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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The short tale of a man risking a lot to gain a little.

Submitted: March 23, 2017

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Submitted: March 23, 2017




a short story by mckinley mansfield

I sat outside the casino on a little concrete bench, waiting. Waiting for anyone, really. If everything went according to plan, it would be someone I had never seen before with a piece of paper. I waited for a while, and finally the guy came. He smiled, passed me the piece of paper that I needed, said, “You two really do look identical”, and left. The paper contained the words ‘hit’ and ‘stay’ multiple times in rows. I copied the rows onto my left palm with a Sharpie marker, using ‘H’ and ‘S’ as abbreviations. These letters would prove very useful to me in a few minutes. I stuffed the piece of paper into my pocket and walked into the casino.

The fact that the guy showed up told me that the plan had worked and that I had nothing to worry about. Of course, I wasn’t going to go around the casino waving my hand around, drawing unnecessary attention to myself. That would be stupid. And, like I said, unnecessary. So I didn’t do that.

I sat down at a random blackjack table and began to play. I bet pretty small, as I wasn’t trying to bring too much attention to myself, but my winnings added up. I’d slip in the occasional look at my palm, but I didn’t do it too often. I made sure to wear a watch with the face facing me so that when I took a look at the results it wouldn’t look too sketchy. As expected, I got away with it.

When I got to the last letter on my palm, I cashed out my chips and left the casino as soon as possible. I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. It was as if I had gotten away with a great heist or bank robbery or something. I got into my car and tossed the wads of cash onto the passenger seat. It was beautiful. But I wasn’t finished yet.

When I got home, I went straight to the basement and into the box. I flipped the switch inside, got out after about a minute, checked the time, and realized that I was in the right place. I reached into my pocket and took out the piece of paper. The columns of ‘hit’ and ‘stay’ were still there.

I called a taxi and got a ride down to the casino I had just been playing at. Only, at this time, I had not played yet. I made sure to be dropped off about a block from the casino, as I was not trying to be seen by myself. I don’t know what would happen if I was, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be good. Then I began to walk. I checked my watch. I was on schedule.

Then I saw him; the man. I tapped his shoulder and he turned around.

“Can I help you?” he asked. I handed him the piece of paper from my pocket and told him of how my twin brother was sitting on a bench outside the casino entrance and that it was extremely important that he receive the paper. He asked me, “What if I don’t give it to him?” and I smiled and told him, “I know you will.

© Copyright 2018 mckinley mansfield. All rights reserved.

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