Kyra runs the local Cemetery/Crematory.
“Son of a bitch,” Kyra whispered.
Life’s not fair. In the last two hours she’d dumped over three thousand dollars into the Goddamn machine. This bitch sits down right next to her and hits the jackpot on the first spin. I’ll never get my son back this way.
Kyra Russell wiped away the tears that rolled down her face. Why couldn’t she hit the jackpot? Ten grand—she only needed ten grand to pay her lawyer. Taking another hundred-dollar bill out of her purse, she stuffed it into the machine and hit the maximum-credit button, anticipating the results. Loving the rush, her stomach jumped with excitement. Each time, her mind cheered ‘this is it.’ As the wheels rolled into place, a cold chill raced through her veins. One by one, they landed. By the second symbol, she realized she’d lost again. Kyra’s heartbeat increased, pounding in her chest, beating in her ears like African tribal drums, causing her anger to spike. It’s the next one, she told herself, banging the maximum-credit button again. Lord, she needed to take a pee break, though didn’t dare leave her machine for fear someone else would hit the jackpot after she’d primed the machine.
Watching the attendant pay the woman, Kyra counted along with him. The
bitch won seventy-five hundred dollars. After the woman received her payout, Kyra tried signaling the attendant.
“Excuse me,” she called.
“I need to use the restroom. Can you watch my machine or lock it down?”
“I need to call a supervisor over. It’ll be a few minutes.” He pressed the button in his earpiece.
She watched him whisper into it. After ten minutes, the supervisor came over and locked down the machine for her, letting her know she needed to be back within the hour or they’d release the machine.
“Not a problem, Kyra,” the supervisor said.
He read her name off her reward card, addressing her like he knew her. Well, screw him.
She pushed off her seat, rushing to the ladies’ room. Kyra didn’t want to stay away too long, giving them a chance to re-program the machine against her or reset it. She hated the new system with the tickets. Since they’d installed it, she hadn’t won like she used to. How else could she lose constantly? Winning used to be the norm when she first started. It became addictive. She’d won twenty-five thousand dollars on one spin. On another night, she’d won eight thousand dollars.
Boy, the cash rolled in then. The feeling was indescribable when those wheels rolled into place and the bells went off. The noise the machine made when it hit a jackpot had crowds surrounding her. Though on that night she’d gone home with only twenty thousand dollars—she’d blown five grand trying to win more. Greed always took over. Winning excited her. It was the rush, the euphoria she got every time she pushed the spin button that kept her coming back.
The casino treated her like royalty, even gave her a host. He got her into the
popular shows or restaurants anytime she wanted. Nothing was too good for Kyra, as long as she showed up and put her money into the machine. She became a regular at the players’ lounge—eat and drink for free. Yeah, free, her ass. The cost was extreme. Somewhere along the line, Kyra lost her self-respect—along with her marriage, her son, and her savings.