Friday, October 5, 2012

Black Jack

"Not everyone can be bought," she said.  Nervously, she glanced over her shoulder toward the pit boss, hoping the clang of the nearby slot machines drowned out her words.

"That's a new line.  What's made you all high and mighty?" he demanded, yanking his wallet from the inside pocket of his sport coat.  Angrily, he began to peel off bills.  With a flick of his wrist he held out a wad of cash.

"I'm sorry, sir, we don't accept cash at the gaming tables.  You can exchange for chips with the cashier."  She smiled professionally, willing him to walk away.  Turning her back to him, she began shuffling a fresh deck of cards, her hands moving effortlessly, the cards fluttering and flitting against the greet felt of the table.  Her finesse, however, contradicted the storm raging inside her at seeing Jack again.  Her heart pounded and she felt heat rising in her face.  She remembered the small cross Daniel had given her for their second anniversary.  It hung out of sight under her uniform, but it prompted her to pray.  "Please, Jesus ... help me."

She turned her attention to the other gamblers perched on their stools and dealt two cards to each of them.

"Bids start at five dollars.  Five dollars to start bidding, please."  With effort, she kept her voice from trembling.

To her left she could sense Jack's eyes boring into her, still grasping the bills in his hand.  She wondered what she had ever seen in him, how she could have been disillusioned by him for so long.  "Jesus, I'm a new creation.  I am free from the past.  And from him."  She forced herself to focus on her job.  She flipped the upcard:  the jack of diamonds.  A few of the gamblers from her table groaned.  One young man fiddled with his two remaining chips.

She lifted the corner of the hole card with her left hand and the casino lights glinted off the diamond ring she wore.  The ace of hearts.  The players at her table deflated.

"Black Jack.  Sorry, folks.  Looks like a bust all around."

Her hands slid over the table, collecting the cards and chips.  She smiled at the patrons as they gathered their purses and drinks.

"Better luck next time," she said as her table cleared out.  Then he was standing in front of her.  His eyes were glassy and his hands shook.  She almost felt sorry for him.  Almost.

"Sorry, Angela.  Or should I say..." He leaned forward and squinted at her name tag,"...Starla.  I guess you have changed.  Here's to your new life."

He let the money fall onto the table and walked out.

Linking up with The Red Dress Club.  This week's prompt:  450 words with the first and last lines provided, but the middle was up to me!  Thanks to Google and Brett for the rules to Black Jack. :)


  1. Great level of detail. I'd love to know more about the relationship between the two MC. I would even consider focusing a little more on that as she deals instead of just the players who seem inconsequential in the scene.

  2. LOVE. Really great job with the scene description - I've never read anything from a dealer's perspective, so I found it refreshing and unique. Cheers!

    I liked the addition of religion as well.

    Overall, the details you offered really enhanced the narrative!

  3. I like that you show her inner dialogue here; it let's us see how she feels about him without narrating all the details of their past.

    One thing: I think most casinos let you change money at the tables. I don't know if that's a rule that changes from casino to casino, but when I've been to Vegas, usually they just call out something like, "Changing fifty!" and have a little slot in the table for the money, providing your chips right there. Like I said, I don't know if that's everywhere or just where I've been.

  4. Great job. That flowed beautifully.


Thanks for visiting! Your comments are warm fuzzies! (And con-crit is always welcome, too.)