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“You are not a winner.” Her voice a mix of Mary and Magdalene, perfected with technology, fine tuned with a marketer’s attention to manipualtive detail, reassuring mother and filthy little whore. “You are not a winner.” Say it again, you fucking bitch. “You are not a winner.” I didn’t know whether I wanted to hug her or fuck her. “You are not a winner.” “Sorry, hon, but looks like none of these are winners,” Charlene said, cluthcing Charlie’s worthless lottery tickets. “Yeah.” It wasn’t her fault, he thought. She’s just a god damn factory worker. A meat slave, like himself, to that talking box. “You don’t look too surprised,” she said, her mouth turned down in a sympathetic frown. “No.” “Don’t take it too hard, hon. Maybe next time.” “Yeah, I’ll be back.” Fuck or hug fuck or hug or fuck or hug. Instead, I decided to take her and settle on the rest later… Charlie had been in the lotto game for a long time. He knew the rules. Always play for fun. Never play with a need to win. Know the odds. Fuck the rules, he thought. This wasn’t about fun. He needed to win. Just this once. He knew the odds were against him but sometimes a man has to do certain things. He had a funny twitch in his gut. But not ha-ha funny. There was only way to make it go away. The machine. Charlie calmly walked up to the window of the Dirty Pines Market wondering just how the hell he was going to get in. He hadn’t thought this thing through too well, but he needed to know what that machine knew. He needed it’s wisdom. It could help him with his funny feeling. He was sure of it. But he approached his fate filled with an animal’s hatred, a low creature’s jealousy for its gleaming smug… He noticed a large rock embedded in the wet grass. He lifted it up revealing a squirming mess of bugs – worms, potato bugs, centipedes. It made his gut twitch with great discomfort. He ground his boot into the damp nest and crushed them. Smash the window. Take that slutty machine. Run. An alarm sounded as he disappeared into the woods. “What do you know? What does it mean? Why is there a twitch in my gut? What is your role in all of this? What is your nature? Why anyhting? What's your name?” The machine sat silent. It had no answers for Charlie. Police sirens were getting closer. If only he had more time, he thought, I’d get the answers I need. His gut twitched something fierce.
Date Written: June 19, 2005
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