flash fictionissue 5

Statistically Speaking

Daniel Guy Baldwin

              There is a fifty-one percent chance of being born a boy, forty-nine percent chance of being born a girl and a much lower one of actually being born at all. On top of that, the odds of intelligent life developing were three to two. This is higher for unintelligent life; you can decide which applies here.

              The likelihood of this being written was one in four. The likelihood of anyone reading it was much lower, intelligent or otherwise. Sixteen percent of the stats in this story are made up, including, but not limited to, this one.

              Regardless, even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless it’s digital, and the possibility of a clock being digital is ever increasing. Then again, coin flips aren’t perfectly fifty-fifty, and we let some major decisions rest on their heads.

              Five to three says flipping that coin might have been a mistake given the one-hundred percent probability of him breaking your heart. It’s exactly half as likely that you’ll forgive him. But the chance of meeting your soulmate is about one in seven billion, so meeting your sixth was extraordinary. 

              Still, luck is a matter of perspective, and, fortunately, your glass is always half-full. Unfortunately, his glass never runs dry, although it certainly runs in the family. The right papers read the wrong way give him approximately a ten percent chance of being the faster runner. Perhaps he’ll do it. I’ll take that nine to one even though the house always wins. In this case, the house red.

              But odds like that were made to be beaten and you’ve made it this far on longshots alone. You were quite unlikely, statistically speaking, so he must be luckier than most.


Daniel Guy Baldwin is a writer currently living in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, a Philosophy graduate from Keele University and trying his best to write meaningful fiction with varying degrees of success.