by D. Richard Pearce
With literally his last dollar, he bought a lottery ticket. That night, Beth called twice, but he ignored the phone. He curled up on the couch, gorged on chips, and watched as the lottery numbers dropped, in precise order, and matched his ticket.
With the weirdness of the last couple of weeks, winning the lottery didn’t surprise him at all. Not only that, he didn’t feel the least bit hopeful. He expected something to go wrong between now and the time he collected. Either the numbers were wrong, or he’d lose the ticket — something.
Nor was he disappointed. He did win, and Satan’s collectors allowed him to keep the decorative memento cheque, and not much else. He suspected a pattern was emerging.