When Ren won the global lottery he thought his handheld had been hacked. He knew his chances of winning were small but he bought his tickets daily just like everyone else. The ads said that you paid for the excitement of playing and Ren knew it was true. As soon as he got the news Ren called a lawyer, spending half his weekly salary on the privilege of a consultation. Together they learned that his ticket was authentic. He had won.

Solicitations poured in, begging him to spend his winnings. His mother insisted that he buy practical things like high citizenship, a house on The Green and a Platinum Transportation Pass. He could have all of that now, and for the rest of his life he could live like a retired man. The fortune would buy him a sweet life.

Working in the cube, all Ren could scrape together was just enough for the middle-low lifestyle and to pay his ever present debts. He was mainstream; everything about him was completely the same as the man in the next cube, common job, apartment and debts. Winning the lottery was a sign; this was his chance to escape from monotony. Ren knew he could not let the worlds’ logic dictate to him what he should do with his fortune. The universe was giving Ren a genie in a magic bottle, and his wish wouldn’t be wasted.

Ren contracted the right people. The alteration would not be impossible, but it would take a team of experts to tailor his body to his specific desires. He bleached his golden olive skin and tinted his eyes a deep black. These were the easy modifications, but Ren wanted a full body conversion, a permanent change in his genetic code. He wanted to be like the characters in the novels he read as a child, like the movies that scared and allured him. He wanted his life to have that dark color.

The whole process took two years while a team of experts reinvented his genetic code. The cost used up not only the lottery money, but his personal savings as well. Surgeries and radiation treatments were painful and the viral changes, which carried the code of his wish through his whole body, had him vomiting and shitting at all hours. He nearly died.

Ren knew, when it all started, that he couldn’t go back to his old job, which required that he work in daylight hours. It took a long time to find work he was suited for, long enough that he had to take out a high interest loan just to keep drinking. Finally, Ren found work as a night watchman at a high security living complex on The Green. It was a place where the wealthy went to live in actual two story houses. He spent his nights in a room filled with monitors, his eyes glued to flickering screens.

In the morning, Ren would go back to the place he slept in the janitorial closet. His boss was letting him stay there until he got on his feet again. The light from his eyes turned the black room grey. Ren spent his time reading romantic novels and watching horror movies on a small cracked screen. The hunger was just as he asked for, persistent, gnawing. He laughed and shivered in his bleached white skin. Ren had what he wanted, he was a living nightmare.