by Robert Fenhagen
click aici pentru versiunea română
“What’d you find?”
“Nothing. A lottery ticket.”
“Throw it away. C’mon, we got a car to smash.”
A filthy, flattened field crowded with towers of crushed and rusting vehicles, the junk yard took up three city blocks in Newark, New Jersey; the only time given reprieve in the winter when an occasional white blanket hid it. People brought their previously beloved vehicles that somehow had morphed into useless junk, only to sell for scrap, plus a hundred bucks.
Tony Golofino was about to toss the ticket, but it looked brand new, and there was the Lotto Super-Max drawing coming up. He looked out at the vast yard, and shook his head. He’d pretty much accepted his lot in life, but once in a while the old fantasy tapped on his consciousness, but he had gotten better and better at ignoring the taps, so barely reacted to them anymore.
Accident, or two tons of the Cruncher; it didn’t matter. An acre of violence one way or another. Kind of a shame. He used to lament all of the screaming and dying stories as the Cruncher did its job; watching windshields and roofs exploding and imploding. Tony wished he could escape the yard, but his family needed him, and instead of tossing the ticket, he stuck it in his filthy baggy green pants pocket…
That night, a neighbor overheard a scream from next door, which sounded like somebody had won a lottery, or something.