Deal Me Out

by Joe Lyons

The trick is to make it sound like a whisper. Don't worry about trying to mimic them, just whisper.

“Fold. He's beat you.”

And nine times out of ten, they listen to the voice in the back of their head and I get to rake in all of the chips.

Vegas is turning out to be my kind of town. Easy money, free booze, and everyone is too overstimulated to realize I'm broadcasting right into their noggins. It's a place I can see myself spending the rest of my miserable life.

In all honesty, the noise of the tourists and kitsch is good for me. It lets me focus on one mind at a time. Ever since the orphanage, I was able to speak to anyone without talking, but I could also hear the others like me loud and clear. It was fun at first, like pen pals you didn't need stamps for, but it was impossible for me to tune them out. All of their thoughts and emotions were being simulcast right behind my eyes all the time.

I never wanted to meet any of them. I just wanted to hide in a crowd and be a hypocrite. I want my mind to myself while I rob the next sucker that wants to play cards blind.

I wish I didn't have to sleep. There was an earthquake in Japan yesterday and a little girl is calling out to me in a language I don't understand.

I need another drink.