All Bets are Final!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A flash fiction piece for the Writer's Digest Flash Fiction Challenge. A short suspense piece, that is downbeat and very much a pulp piece to its core.

“Ladies and gentlemen, come now, place your bets, but be warned, all are FINAL!” laughed the croupier, dressed sharply with a sinister, bloodstained smile draped across their plastic face. My eyes danced around the lavish and sharply dressed casino patrons. The sound of their conversations and laughter filled out the hall, extracting a merry time from all, except for me that is.

I thought back to my conversation with the boss earlier.

“You’ve been behind on your payments, my boy. Me and my crew, well, we’ve been waiting a long while. I used to be able to guarantee your safety, but to be quite honest, I don’t like to be played, especially not by one of my own,” he snarled. A heavy set man, at one point, he was the strongest around. He still was, just in a more… business setting now.

I gulped heavily, feeling the lump stick inside of my throat.

“Of course not, sir,” I stammered. I could feel the profuse sweat forming across my forehead, with the perspiration dripping down my face. I ruffled my shaky hands through my hair, slicking it back, hoping to regain some portion of my composure.

“To regain some of my faith in you, son, I’m going to need a more hefty payment.” He slammed his fists heavily down on the rickety desk, that squeaked underneath the strain.

“Anything, I promise I’ll fulfill it.”

“Good,” he smiled, with teeth that were as sharp as a butcher’s knife.

“I’ll need a payment of say, one grand.” I let out a sigh of relief.

“Only a grand, sir?”

“Yes,” he said, with his deep voice bouncing across the stone walls with an echo.

“When do you need it by? I can have it ready in a couple of-”

“Hours,” he said, finishing my sentence. He leaned back in his tall, fine leather chair, that strained underneath his form. I froze, thrown right back into my fear once again.

“A few hours?” I asked, meekly. He nodded.

“Why, I have five hundred that I can offer up right now-”

“No good,” he growled, cutting me off. He straightened his gray suit jacket, with white stripes that reminded me of a prison cell.

“I don’t take kindly to being shorted, and neither do my men.” He eyed me up heavily.

“I may be willing to take that as payment, but my men? Why, after midnight, I cannot guarantee your safety,” he said, shaking his head.

He popped the lid off of the fine decanter that sat on his desk, and poured himself a small glass of whiskey, the brown liquid oozing down into the fine glass like fresh, warm blood.

“By midnight, I need it.” Those were the only words that echoed in my mind now.

As the croupier took the last bets, I swallowed heavily. I put all five hundred dollars down on this game. With an intense flick of the wrist, the ornate, wooden roulette wheel began to spin lazily, without a care in the world. The attendant spun the ball in the opposing direction. Both danced and hopped around, with the ball dancing with every single hit that it landed.

Now all eyes were on it, including mine. I could feel all the weight on my shoulders, the pressure mounting. Just like my debt, I was not in control, especially not now.

As I waited for the outcome, only one thought could cross my mind.

If it doesn’t land on red, well then, you know what’ll happen.

Submitted: February 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Jordan the Author. All rights reserved.

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