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U3A Writing: Snippets

Zelda Margo sums up life’s gamble in this snipper of a story.

“William, I’ll phone when I’m ready to be picked up.”

“Yes, Madam.”

William drove Mrs Alma Gould to the Casino entrance, parked the Mercedes in the car park.

“Eish,” said the attendant. “Your Madam, she like the gambling too much. Every night she play the machines.”

“No, is not every night.”

“What time you take Madam home?”

“Three-four in the morning.”

“She win plenty moneys?”

“No, no. Many times lose plenty money. If she win, she say “William – pocket money for you.”

“How much she give you?”

“Maybe five – six hundred rands.”

“The old Madam she give you so much?”

“When she win a lot.”


Alma Gould had inherited her husband’s large share portfolio and his driver William. She had offered up a fervent prayer of thanks for both.

The lady had a major gambling compulsion/cigarette addiction and emphysema. Alma Gould could never get her doctors to understand that gambling was her life and she was not about to give up smoking. What else was there?

It was emphysema that won. She was found peacefully dead with a full ashtray beside her.

Sixty year old William who had been with the family for thirty years was left the car and twenty-five thousand rand. The rest of the estate went to charities; predominantly those helping people with crippling addictions.


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