“For three days only, you, too can purchase your very own lucky streak while supplies last!” the man in the suit in the little, black tube shouted as he looked me straight in the eye.
“Come on down to Wiley Bill’s Discount Store and get yours before they’re all sold out!”
I was sold. My very own lucky streak? For a cheap price? I was there! Grabbing my car keys, I hustled out the door and drove to the store to see a man about buying myself a lucky streak.
Outside Wiley Bill’s a long line of people just like myself – down on their luck and in search of cheap hope – was forming all the way down the block. Panicked I might miss my chance to buy new luck, I hurried to park my car and join the crowd.
There was Mrs. Johnson, whose husband died two weeks ago and left her with a hefty mortgage and empty bank account. There was Mr. Samuels, whose fifteen-year-old daughter got knocked up last year and skipped town as soon as the baby girl was born. And Joe McDonnell with the rotting teeth because he couldn’t afford to pay $60 for a teeth cleaning at Dr. Beckett’s office down the street. Sure does pay to be the only dentist in a small town.
I passed by Homeless Mac, who stunk like hell but the people around him paid him no mind because they wanted their very own luck streak so bad. Miss Judy, near the front of the crowd, winked and waved my way when I found my spot at the end of the line. Her little buy Duey stuck out his tongue at me.
The line moved slowly as we all waited our turn and enviously watched the fortunate souls who ambled from the store with their plastic bags clutched to their chests, holding their new luck streaks close so their hearts in case some eager bystander tried to snatch it away.
Some of us got nervous, started tapping our feet. What if we got close to the front and Wiley Bill came outside in his slick, plaid suit and said, “Sorry folks! We’re all sold out!” Well, that just wouldn’t do. We all needed our lucky streaks, especially with times so tough.
“I say we rush the store and grab what we can!” Joe McDonnell yelled like a banshee in heat. “Who’s with me?”
The crowd raised their hands and roared, and in a second flat, I felt the wall of bodies behind me forcing me toward the front door. Faster. Angrier. More desperate than before they knew about lucky streaks on sale at Wiley Bill’s store.
And poor Wiley Bill could do nothing to stop the looting that ensued in his store when the townspeople raided it for luck. Because when you’ve got luck for sale at the right price, there’s no stopping the people who think they need it more than the rest.
– Written by Miss A on September 19, 2011