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While on his way to work one morning, Scott began to hear a very peculiar voice coming from somewhere in his car. As he stopped in the backed-up rush hour traffic, he looked around his vehicle, trying to determine the voice's source. He found nothing that had even a remote chance of causing a voice, except his radio. But it was clearly turned off that morning.

"Weird," Scott whispered to himself. Then, he heard the voice again:

"Leave your wife, sell your car, sell your house, go to Vegas," the male voice urged. That time Scott sure it was coming from his own mind.

Great, he thought, I'm either daydreaming or I'm nuts.

A few minutes later, as Scott slowly merged from one interstate to another, the voice returned:

"Leave your wife, sell your car, sell your house, go to Vegas," the male voice urged again.

"Dammit," Scott cursed as he tried to move in front of another car.

The traffic was bad enough, Scott surely did not need a little voice inside his head annoying him.

Fortunately, after he got to work, the voice stopped and didn't bother him the rest of the day. Scott was able to be very productive, getting all his reports done on time and having quality schmooze time with the boss. However, on the way home from work, in the congested evening rush, the voice returned:

"Leave your wife, sell your car, sell your house, go to Vegas."

"Leave me alone!" Scott exclaimed out loud, "I thought you had gone away!"

"Leave your wife, sell your car, sell your house, go to Vegas."

"Kiss my ass!"

"Leave your wife, sell your car, sell your house, go to Vegas."

"Grrrrr," Scott growled as he cut off a Lexus in the next lane.

When Scott got home from work his wife, who always was off first, was there waiting for him. He kissed her hello and asked about what they were doing for supper that night.

"I was thinking of pork chops or something," Louise replied, smiling. Scott smiled back. He loved pork chops.

"Leave your wife, sell your car, sell your house, go to Vegas."

"Stop!" Scott exclaimed, giving Louise a start.

"Scott?" she asked, her forehead furrowing in worry, "Stop what?"

"Oh, oh, nothing dear," Scott said, trying to calm down, "Everything's fine. Just had a little . . . well, you know, one of those freak things."

"O . . . . . . K," Louise hesitated.

All throughout dinner, every thirty seconds or so, the voice would return with its same relentless statement:

"Leave your wife, sell your car, sell your house, go to Vegas."

Scott tried his best to ignore it and enjoy his meal, but he didn't know for sure how long he could take it before he started smashing holes in the drywall of the house.

That night, even while he dreamed, the voice haunted him:

"Leave your wife, sell your car, sell your house, go to Vegas."

It even interrupted his favorite dream, the one where he was zooming around a racetrack in a stock car. In the dream, the voice caused him to run into the concrete wall and disintegrate his car.

The next morning, the voice was more persistent. All throughout rush hour traffic the voice bothered him. It annoyed him while at the water cooler at work. It bothered him during a senior staff meeting on the affects of the latest computer virus on their system. It bothered Scott at lunch, in the afternoon, and all during the trip back home again. Scott began timing it on his watch. It had begun to repeat in a pattern: every 32 seconds for five minutes. Then it would take a whole two minutes off, then begin again. Roughly, the voice irked Scott about sixty times every hour.

The next two days, even on Saturday and Sunday, while he tried to Christmas shop and watch football, the voice would not let up. He became noticeably irritable and short-tempered, causing his wife and dog to shy away from him. They knew something was wrong with him but had no idea as to what.

"Leave your wife, sell your car, sell your house, go to Vegas."

"LEAVE ME ALONE!" Scott screamed to the cold night sky as he stood out on his back porch. Subsequently, several of the neighbors' dogs began to howl.

Finally, on Monday, Scott gave up. As the voice and the week persisted on, he filed for divorce, sold his car, sold his house, and by Friday he was on a bus, on his way to Las Vegas. Once he was there and checked into a hotel, the voice stopped.

Smiling, happy and a bit crazed, Scott laid on his twin bed and began to giggle.

"You win!" he yelled as he laughed, "You win you bastard!"

After resting about a half hour, the voice came back, but this time it was saying something different.

"Go to the roulette wheel."

"Aw, no!" Scott whined.

"Go to the roulette wheel."

Scott exclaimed a few obscenities.

"Go to the roulette wheel."

"All right, all right!" Scott gave in.

Downstairs, in the casino, Scott took all the money from selling his house and his car and turned it in for gambling chips. Urged by the voice, which this time was sounding off every twelve seconds, Scott made his way to the roulette wheel. Once there, the voice stopped for a moment.

Before Scott could celebrate, the voice returned.

"Put everything on twelve red."

"Twelve red?" Scott said, looking up in the air, "Why twelve red?"

"Put everything on twelve red."

"But --"

"Put everything on twelve red."

"ALL RIGHT," Scott said loudly.

"What'll it be?" the roulette spinner, a balding man, asked Scott.

"Twelve red," Scott said, sliding his pile of chips ahead.

"All righty," the balding man said, smiling. Then he smirked, and spun the wheel. Scott wasn't worried. There was some reason that the voice wanted him to leave his wife, sell his house, sell his car, go to Vegas, go to the roulette wheel, and bet it all on twelve red. There must have been a reason that . . .

"Thirteen black!" the roulette man exclaimed when the ball finally came to a rest. Scott looked, and sure enough, the roulette ball had landed on thirteen black.

As Scott, dumbfounded and penniless, watched the man scoop up all his chips, the voice came back one final time:

"Aw, shit!"

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