Friday, January 6, 2023


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This month 3 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Your “Secret Subject” is:

Tell us about a number that has special meaning for you.

It was submitted by:


I don't think I have any particular sort of answer for this. I cherish my kid's birthday for example but the numbers themselves aren't important and I'm not really superstitious or believe in things like this so enjoy some fiction instead! But I will say today would have been my dad's birthday.

Selma had found a note stuffed into her locker at work that had her name at the top. And the number 76. "76. It will change everything." That's it. That was the whole of it.

She didn't recognize the handwriting. It wasn't one of her friends playing a joke mostly because she didn't have friends. And no one at work had the energy for some kind of long con prank like this. They were all tired from mandatory double shifts at the mental hospital where she cleaned rooms and gave out medicine and changed diapers or whatever else was needed that day. No one got out of double shifts not lately anyway. None of them had time to be friends or mean girl each other with pranks. So she'd forgotten about it.

And then while doomscrolling on TikTok she saw a contest for a new laptop which she sorely needed if she was ever going to go back to school. It was pick a number style. So she chose "76" on a whim...and won. Her first time winning anything in her entire life, and it had actually been sent to her too! No scams. Not this time at least.

Then she found a bundle of money in the grocery store parking lot. No one was parked near her, so she counted it. $76 exactly...which also ended up being her total in the store when she wasn't even sure when she pulled into her spot how she was going to afford food and rent. The double shifts were barely helping since the rent increase. And inflation. And having to take her car Fred to the vet to have a tooth removed.

She started seeing 76 everywhere she looked. It was written in graffiti. She'd seen a patient scrawling it into his journal. She saw it on street signs and a mile marker she passed on the way to work, and on the bus route that took her downtown when she didn't want to have to fight for parking. The hostess at her favorite taco spot had a pin that had 76 on it. Selma asked and the girl had only shrugged and smiled like Selma should know already.

It wasn't even happening naturally anymore. Selma started seeking it out. She'd turn to page 76 of a book on her shelf and look for meaning in the words. She played lotto games and online giveaways using the number and variations of it to guide her responses. She would take 76 steps to determine where she would sit in the movie theater or where to stop to eat in the food court at the mall or even, once, at a party she was invited to by an old friend to determine who to strike up a conversation with next which was really fucking hard to do in a small apartment and everyone treated her like she was crazy.

But she wasn't? Was she?

Ever since she got the letter 76 was everywhere and she thought her luck was changing. So what if she got a parking ticket for 76 dollars or woke up in her apartment to find 76 post it notes with 76 written on them that she knew she hadn't written. So what if she saw flies in the shape of 76 crawling on her car the other night.

Everything else was good. Good-ish anyway.

It didn't matter that she couldn't actually find the letter anymore did it? The number was still everywhere. She was winning. She won that laptop!

Did it really change her stroke of good luck if the woman in the apartment 3 floors abover hers had been stabbed by her ex 76 times or that 76 people died in that blizzard?

Did it really matter if she could see 76 everywhere and could hear people whispering it? Wasn't that fate's way of giving her a sign she was on the right track?

The answer to everything she had ever needed to ask was 76. She could see it all now so clearly. 76. 76. 76. It was everything everywhere all at once.


She could hear them.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado


The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

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