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It’s all bullshit to me. The name’s Lisa Thompson, mother of two, wife of an overworked engineer, habitual gambler when there’s money to do it with. Today, there’s money. A little luck and a lot of saving come up to this. I have a plan, and I repeat it to myself over and over as I hurry across the poorly paved street to the relative safety of the crowds on the other side.

I glance up then, staring at the underside of the city above us. I remember the news clips earlier about one of those sections coming down. It’s still missing I can see. What would it have meant if I was under it? It’s a question no one down here doesn’t think once in a while. A cold chill courses through me as I force my thoughts back to the task at hand and my gloved hand curls around the dingy knob that would lead to my fate.

I’m sure you’re wondering who’s talking to you. A name and a gender only go so far I realize, but I am in a hurry. If you must know, I’m about five feet and nine inches tall, I let my brown hair go long, a little past my shoulders, and I choose to wear a scandalous outfit today. It’s not because I like showing off, I already have one husband, more than enough. It’s a distraction. The men that wait for me as I descend down creaky metal steps don’t see too many women, and it’s one of the few advantages I have.

Without thinking, I make last minute adjustments to the clothing, making sure breasts are properly tucked but displayed, smoothing wrinkles, and quietly bemoaning the idea of wearing such a thing. There’s no time to consider it now, they can see me. I smile, I nod, I enter their domain.

Hey Lisa,” speaks the eldest of them, Robert, an old man with grizzled beard and a bad eye. The one eye he has left seems more than adequate to spot anything going on at his table. Anything.

Haven’t you lost enough money here?” asks another, younger, maybe in his fourties, Mr. Kel. “You make your old man cry, or maybe he doesn’t know about this?” I cringe inwardly but force a smile at his words. It’s true, I haven’t told anyone that I come here. How could I?

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