Snippet: Wish Fulfillment


All at once in a puff of steam or smoke there appeared a contraption much resembling a lotter ticket dispenser. “Free Tickets!!!” yowled a shiny decal stuck to the face of the thing. The machine stuck out the tongue of a ticket, so I took it. I whipped out my lucky penny and scratched off the silver coating (every worthless piece of crap has one).

“One Free Wish! (Please play again.)”

Hell, free wishes are worth what you pay for them. I yanked another ticket off the roll and scratched away…

My hand was poised over the hundredth ticket or so when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Drop that ticket, miss–you better start paying for those–”

“M’am,” I corrected. “And I ain’t got to pay for nothin’. Get your hands off that ticket.”

“Free tickets don’t come cheap,” he said, and tried to rip the one I had out of my hands.

I snorted and resorted to violence. Wham! Crash! Slash! Gurgle and ugh! Don’t mess with this momma. I squinted. Say (I thought he looked familiar as I was kickin’ his ass), wasn’t that the harassin’ bastard Edwin Graves? I wondered where he got off to after he got fired and sent to Montana.

I picked through his pockets. Money, car keys, house keys, credit cards–I liked the idea of runnin’ up Satan’s own pissboy’s expense account–and a faded ol’ lottery ticket.

“One Free Wish! (Please pleay again.)”

What a chump, that Eddie. Which reminded me of the ticket. I scratched it off: “Get out of Hell FREE!” No point in letting that damned Eddie have that final trump. I tucked it away safe, where I could get it when I needed it–never you mind where.

So I kicked out his wife, and I exploited his kids and his dog for cheap labor, and I moved into his house and started up a mail-order business in cheap novelites. And like I said, you ain’t gotta pay for nothin’. Especially if you don’t sign for it like Eddie did. Mortgage payments are still coming out of his dead, dumb butt.

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