Greetings, short story lovers, and welcome to this week’s prompt. Like many of our prompts, this one is simple at first glance: we asked our authors to write a story involving a lottery. But before they went running off to write about some power-ball winner in Connecticut, we asked our authors to take some time to ponder the timelessness of this concept.
A lottery is, after all, simply the drawing of lots so that chance can determine an outcome. Homer’s Illiad mentions drawing lots from Agamemnon’s helmet to determine who would battle with mighty Hector. The Great Wall of China is said to have been funded by lottery. Benjamin Franklin held a lottery to purchase a cannon to help defend Philadelphia. They have been state sanctioned and run for the public good at times, they have also been outlawed and run by the mafia or other underground organizations at times. There’s the obvious Shirley Jackson reference to be made here, and, of course, the modern-day power-ball crazes are certainly story worthy.
Our authors were tasked to write us a tale in which a lottery plays a major part. We placed no restrictions on genre.
Who will see their numbers come up and who will find themselves stoning a member of their village in an antiquated fertility ritual that everyone is forced to read in high-school?
Let’s find out!
The Lottery Battle is on!
We have two judges that will render their decision next Monday. The third vote comes from you, the readers. We ask that you read both stories objectively, and then leave a comment below or on the story itself. Authors are not allowed to comment on their own stories, but we’re sure they’ll be checking in here. We’ll tally up the totals and announce our champion on Monday.
And remember, if you like one of this week’s stories, vote it up in the new all-time best of list (new stories appear at the bottom).