Prompt: Title Prompt – Write a story involving playing cards and using these words: Ante, Drag, Bluff, Busted, Blind
Word Count: Up to 1300 words
Deadline: Thursday, July 14, 2011 4:30 pm EST
THE LEFT HAND
By Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
“I’ll meet you in the lounge, about 6:30?” I say to my two new friends. “You can tell me more about this game. It is high-stakes, right? I don’t do penny-ante.”
“$100,000 buy-in… table stakes only. That high enough for you, doll?” Robert asks.
“Perfect!” I stand and offer my hand. “See you then.” I walk away, across the lobby of the Benson Hotel, toward the elevators. I don’t have to look back to know that their eyes are glued to my ass. They better be… for what I paid for this dress!
“Are my seams straight?” Stepping back from the mirror, I turn to my lover.
“I don’t know why you bother “tarting up” so much; no one is going to see your legs.” Jenny motions me to turn around so she can see the back of my legs.
“Glass-top table.” I say, winking into the mirror.
“Well, I suppose it’s better than flashing your boobs like you did in Salt Lake City.”
“Ronnie… Please! Tell me you’re not…?”
“Hey! Who knew Mormons were such a randy bunch?”
“Uh-huh… who knew? They were Mormons, hun… they weren’t blind!”
“Just using what God gave me, sweetie!”
“When do I get to be the “bad girl”? I’m tired of always playing the prim little Sunday School teacher!”
“But, Jenny… you do it so well! Besides… I’m allergic to long skirts and high-collar blouses.” I give my generous breasts a squeeze. “My girls need breathing room!”
Jenny rolls her eyes and lets out a long sigh. “Okay… this time. But when we hit Seattle… I get to be “bad”…I just bought a red latex number that looks like wet paint on me.”
I walk over to Jenny and wrap myself around her slender body, pressing against her thigh. Slipping my hand down to her bum, I whisper in Jenny’s ear…
“The game doesn’t start for a couple of hours; how about we…”
When I walk in to the hotel lounge some time later, Jenny is already seated at the bar, nursing her drink. We ignore each other and I take a seat a couple of barstools down from her.
“Stoli, rocks… with lime, please.” The bartender nods, and moves off.
Promptly at 6:30, Robert and Harrison show up. They order drinks, and then we talk about the game. After awhile, Jenny speaks up.
“Excuse me.” We look over at her. “Yes?” I ask, with a touch of frost in my voice. Even dressed very primly, Jenny exudes a sex appeal that men cannot resist… it never fails.
“I was wondering if your game was open to anyone… I’ve always wanted to learn how to play poker.”
Robert and Harrison exchange looks… Robert speaks.
“Well, little lady… this is a big game… lot of money involved… you probably want to start a little smaller.” Ignoring the condescension in his voice, Jenny smiles back sweetly.
“My father is Charles Lambert… you may have heard of him?” Charles Lambert is the third richest man in the Pacific Northwest… right behind Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Ooh… nice touch, Jenny!
Harrison looks at Robert… Robert looks at me… I shrug my shoulders.
“Fine with me… her money will spend just as easily yours.” I say with a little wink. They both laugh.
We are seven… seated around a big glass-topped table in the Presidential Suite. Introductions are made, and a white-jacketed bartender takes everyone’s order. The banker/dealer, Tomas, counts in cash and hands out chips. A casual look around the table and some quick mental math… there is close to a million dollars in this room!
Tomas passes the deck to me for the cut.
“Seven card stud… Aces high and low… three raise limit?” Everyone nods agreement.
“Gentlemen… and ladies… ante is five.”
I toss a purple chip in the center of the table; the others follow suit. Tomas deals. Jenny is directly across the table from me, next to Harrison.
My first up-card is the lowest on the table, a “6”. I lift the corner of my two down-cards briefly… a “7” and an “8”. I allow the tiniest twitch at the corner of my mouth.
I toss out a burgundy chip and turn to my left, giving the man a smile.
“That’s a nice tie, Howard. Your wife has excellent taste.”
Howard tosses out a burgundy chip… and then, another.
“Raise.” He winks at me. “I’m not married.” I wink back. Then, you’re gay my friend. I think to myself… straight guys don’t have that good of taste in clothing.
Robert wins the first hand. I actually had the better hand, but I folded early. I have a steadfast rule… never win the first hand… ever!
A minor victory for me in the third hand… nothing to write home about.
With a little coaching from Harrison… he explains “drag”, Jenny wins the fifth hand… not that the girl needs any help. The pot in that hand was just over $28,000.
I made up for folding on a very good first hand, in the sixth… four jacks; two of them were up-cards… I didn’t raise until the last down-card was dealt, giving me my fourth jack. Looking around the table, I gave Jenny a tell, and then tossed two brown chips in the pot. Howard and Jenny both folded. I won $69,500 in that hand.
After eight hands, we take a short break. Jake, the bartender, has brought up some trays of appetizers from the Palm Court’s Tapas menu… the food is exquisite!
Under the pretense that the room is too warm, I shed my blouse in the tenth hand… I am sans brassiere. Jenny was suitably “shocked”, mumbling something about “tarts”. The “gentlemen” tried to let on that my firm and tanned 36D’s didn’t bother them at all…
I won the next four hands.
With the bartender now gone, Jenny fixes everyone drinks while the dealer exchanges some of the players’ chips.
In the sixteenth hand, I tried to bluff with three “3’s” showing. Martin, the quiet one to the right of the dealer called my bluff… the little bastard won with three “4’s”! I lost $81,000.
After the sixteenth hand, we take another break. When Jenny comes out of the bathroom, she is holding a black Sig Sauer P226 DAK in each hand.
“Police! Nobody move!”
Except for me.
I take one of the Sigs from Jenny… we both pull out gold detective shields, holding them up for everyone to see. I speak.
“That’s right, people… you’re all busted! I want everyone to empty their pockets out on to the table. Now!”
I then direct them over to the two large sofas.
Robert speaks up.
“I want my lawyer!”
“Sit down!” I say. I put my blouse back on and collect everyone’s belongings from the table, putting them into a black knapsack.
“Okay, Mr. Dealer… open the safe! All that money is evidence.” Jenny watches over the dealer as he takes the cash from the wall safe and puts it in another knapsack.
Ten minutes later, Jenny has everything we touched wiped down. She sets the two knapsacks by the door.
I glance at the Corum chronograph on my wrist, and walk over to the men.
“How much of that sleeping powder did you put in their drinks?” I ask Jenny.
“Come on, lover… let’s split!”
Forty-five minutes later, we have checked our bags at the airport. I am heading back to the orphanage in St. Louis; Jenny is headlining the new Folies Bergere Revue at Paris Las Vegas.
“Give the children at St Elizabeth’s my love, Sister Veronica. $400,000 is going to buy a lot of new equipment. What are you going to tell Mother Superior?”
I wink at Jenny.
“The left hand of God…?”