Weekend Writing Prompt #16 – Colours


My Uncle Bill was one of those men best described as a colourful character. He lived alone, most of the time, though there was one woman who seemed to answer his call when needed.

Most of the time Uncle Bill could be found huddled close to his fuel stove, head stuck in the paper and ears paying attention to the talk back on the radio.

To visit him was an experience and you had to be prepared for and forgiving of his tendencies to fart, belch, swear and ridicule anyone he disagreed with which on any given day was pretty much everyone.

He was my mother’s only brother a man who had seen a lot of the world and had, therefore, an opinion on everything.

He loved a bet on the weekends, his Friday paper always folded over to the racing guide. On a piece of dirty paper, he’d scribble his bets for the next day, listening Saturday mornings to the racing selections on the radio.

“It’s a hard game,” he’d say as he gathered up all his bits of paper and stuffed them into his top pocket before making his way to the local betting shop. Then he’d stop and look once again at the newspaper, the racing guide by now a series of doodles as his mind had worked to discover the winners of each race. “Every winner is here you know,” he’d state as if making one of the great philosophical statements of all time.

Later in the afternoon, I’d stop by to see how he was going. He’d have a series of empty beer bottles scattered around him and more often than not a pile of crumpled betting slips littering the floor.

The radio would be blaring, and Uncle Bill would be talking back to it intend on having his opinion heard.

I always made a cup of tea when I arrived, I figured by then he’d had more than enough and needed to slow down.

He’d regale me about his lack of success, horses beaten by a nose, how he’d mixed up his numbers in one race and missed out of a ‘fortune’.

“It’s a hard game,” he’d repeat over and over never once suggesting he’d give up on the bets, but determined the next week to do it all over again in the belief good luck was just around the corner.


Written for: https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2017/08/19/weekend-writing-prompt-16-colours/

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7 Responses to Weekend Writing Prompt #16 – Colours

  1. Uncle Bill seems to be a colourful person.
    Admire his tenacity to place bets every week despite not hitting a fortune.

  2. Fluid Phrase says:

    Uncle Bill is so lonely…. colorful or not, I actually feel sad for him. He fills his days with this dream of making it big…. I wonder if it will actually make him happy – if he won it one day. How would he occupy himself then?
    Great story!

    • Michael says:

      Thanks so much. For people like Uncle Bill its the thrill of the chase that keeps them going. In some ways they dread ever winning big as then the fun would be over. My dad used to say if he ever did win a big one it would spoil everything.

  3. Lyn says:

    My Aunt Edith was like that. She always had a bet on Saturday. We’d listen to the races together when I stayed there over the school holidays. I must have been all of ten. She lived at Randwick, about 1km from Royal Randwick 🙂

  4. Great story, Michael. Thanks for joining in with the Weekend Writing Prompt. Have a great weekend 🙂

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