Story Excerpt
His To Bear

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George Carver swallowed tightly then glanced between the lottery ticket in his hand and the numbers displayed on the TV screen.

It wasn't possible.

It just wasn't possible.

He got up and walked over to his desk. He leaned the ticket against the screen then booted up his ancient laptop. His hands shook as he typed in the website for the Mega Money Lottery contest. The website seemed to take forever to load.

It was probably just a few seconds.

He had good internet.

Once again, he glanced at the numbers on the ticket he'd purchased on a whim down at the local corner grocery store and double checked them with the ones on his screen.

They were the same.

All of them.

He'd gotten all six numbers.

Holy fuck!

George just sat there and stared. It really had been a whim. He'd been standing in line at the grocery store when he saw the flashing numbers on the lottery machine. One point six billion dollars.

He couldn't even conceive of that amount of money.

After paying for his purchases, he'd had two dollars left. He briefly thought about grabbing a coke, but then decided, why the hell not? He knew he'd never win, but it was nice to dream, so he'd bought a lottery ticket. He'd hit the random number generator, not wanting to try and choose numbers himself.


The winning lottery numbers.

Holy fuck!

George clicked the button directing lottery winners on what to do next. It took him a moment to figure out exactly what he was reading. The direction weren't that user friendly. He grabbed the ticket and signed his name across the back of it then picked up his cell phone and took a picture of the signed ticket.

Now, he just needed a place to hide it until he could figure out what to do.

George started looking around his room. He spotted several different placed he could put the ticket, but none of them seemed that secure. It wasn't likely that his house was suddenly going to be robbed, but he wasn't taking any chances.

He also didn't want to hold onto the ticket until he was ready to go to the lottery headquarters and claim his prize. He was too afraid he'd be mugged on his way down to the office. Or kidnapped. Hit by a bus. Crushed by a falling meteor. Abducted by aliens.

The list was endless.

According to the lottery website, he needed to make several copies of the signed ticket then place it in a safety deposit box for safe keeping. He then needed to get a lawyer, a financial planner, and an accountant.

That list was endless as well.

What was a trust or limited liability company?

Family limited partnership?

George squinted as he stared at the screen. He was supposed to check the records for attorneys, accountants, and financial planners to see whether there had been any complaints filed with state disciplinary authorities.

That couldn't be that hard, could it?

George reached over and grabbed his phone, dialing a number he knew by heart. "Hey, Ford, can you come over? I need a little help with something."

"Yeah, I'll be right there."

Sure enough, five minutes later my front door banged open and Ford walked in. It kind of helped that he lived in an apartment two floors down.

"What's up?"

"Lock the door."

Ford raised an eyebrow, but did as George asked.

George got up and walked over to the radio, turning it on loud enough to muffle our words, but not so loud that they couldn't hear each other talk.

Ford's forehead furrowed as he walked closer. "What's going on? Are you okay? You're acting all weird."

Ford would know. Not only was he George's best friend, but he was also his cousin. They'd been born a week apart. Being so close in age, they'd always been lumped together. The good part was that they'd become best friends.

"Come here." George waved Ford over to his laptop, then pointed to the screen. "Look at those numbers."

Ford squinted down at the screen. "9-27-42-43-58-6. Okay. Why am I looking at them?"

George held out the lottery ticket. "Now look at these numbers."

"9-27-42-43—" Ford gasped. His hand started to shake. "George."

"I know, right?"

"9-27-42-43-58-6. Jesus, George. You have all the numbers right, every damn one of them."

"Yeah." George swallowed tightly as he pushed his glasses up his face. "That's a lot of money, Ford."

One point six billion dollars.

He couldn't even say it.

"Shit." Ford's eyes grew huge. "You need to talk to Dad before you do anything."

"You think he could help me with this stuff?"

"Uh, yeah. Dad's a CPA. This kind of stuff is right up his alley."

George chuckled nervously. "Fancy a trip to Paris? Or a new car?"

He could afford it now.

"I wouldn't turn down a cup of coffee," Ford said.

And that was why Ford was his best friend. Even with a billion dollars on the line, Ford wouldn't take advantage of him.

"Come on." George tucked the lottery ticket into his pocket then grabbed his jacket. "I'll buy you a cup of coffee after I stop at the bank."

Ford lifted an eyebrow. "Dude, I can pay for my own coffee."

"No, it's not that. I have money. I need a safety deposit box. I don't want anything to happen to this ticket before I have a chance to turn it in."

"You should take a picture of it."

"I already did."

"Make a copy of it so you have it on you."

George hadn't thought of that. He pulled the ticket back out of his pocket and walked over to his printer. He made two copies, one for him and one for Ford, making sure he got both sides of the lottery ticket on the print out.

He folded his up and stuck it into his wallet then handed the other one to Ford. "Here, hold on to this for me. Put it in your wallet or something."

Ford shrugged as he took the print out, folded it up, then slid it into his pocket. "Why do you want me to have a copy?"

"In case I lose mine."

"Better hope you don't."

George chuckled nervously. "Right?"

He slid the original ticket back into his pocket. "Okay, let's do this."

He needed to make sure his future was somewhere safe before he started planning it.