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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2216812
There's good and bad luck.
Good and Bad

Dodson stared into the screen’s white depths, his finger paused in mid-air above the keyboard. The thought that filled his mind turned and pulsed as its ramifications became apparent. It was all about luck. There was no need to cast some eternal dice or lay odds on an arbitrary choice presented by life. Luck happened whether you decided to play the game or not.

And the word luck implied both good and bad. Both were luck and Dodson had plenty of each. It was good luck, for instance, that he had long been housebound by his disabilities before this Covid19 thing came around. Staying at home was one thing he was really good at.

But it was bad luck that he was so limited in range that he’d long ago given up any idea of going outside. When you can only walk a few yards before needing a rest, there wasn’t much point in setting out to go somewhere. So you stayed in and found other worlds in the computer to pass the time.

It was good luck that he had some natural ability with words and so was able to build a community of friends and colleagues online. Bad luck that he could never get to know them in real life, to spend an hour or two, chatting with them in a pub somewhere.

Dodson had always been aware of how lucky he was to live in an age where the supermarkets had developed delivery systems to supply groceries to those trapped within their homes, whether through physical limitations or sheer laziness. And now he had to deal with the bad luck of this stupid virus putting pressure on the system so that huge numbers of new customers created waiting lists stretching into the future.

The damn virus was like everything else, good luck and bad all mixed together and presented as a rather unsavoury offering from life. Even being old was bad luck in that it put him in the group most at risk. So it was good luck that Dodson had lived a good life and experienced plenty before ending up with only a computer for a friend. And good luck that he wasn’t much interested in continuing long in this pain-wracked existence they called old age. Covid19 might be a better friend to him than anyone realised.

How bad was his luck, then, that he couldn’t get out to contract the disease? Maybe he could wait until the next delivery of groceries and then stand really close to the guy who brought the stuff. With a bit of luck he’d be a carrier in more ways than one and Dodson’s problem would be solved.

But that was leaving too much to chance. Just for once, it would be great to beat the luck thing by doing something with a guaranteed result at the end. Whichever way you looked at it, Covid19 was a chancy affair.

It was, however, winter. There were things about winter that were certain. It was cold, for instance. Dodson’s gaze shifted from the monitor to the window and the snow-filled landscape beyond. His hand fell away from the keyboard.

The decision made, he rose from his chair and walked to the front door. Opening it, his breath caught as the cold air assaulted his awareness. He stepped forth and began walking. It might be some time before his painful progression by short stints would become more than he could manage. Then he’d sit down, on the ground if necessary, and wait.

With everyone confined inside their houses, there would certainly be enough time before he was discovered.

Word Count: 608
Written for No Dialogue Contest, March 2020.
Prompt: Luck

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