Entry: Joy
Competition on WTRP: Emotions are Easy.

Had to use Dante for this one, because I just love writing Dante 3


He stopped patting down his pockets, and his light blue gaze darted from the dirty black and white vinyl floor at his feet to the chocolate bar and silver fifty cents on the scratched yellow counter before him. He stared across the counter at the overweight cashier for what felt like a moment of infinite revelation.

"Any chance you could put it on–" Dante said.

"No." The cashier cut him off with a deadpan expression. "That will be two dollars, sir."

"Uh..." Dante grimaced and shrugged apologetically. "I seem to have...lost my wallet."

The cashier responded with an irate, blunt stare back at him. "That's too bad."

"Oh, come on! Gimme a break, will you? The one time I feel like buying chocolate, and this shit happens!" Dante said.

"Shit happens." The cashier echoed apathetically. "Are you gonna buy it or not?"

"I'm one dollar fifty short. Can't I put it as an IOU–"

"No, sir, you can not."

"Come on! I live right across the damn road, it's not like I'm gonna disappear and you'll never see your precious one dollar fif–"

"Step aside, sir, you're holding up the line."

Dante stopped and sent a glance over his shoulder, and cringed. The only people behind him were Patty, with her arms loaded with candy, and a geeky looking guy clutching the newspaper to his chest. Dante turned back to the cashier with an irritated sigh.

"Look, lady..."

"No, you look, mister." She pointed with a pudgy finger at a colourful sticker on the wall behind her. "It says 'pay and go'. So either you pay, or you go."

"Some people have no heart," Dante grumbled, diving his hands deep into his pants pockets once more. "Nope, nothing there. Well..." Dante smirked to himself, but his train of thought ran dead when he looked up into the round face staring back at him unpleasantly. "Hang on."

He slipped his hands into his coat pockets, hoping for the impossible – and miraculously felt the shape of a dollar bill.

"Ah-ha!" He slid it out, and stared at the yellow paper printed with numbers for a moment. Not a dollar bill – just an old lotto ticket he'd forgotten about. "Damn it."

"You want to check your ticket, sir?" The cashier asked lazily.

"Yeah, sure, why not? Who knows, I might get lucky, and then I can pay your stupid one dollar fifty." Dante ground out.

The cashier gave an idle sigh in response, and took the ticket from him. Dante glanced behind him at Patty, and let out an even louder sigh.

"Patty, put those back."

"But I want candy!"

"Put back that junk or all your teeth will rot and fall out."

"Phu-lease, it's gonna take a lot more than just a few candy bars to make my teeth fall out." Patty retorted and flashed him a sweet toothy smile.

"Sir." The cashier said.

"What?" Dante bit back, turning to face the unhappy teenager once more.

"You've just won the lotto."

"Yeah – how much? Will it cover that stupid chocolate bar?"

"Sir," the cashier said, leaning over the counter and holding the ticket toward him. "You've won the ten million."

Dante snatched the ticket from her fingers. "Ten million?"

"I printed the instructions of where to go to collect your money on the back of your ticket, sir."

"Ten million?" Dante repeated, narrowing his eyes at her suspiciously. "Are you shittin' me?"

"No, sir." The cashier said, taken aback.

"Ten million!" Dante said again, and twirled around to look down at Patty. "I've won ten million dollars!"

"So...hey!" Patty cried out when he wrenched her toward the door, sending her stash of candy scattering in every direction.

"You can stick your chocolate bar, lady!" Dante chortled at the grumpy cashier, and skipped out of the store, dragging Patty with him.

"Hey, what's the big idea?" Patty complained. "You get paid millions for the jobs you do already. Ten million is nothing to you, so why are you so happy?"

"It's not the number I'm happy about," Dante said, beaming from ear to ear. "Even though it's pretty sweet, nonetheless. I won the lotto, and that's what makes me happy!"

"Now that you put it that way...yeah, I guess I see what you mean. So why couldn't you pay for my candy then?"

"Tch," Dante stopped so suddenly that Patty smacked into him. He crouched down to her eye level, and chuckled. "We hit the jackpot, kid. Why buy a couple of candy bars when you can buy a whole truck load of junk? Now what do you say, kiddo?"

Patty's face lit up like a floodlight. "Jackpot!"