Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)
TITLE: Passing Prosperity
By April Bailey
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“Lame!” Kevin rolled his eyes.
“That's not fair, you already have both.” Aaron held out his cookie. “Switch fortunes with me.”
“No way. I’m keeping it.” Jack laughed and turned to his brother. “Read yours, AJ.”
AJ cracked his cookie and pulled out the slip. “Hey!”
“What’s it say?”
He frowned. “Nothing.”
“No, c’mon, read it.”
AJ showed the paper to his friends. “It’s blank.”
Ominous “oohhhs” filled the air around their table and poorly stifled snickers began.
Aaron examined the blank slip. “That’s an un-fortune-nate cookie, AJ.” Aaron and Kevin howled and shared a high-five.
“Lay off, guys.” Jack rose from his chair and marched a quick oval around the restaurant, snapping up another fortune cookie from the unmanned waitress station. “Here ya go, Bro. Give it another shot.”
“Thanks, but if this one’s blank, I’m outta here!” AJ laughed then broke the cookie, letting it crumble through his fingers until only the slip remained. He read silently; the others leaned in.
“Let’s hear it.”
A slight grin twisted the side of AJ’s mouth. “There is a true and sincere friendship between you and your friends.”
The two men roared again. “That’s like saying you breathe air and walk on the bottom of your feet!”
AJ smiled and Jack smirked at the pair, sliding his slip across the table. “You can have mine.”
Aaron reached over. “Hey, I need it more than him. I’m okay in the happiness department, but I could use some good mojo for prosperity.”
“That’s pathetic, Aaron.” AJ laughed, letting him take it. “It’s just a fortune from a cookie. It doesn’t have magic powers to change your life, you know.”
“Well, I need all the help I can get.”
“Prosperity comes from here …" AJ tapped his head and then his heart, "... and here.”
“You are such a woman!” Aaron slapped Kevin’s arm in agreement.
“No,” Jack sat forward. “AJ’s right. It flows from the blessings you give to others.”
“Oh, not that reaping and sowing speech again. Give it a rest, preacher boys.”
“Truth is truth. I don’t make the rules.” AJ pulled out his wallet to pay. “So, if it’s meaningless mojo you want, take my blank fortune too. Maybe it’s a free pass; you get to write your own fortune.”
“Hey, I like that. Hand it over!” Aaron grabbed the blank greedily, held it a moment and then crumpled it, dropping both fortunes on the table. “Enh, who needs 'em?”
The men laid out their tip money and headed toward the door. Aaron stopped, tapping at his pockets. “Hey, wait a sec, I think I left my phone.” He hurried to the table, glancing back once at his chatting friends.
He fingered through the tip and slid a few dollars off the pile, making sure to scoop up the crumpled fortunes as well. Aaron smiled. A blank check and prosperity. He could hardly wait for the mojo to kick in.
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