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“I’m going to need a bigger bag”

by Antoine Clerc-Renaud about a year ago in fact or fiction
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Living the dream one win at a time

“I’m going to need a bigger bag”
Photo by lucas wesney on Unsplash

Here I am at the bank, again, cashing in my winnings. I dressed as inconspicuously as possible. Although, I feel like everyone is looking at me right now. Maybe is it because of my sunglasses while it’s well lit inside and pouring rain outside, I don’t know. I guess it’s near-miss/10 for this look then. Anyway, while the cashier brings over my $20,000 in cash as I requested for the first time, I prepare some space in my purse and I see my little black book. To the untrained eye, it looks like a regular notebook but let me tell you, it’s far more precious. This is how I managed to “make a living” shall we say. I don’t want to call it magic but let’s say it’s a gift from the future. I got it by complete chance. In a way, it was my luckiest day on god’s green earth. It’s the most fascinating story. Hear me out.

I was minding my own business. Sitting on a bench and reading a book while I was waiting for my husband to finish working. And there came this splendid elder woman. I’ve never seen such beauty and charm in one person. She was wearing this most amazing red dress along with a fur coat. And she was rocking this heels. My god, she was really something. She must have been 60 or 70 but she was moving like a 20-something, like the world was hers. I envied her in a way. I’m not even 30 and here I am worrying about every wrinkle I notice, the crow feet at the edge of my eyes. But I digress. Where was I? Oh, yes, my little tiny black book. The woman must have seen me staring as she came right to me and sat on the bench. I started blushing like a teenager, and I didn’t even know what to say. “Aren’t you a little hot?” I said. We were in June after all. She only stared back at me and only uttered four words: “Do you want it?”. “Do I want what?” I replied. “This life.” She said pointing at her dress and coat. “I wouldn’t say no.” I said. This is when she pulled a little black book from her pocket. “There.” she said offering me the book. “Are you sure?” I asked feeling a bit of a scam but taking it nonetheless. “Sharing is caring.” She told me and left. I tried to pursue her but the time I took my purse she had vanished. I looked everywhere but she had simply disappeared. So of course I sat back down and opened this mysterious book. Well, I thought, here we go.

“To whom it may concern”, it started. “The book you’re about to open requires the most secrecy and discretion. You need to keep it away from the prying eyes at all cost.” Colour me intrigued, I thought. “Once you're done with it, share it with another stranger you feel might need it.” It continued. “Enjoy your newfound average wealth.” This was getting more interesting by the minute. Inside were various numbers, like race results. “No way!” I thought, “it's like I'm Back to the Future Part II with the Sports Almanac.” Could it really be? It was also organized by year. So I jumped to 2021 and noticed that the book actually stopped there. No mention of 2022 and beyond. Let's give it a try then. I went and bought a newspaper and checked the sports pages. They have all the results for horse races and the likes. As I suspected, it did not match with what was written in the book. “Figures”, I mumbled to myself. Then I recalled what was written in the introduction: “enjoy your newfound average wealth.” Average? And it struck me. Even if you don't have the exact order you can still win. It's not the top prize but still. Winning is winning. So I went back home and tried the next day. It worked! I won a hundred dollars (you have to start somewhere)! That felt great! Then I started betting a bit more and thus winning a bit more as well. I loved that because I never got the numbers in the right order, nobody ever suspected anything. This wasn't going to buy me a house in the Hamptons but it helped a lot. I still have this precious little black book with me and I'm not ready to give it away. Not yet.

When the bank clerk came back with the cash on a tray, I thought: “I’m going to need a bigger bag.”

fact or fiction

About the author

Antoine Clerc-Renaud

Freelance writer

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