Life is a String of Cherries by Brian K. Lowe

They say an old lady came into the casino, her dog smuggled under her coat. She hooked the dog up to the month-machine, to use its life to pay for a few spins, then when it got old she’d disconnect it, re-connect herself, and keep playing. Getting in a few spins on the dog’s life, not hers, she’d be that much ahead when she hit a jackpot.

Except she hit the jackpot on the first spin. Three bells—500 months, straight to the dog. She’s long dead; he’s still a puppy.

It’s probably an urban legend, but it could happen.

[Originally published in On the Premises in August 2007]

Brian K. Lowe has published 40 short stories, including appearances in Galaxy’s Edge, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, and Daily Science Fiction. He has also independently published a science fiction trilogy, The Stolen Future. Brian blogs at