Tony’s Lucky Day

Orchid's Lantern

Tony could forget his troubles and elusive credentials for the day, for he had won big on a discarded scratch card. Celebration was giving his grey roots a fresh coat of green, having a posh shave, and buying a tailored pinstripe suit he had been admiring for weeks through a store window. Reaching into the pocket of his new trousers, he pulled out a strawberry lollipop: this truly was his lucky day! He walked out with the confidence of a winner.

The street looked different that day. It was more colourful, and Tony felt different in himself, like he could smile back at strangers instead of dipping his head in shame.

A beggar was laughing in an alleyway. It was a cruel laugh, but Tony felt a pang of pity anyway, believing the poor woman to be delirious with hunger and exclusion. He pulled out a £10 note and handed…

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