THE PERILS OF LOUELLA:

Chapter 153: Louella Wins Big At Last

by Alice Cherbonnier

SPELL CHECK couldn't help Louella. The problem was with the writing itself. It's boring! she realized, disappointed. Here I thought it would be a piece of cake to write a romance novel, and I can't make the heroine sound any more interesting than a dime-store waitress!
She realized with a start that's what her mother was. Guess they're right, she thought grimly. You have to write what you know. But who wants to read it?
She wanted to rip the page out of the typewriter and ball it up and throw it across the room, but unfortunately she was using WordPerfect on her portable computer and all she could do with her drivel was highlight it and delete it.
Maybe I should read some more books. Get inspired. But Louella was beginning to sense she didn't have the talent needed to succeed as a fiction writer, let alone the ability to sit alone for hours at a stretch.
She looked around her little rowhouse for a diversion. She thought about going for a walk around Patterson Park to clear her brain, but on general principle she loathed exercise.
There was a knock on the back door. Saved! thought Louella, even though it was only Mason, her 20-year-old nephew.
"Hey, Lou," he mumbled in a voice no romance heroine would fall for. "How's it goin'?" He headed for the refrigerator and inspected its contents. Disappointed, he shut the door and went to the computer. "Can I read what you've done so far?" he asked.
You? Read? Sure, right! thought Louella. You need help with the TV guide! She pretended to take his suggestion seriously. "Not yet," she said. "I've got writer's block."
"Yeah, I'm not surprised. Mom says you've been blocked all your life," said Mason innocently.
What did Candy mean by that? thought Louella, incensed. "So how are you doing?" she retaliated. "Got any leads on a job?"
"Nah. I'm counting on winning the Lotto now," he said. "Best shot I have. They repo'd my car last night, did ya know that?"
"I'm sorry to hear that." Really sorry, because now I'll have to drive you places in mine. "But you know, Mason, it doesn't make sense to count on the Lottery. I mean, how much are you spending on it?"
"Mom's staking me to $10 a week," he said.
"But that's $520 a year! You could take a couple of community college courses for that!"
"Look, Louella, butt out. A guy's gotta have dreams, ya know."
Louella knew enough not to prolong the conversation. Mason never listened to her advice. "Look, I've got to get back to my writing," she said. "See you later."
As soon as Mason left, Louella reached in her purse for her five Lotto tickets. She'd forgotten to check to see if she'd won on Wednesday night, and here it was already Friday. Grabbing her portable phone, from memory she punched in the Sundial number: 783-1800, and then the special Lottery code: 6020. Her ticket-holding hand trembled as she waited to hear the recording of winning numbers. She tossed four that obviously didn't qualify and was astounded when, one by one in slow motion mode, all the numbers on the fifth ticket matched. Three million dollars! She stopped herself from screaming, for fear her family next door would hear her.

- TO BE CONTINUED -

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