by John Neal

She plays the machines like a maniac, dropping in one coin after another and smacking hard on the plastic buttons as though sheer force will land the reels in the way she wants. Meanwhile, her kids bawl and try to tear up the place. They're little monsters, but she doesn't seem to notice or care. I tell her I'm going to call the police - though I won't because I know they won't come - and I hope she'll leave on her own before I strangle one of the little shits. She makes change for five and says she's leaving after this. But she keeps playing and her kids keep crying.


John Neal is an American ex-pat who tinkers with words in Southern Spain.