Read Part 1 here
and Part 2 here and part 3 here
It's taking far too long to register a demo account, what the hell, no pun intended, is a zip code anyway? Finally I am given a generous ten thousand dollar account to play with. I lock eight of my keyboard tired fingers, and push my palms outwards, "let's play some poker." Just as I prepare to focus and get my game head on, a large thump rattles my white entry door. I walk towards the sound, my ears straining to collect any evidence of what produced the noise. My right eye kisses the small spy glass, this affords me a fish eyed view of the outer corridor. I can make out one full character, a thin black man with a menacing shaved head. He is wearing a pale yellow Ralph Lauren shirt and what looks like red dice cuff links. He has a half smoked cigarette in his mouth and is looking towards the floor. I remain quiet and hope this unwarranted interruption will soon move it self to another location in the grand hotel. Finally he speaks, I can tell they are words of anger, but can not make out what is being said. He helps a fallen man to his feet, traces of fresh blood around his mouth, start to explain exactly what has occurred on my door step. The second man is probably Mexican, certainly from South America, he is dressed more casually, his white t-shirt blazon with a Pacific Beach graphic. I turn to my lap top, itching to return to the game. I guess it's human nature but I can't fall back on my bed until these two yahoos disappear.
The circular view seems to indicate the hall way is now empty, I feel like a frightened zebra, looking for confirmation two hungry lions are far away. I turn the heavy handle and pull the door inwards, my black and white stripes exposed on the dusty battle plain. I exhume air of relief and then feel a mist of disbelief coat my eyes. On the floor is a kilo heavy package, each end wrapped in brown tape, the middle exposing a white powder. I need to act quickly, my movements are swift and before you could give me one reason not to, I am laying on my bed, poking the soft contents. My pulse is racing, my levels of joy are setting new records. I find my small black bathroom bag, folded in my as yet unpacked case and recover a small pair of scissors. "It's snowing in Vegas," I tell the quiet yet tense room. I carefully cut into one end of the precious bundle, and bend one fold of the clear wrapping. I trap a small amount of the white powder on one of the sharp silver arms, hold the scissors steady and breathe in the crystallised cream. Licking my finger, I drop the thirsty digit into the bag, I smear the contents against my red gums. I feel the wind of satisfaction blow the stubborn roof off this room, the air is cold, my blood warm, in perfect harmony I stroll the dizzy lights.
I am completely unaware of time, seconds become minutes. My numb torso stares, until tears of over strain fall. My phone makes that annoying sound, telling me I have a message. I wipe my eyes and start to read the message, written in bold capital letters. At first I fail to grasp what the delivery is saying, the words just float on their green l.c.d. bed. Then I vocally announce the verse, "I hope you haven't forgotten our date at one minute past midnight?" I feel the scales of a slippery wet fish, strike my drug fuelled cheeks. That fucking hound has tricked me again, left a cookie for Santa, and I was wearing the red inflated suit. I pulled a comb through my hair, discarded the white metaphorical beard, and had approximately ten minutes to take my chair, hold some cards and defend my soul. I threw one last glance over the room, turned the lights to zero and stepped into the corridor. I walked straight into the chrome weight of a revolver, which was already scratching my forehead. A Jamaican voice was demanding I return his property at once, or a fast bullet would enter and exit my skull before I could fall to the floor. He can smell his cocaine oozing out of every sweaty pore on my pathetic body. The time for bluffs was not now, I reached into my pocket for the entry key, the gun still pressed hard against my skin. Each pocket just revealed a very thin lining of cotton, for confirmation I patted each pocket, the cold of his weapon, making my hands shake. My excuse laden eyes met his, I searched the dark pools for mercy, none was forthcoming. A yellow flash, followed by a single crack of war, shook the steady hotel foundations. Everything went dark, the potent smell of gunpowder, a sign at least one of my senses wasn't dead. Now read part 5.