The Most Desperate Time of the Year, by Conan D’Agostino

(F.F.F. Website Story)

He paced outside the betting shop as snow softly fell, rubbing his hands together, eyes flickering nervously from side to side. A quick look inside – miserably deserted; just horse-racing form hanging limply from the wall and glowing TV screens.

How had it come to this? Again?

Consumed with dread (and painful recollections), he pushed open the door and trudged up to the counter.

“Yes?” the cashier inquired from inside her glass cell. I can’t …

Thoughts of bills, overdrafts and, on top of it all, Christmas forced out his reluctant words:

“Can I have an application form, please?”

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