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Betting With Your Life

Short story By: YankeesFan68
Flash fiction

A story I wrote for rsjakovac's setting contest. My story takes place in Las Vegas and is about a gambler who tries to trick the wrong people.

© 2013 YankeesFan68 All Rights Reserved

Submitted:Jun 20, 2013    Reads: 25    Comments: 6    Likes: 4   

James hid in a Vegas alley, knowing his minutes were few. He could hear them talking; he could hear them discussing his death. And his torture. "C'mon, Barry," he heard a voice say. "This guy took our money. We can't kill him now. We gotta catch him and turn him in to Big Jon." His heart rate sped up. Everyone into gambling at the casino knew the name. And not to mess with him or any of his guys.

You see, Big Jon was the local mob boss who had a hand in almost any crime in the area. But he was fair in the gambling games at the casino. He didn't mind losing. Unless he was cheated. That was the mistake James had made. The swindler always got away with his little tricks. But this time, he had messed with the wrong guys. He didn't know the guys were high in Jon's ranks. Heck, he didn't know they were involved with him at all.

They'd caught him pulling off one of his tricks. He was usually sly and sneaky, but he had gotten kind of clumsy from a few too many drinks. He'd been winning game after game against them, too. So by the time they'd caught him, he'd had quite a bit of their money. His jacket pockets were stuffed with cash. James even had a couple Benjamins in his right pocket. But it was Big Jon's money; dirty money that he had added filth to.

James could hear their footsteps getting louder. And he had to make a choice: either stay crouched behind a dumpster and hope Barry and his friend pass him up, or make a run for it. It was now or never. James slowly turned. His back was now to the gangsters. He was ready to run, but right as he was about to take off, his world begun spinning.

Booze and beer put him in this situation, and it might've ended up killing him. But through a headache, he forced himself into a low sprint. He turned a corner and found himself deeper in the alleyways. He heard the guys yelling at him.

"There he is, Vinnie!" Barry barked. James felt nauseous, tasting his hors d'oeuvres from earlier. He saw a door on the side of the alley. Praying it wasn't locked, he yanked the handle. He cursed under his breath. It was. Then he saw another one about ten yards further down the alley. He quickly stumbled over to it. He tried the handle and the door opened. Bright light poured out and James glanced back at his pursuers. They were roughly fifteen yards away, gaining quickly. He saw the glint of metal in Vinnie's hand. He couldn't tell whether it was a knife or a gun. Neither was good. But he would honestly prefer a quick death over getting shanked.

The thought of death gave James a sense of urgency. He forced himself through the doorway and found himself in a restaurant's kitchen. His dashed though, bumping a couple people. He made someone drop a hot burger on their leg. He tried to apologize, but a weird yelp came out, along with some regurgitated food. He made his way into the public eating area, earning a few screams from surprised customers.

James looked behind him once more to see Barry and Vinnie knocking people out of their way. One brave man stood in their way. "What is wrong with you two?" he asked. He started to speak again but was cut off by Vinnie driving his knife into him. People began screaming and crying. Barry even looked appalled for a quick second, knowing it was overboard.

James had realized he had stopped running. He burst through the front door of the restaurant and into the street. Away from the chaos of the restaurant. And the pursuers were still there. Maybe he would survive the night after all.

Barry and Vinnie had been apprehended. A cook had hit Vinnie over the head with a frying pan as the brave man bled out, his girlfriend clutching his dying body. Vinnie had been knocked unconscious. Barry had been tackled and he laid there, his hands tied behind his back. The people who took them out had called the cops and an ambulance. They were just waiting for their arrival now. Along with his splitting headache, Barry had something else: a heartache. Barry was crying, sobbing uncontrollably.

He had let someone get away with Big Jon's money. He was going to be arrested. And Jon would make sure Vinnie and Barry would both pay. And Jon knew exactly how to get at Barry. He would have his son killed in the most twisted way possible. And he would make sure Barry heard about it in great detail. Ironically, the only reason Barry had involved himself with the mob was to get enough money to support his wife and his son. But Barry had been warned of the consequences for losing a penny of the crime lord's money. He had been careless, and he was going to pay the price. And Jon would be furious that he'd let a simple drunk get his cash

"You sick monster!" Barry yelled hysterically, although he knew Jon wasn't there. "You touch him and I will kill you!" No one ever knew what he was talking about. Barry had gone insane. It killed him to know the light of his life's days were numbered. And that he could do nothing about it. The swindler was a selfish pig. His dishonest ways have taken the life of an innocent seven-year-old boy. James was no better than Big Jon himself.


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