ryan quinn flanagan | the lottery

The Lottery

It began at the nurses’

Rita suggested that Lily
would be the next to die.
She was so sure of it,
she was willing to bet ten bucks
on it.

No, that’s wrong, countered Sandra
Lily just looks like she’s going to die
because she’s sedated all the time.
Trust me, Lorenzo will be the next to go.

How do you know that?, inquired Rita.

Because he’s always falling asleep at diner
and has had two falls
in the last week,
offered Sandra.
Lorenzo is next, I know it.

Care to put a wager on it?, said Rita.
Put your money where your mouth is.

Alright, uttered Sandra
you’re on.
If Lily kicks it before Lorenzo,
you get the pot
but if Lorenzo dies before Lily
the money is mine.

Hey, I want in on this too, said Eddie the PSW
Money plays, right?
Eddie slammed a twenty down on the clipboard
with the pill pass patient roll call
Give me some action!

Fine, said Rita
but the bet is only ten.

What are you nurses scared off?, taunted Eddie
You make twice as much as I do
and you’re still scared to anti-up.

Fine, offered Sandra
make the bet twenty.
Who’s your pick anyways?

That’s easy, declared Eddie
Hilde is my pick.

Hilde?, questioned Sandra with a laugh
Don’t you know that women like that
just hang on forever.
She wouldn’t miss out on the chance to make
our lives miserable.
Hilde will live longer than us, you fool.

Wanna bet?, countered Eddie

Only one bet at a time, Rita chimed in
The bet is not which resident will outlive us,
it’s who’s going to die next.
Twenty dollar bets.
Winner takes all.
The pot is sixty.

And Hilde is my pick, said Eddie.
You nurses think you know so much
but it’s us PSWs working in the trenches
that have the inside info.
You forget,
said Eddie with a grin
while you two are pushing pills and filling out charts
all day,
I’m changing the residents and helping them to the bathroom.
The truth is Hilde shits herself so much
the bacteria has eaten away half her ass.
The old bag is being eaten alive for god sakes!
How can you bet against that?

Her flesh is not being eaten as fast
as our picks are deteriorating mentally,
Rita claimed
Besides, the nurses control the pills.
One wrong dosage and things happen.
The family would never know.
It happens everyday.

Hey, complained Eddie
that’s cheating.
You can’t poison your resident to death
to win.
That’s a new rule ok?

Fine, said Sandra.
But for your part, you can’t neglect your pick
and care for ours to keep them alive
longer, alright?


This is so in the bag, commented Eddie.

What’s in the bag?, questioned Connie
as she returned to the nurses’ station
after rounds.

We’re betting on who’s going to die next, offered Rita.
Twenty dollar bets.
Winner takes all
The pot is sixty.

Make it eighty, said Connie with a laugh.
Who’s left?

I took Lorenzo, said Sandra
Rita took Lily
and Eddie took Hilde.

Damn! Lorenzo is a good pick.
Connie thought for a moment
and then continued:
I guess I’ll take that old bitch Agnes.
Have you seen her just sitting there each day
muttering to the walls?
She’s lost fifty pounds since she’s been here
she refuses to eat
and all her hair has fallen out.
Mark me down for Agnes.
That bitch has lost the will to live.

Just then,
a family member of one of the residents
came up to the nurses station
and asked how her mother was doing?

She had a bad time of it today, said Rita
but rest assured we are doing everything we can for her.

She’s a lovely woman, offered the other nurses
A lovely woman.

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