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Winning the Lottery by Ruth


The burrowing owl flutters off my sculptured manatee mailbox as I approach to grab the mail. “Good morning, Oliver. Have you found a mate yet? It’s getting close to nesting season. You need to save your species from extinction.”

The speckled, potato-sized and colored creature lands on the light above my garage door. His yellow eyes focus on me.

In the mail are some real estate postcards, my social security check, and a letter from Mom’s attorney.

Walking carefully over the crumbling steps into my 1970s ranch home, I notice a single white bloom among the rich green leaves of the gardenia bush which contrast the Florida sun-faded yellow stucco. We’ve transitioned to spring in February this year. I pluck the flower, thinking of Mom’s perfume.

I return to the air conditioning and move into the kitchen. I fill a shallow bowl with water and place the delicate white blossom inside. I sit at the table and open the letter from the attorney.

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