Here is what he wrote:
I am rushing to my job in Times Square. I am just about to arrive when a weird person dressed as a genie hands me a piece of paper. It has a picture of a bunch of scattered playing cards, and I think casino. I think nothing more about it until after I get off work. I remembered that the person was a fortune teller. I got worried. I thought, “On no, I will become a gambling addict. The first thing to do is call my mom.”
“Hey, mom,” I said, “something bad in my life might happen, and I might become a gambling addict. I am going to stay away from casinos for the rest of my life.”
“Okay. Stay safe.”
I started making plans.
This is a great piece of fast writing. Altan wrote nothing about the job, as if the job were unimportant, and focused on the incident, as if it were monumental. He told me that if given more time, he would have written the rest of the story.
Here is what I wrote:
Elvira, the fortune teller, sat at her sidewalk table, a bunch of orange carts piled on top of each other, and beckoned me with her dark eyes. I didn’t want to get close and smell her dirty clothes. Something drew me to her. She held up a photo of playing cards. I am a recovering gambling addict. That was what drew me to her.
I looked away briefly. My resistance was as weak as a cat seeing a dish of milk or a dog eyeing a turkey bone.
She said, “Come forward, you handsome boy, you hunk of a man.”
I was confused. She was old and wizened. Termites showed more grace and manners than she.
“Who me?” I said.
I posted this entry on Quora in The Writer's Review and asked for a critique.