Chapter 3: Lucille

I was sound asleep, dreaming about Jim Carey – my secret crush. I’m not sure why I keep my attraction to Jim Carey a secret. Maybe it’s because of all of the goofy movies he’s been in.

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Nonetheless, Jim was feeding me spoonfuls of cheesecake drizzled in a chocolate sauce and I was enjoying every minute of it -until someone knocked at the door. Jim turned toward the knocking, pulling the spoon away from me. I rooted for it like a newborn, reaching for it with my lips. I pulled so far forward, I fell out of my chair, landing on the wood floor beneath me.

“Ouch!” I rubbed my knees as I looked around. Jim was gone. The cheesecake was gone.  My bedroom was in its usual state of disarray with clothes scattered all over the floor and empty cartons of ice cream piled up inside of a small trash can in the corner next to my bed.

The knocking was real. I looked at my alarm clock, barely able to see past the cheeseburger wrapper that was bunched up in front of it. It was 7:30 a.m.

“Who in the Hell is at my door?” I pulled myself off the floor, hunched over like a 90 year old. With one hand planted on my back, I ambled out of my bedroom to answer the door.

I opened the door, and peeked through the crack. A short woman stood outside, smiling at me.

“Hi there! My name’s Lucille.”

Good for her,” I thought.

Lucille looked like she jumped right out of a 1960s home and garden magazine. She wore her hair in a beehive and was dressed in a white blouse and dark blue Capri pants.

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“I’m your buddy!”

“Excuse me?” I asked. 

“Your buddy,” she repeated. “From the program.”

“The program?” I thought. My eyes fell to the floor as I struggled to remember what she was talking about. Memories of the day before and this strange watch-thingy on my wrist came back full force.


“Oh! The program.” I blurted out. “Right. Yes. Of course.” I opened the door all the way and let Lucille inside.

She looked around at my apartment – an environment not suitable for rodents let alone humans. Every surface of my couch was torn up from an ex-boyfriend’s crazed cat.

There were stains all over the carpeting in the living room and from the stench that filled the air, I was certain something died in my kitchen last night but I was too afraid to go in there to check it out.

“Well,” Lucille began. “This is charming.” She turned and faced me, looking me up and down. “Turn around.” She spoke with a soft, almost inaudible tone.

“Pardon?” I asked.

“Turn around,” she said, this time with a more forceful tone.

I did as I was told.

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“My, my, my,” Lucille said. “Clearly we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

I finished my slow, clumsy spin and faced her.

“You’re a mess,” she said with a cheerful tone. “But that’s okay.”

I folded my arms across my chest and looked down at the floor in shame.

“Hold out your wrist, please.”

“Why?” I asked.

Lucille pulled a tiny, copper hook out of her pocket, stuck it into a hole inside of my Right Byte wristband and twisted it until it made a soft clicking sound. 

“It’s time to get this party started!” she sang, clapping her hands. “Now, anytime you cheat, I’ll know.”

“How?” 

“This wristband has been tracking your eating patterns for the last 24 hours. You see,” she continued, “when you eat something you enjoy, you have a happy blood pressure. When you eat something you don’t enjoy, you have a Ho-Hum blood pressure. And now that it has been tracking your eating habits for a full day, I’ve activated it. Whenever you cheat, it’ll shock you and send me a notification. Every time you cheat, the shock will grow a little stronger.”

She held up her wrist, revealing a similar device.

“I’m sorry,” I said, rubbing my eyes. “Did you just say shock? As in electrical?”

“Uh huh,” she said, nodding her head enthusiastically.

“I don’t think so.”

To be continued…

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