Readings — From the January 2017 issue

The Lottery

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From letters mailed last year to Gettysburg National Military Park by visitors who had taken rocks from the site as souvenirs.

A few years ago I visited Gettysburg. I walked around the battlefield located just off the main road. As I headed back to my car I noticed a small hole burrowed into the side of a slight incline. I peeked inside and saw a projectilelike stone. The rock had what appeared to be a powder burn on one side, leading me to conclude that it may have had some connection to the battle. I took it home with the intention of caring for the stone. Since, I have experienced unwavering misfortune. I have lost my wife to divorce, lost jobs, homes, friends, money, all in rapid succession. I’ve been in car accidents, been a victim of fraud, faced legal problems, and been hospitalized. Please return this stone to the field as soon as possible. I am sorry for removing this stone from its hallowed place.

I am returning a rock that my son took off the battlefield years ago. This might explain the extreme bad luck my family has had since then. Deaths, surgeries, bad health, job loss, foreclosure, accidents. I do apologize for his taking the stone; he was a young boy at the time and was really into collecting rocks.

Please accept my apology for taking this rock from Little Round Top. I have had nothing but bad luck for the past nineteen years.

This rock was taken from Devil’s Den. Since this has been in my home, our lives have been a living hell. Please forgive my trespass.

Please return these cursed rocks to Devil’s Den and Little Round Top. Sorry.

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