Snippet #11

Garret froze in the fake leather seat, his left hand plastering itself to the upholstery as if it were glued.  His heart smashed wildly against his ribcage, beating itself senseless while the rest of the body was immobilized in terror.


The instruction flashed rapidly on the screen in front of him, the color of the letters changing from white to yellow to orange, followed by red.  A simple prompt from the mechanical marvel he had been burning to touch.  Feed a dollar into the slot and pull the handle.  Watch the reels spin.  It was just too easy to pass up.  


They had walked by the open doors countless times, always cracking jokes about the poor suckers inside, going broke and getting too old to move off the chairs. Jokes!  For God’s sakes, they were just jokes!


Beside him, William sat slumped in his own chair, his head lolling awkwardly toward Garret.  Where his eyes had been, two charred cavities remained, thick, yellowish fluid spilling over and down his slackened cheeks.  


Garret’s fourteen year old brain refused to make a decision.  He shouldn’t be here.  Every muscle strained in place with indecision.  Run!  But if he ran he would be leaving William behind.

William is dead.


He shouldn’t be here.  He was just fourteen.  He should be home playing Halo or something, not here trying to get a cheap thrill from a slot machine. He needed to get off the chair and run as fast as he could.



William had followed the instruction.

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