failure. “Just leave the call on so I can hear the results.”
“Alrighty.” Max chimes as I hear the principal announce the award for the 4th and 5th place. Soon he reached the 1st place winner and my name has still not been called. I become really hopeful as I cross my fingers, now fully awake waiting for my name only to be called.
“And the first place winner is… Martha Jamieson,” the principal cheers and my face falls.
Rage overcomes me. I knew it. I press the end call almost too aggressively and throw my phone onto my bed. Why would I ever win anything?
Not too long after, a notification comes from my phone followed by many. Getting aggravated, I pick it up to see Max’s texts.
“Bro, you won the lucky draw!” followed by many hellos, asking me to pick up.
I almost couldn’t believe I’ve won the “LUCKY” draw? I finally won something! My lips tug upwards as I excitedly type back, “What is it?”
The reply comes not a second after. “A book,” he texts back.
“What’s it called? I type, curiously.