They can show up at any time. They shamble (as zombies are wont to do) up to the counter of your local convenience store. They yammer, "Pick three straight box four oh nine" and "three dollar lotto quick pick". The most fearsome among them are the scratchers. They buy scratch-off tickets and then proceed to skin their surfaces, right there on the counter, squinting at the results while other customers have to move around them to purchase goods, redeeming their winning tickets for more, right then and there, not stopping until they've run out.

When you work at a convenience store you begin to recognize certain people. Sometimes they'll come right up and buy lotto tickets, other times they'll buy something else and wait until you've handed them their change to ask for the tickets, as if they'd like to inconvenience you as much as possible. After a bit of practice, you know when they're going to do this. It's uncanny. They come in all shapes, sizes, sexes, and colors, but seem to exude the same odor. Maybe it's a certain dullness in their eyes, or the way they carry themselves, but you can always tell when someone is about to throw another few dollars away in the hopes of getting the golden ticket.

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