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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

In the city of Heco, gods control the fabrics of reality, and offer peace in exchange for a ritual sacrifice. But not a typical one- the sacrifices of those that lose in an infamous card game, known as "4 and a Q". A man named Melvin is well known for playing and winning most of the recent games, but is challenged by an opponent- an older man who used to play the game, known as "Gamble".


by Spencer Rhodes

The city of Heco bursted with neon lights during the night time bliss. Crime and ruin were everywhere. Deaths and shoot-outs were a typical set of events that occured every night. The garbage police force and the mostly useless government office did little to keep the city in shape. But in the night, in the resturants and bars and dance clubs, where every alien, human, or other that walked in could have a good time, where all you could see were the lights, and little of the filth that laid in the shadowy corners, it was heaven. 

Holaiva was the most popular dance club, and was also the biggest, in size and in scope. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the most popular music by demand played accross the mall-like structure, where there were multiple attatched buildings and areas, from several bars, to a food stand, to an arcade game room and bowling alley, and these were just a few of the sections of Holaiva. But the most occupied part was always the multiple dance floors that were jointed together, with bars in between. Holavia wasn't a place of racism. Any species could come and have a good time. The colorful floors constantly shifted their shapes, and the music was loud enough that you could barely hear a blowhorn if it went off. Everyone danced- the humans, the young, sexy alien females with their long hair and blue skin. 3 eyes can be jarring for some of the other species, but when your look at the pretty lipstick they usually have on, you'd forgot the third eye.

In one of the small rooms was where the game was played. The game known as "4 and a Q". Once a week, a group of 12 would gather around the table in the middle of the room and play the game, while being viewed by cameras, and the game be broadcasted to the city live. After a few hours, one would win the game, and the others would lose. And suddenly, their heads would implode violently and quickly, exploding into a puddle of blood and tissue matter. These 11 losers wre dead because the gods killed them. No one can see the gods, but they're above the city, and they hover around, watching. They might not see all or hear all, but they known when the game ends, and to cause the explosions of the losers' heads. The winner, however, would remain alive, sitting in the table while everyone else dies. They win a million dollars and are offered more, if they choose to compete in the next game, 7 days later.

For Melvin, this was too easy. For the past 57 weeks, he had played 4 and a Q, and won every game. 'This is easy. Almost too much so.', he thought to himself as he played his hand in the 58th. The game was halfway done, and as always, he knew he was going to win. The other 11, mostly aliens of different species, grudingly laid down a card, one after the other, but it was a pointless exercise.

Melvin was a human in his early 30s. His skin was tan white with dark brown hair in the shape of a goatee, and he had combed back hair. He was also famous and rich, and while it might be best for him to quit the games and enjoy the remaineder of his life while he was ahead, for him this was an addiction. 

The rules of the game are simple. Everyone gets 4 cards at first, out of 12 ones, 12 twos, 12 threes, 11 fours, and a Q card, the best card. 4s are the worst cards, and it goes up from there in terms of cards you want to have, with ones being the best numbers. In a circle, each player lays down any card they want, with it's back up. They then annouce what the card is, but the player up next can call them bluff. If the player who laid their card down was bluffing about what they said, they have to give them their best card, while getting the player's worst in exchange. It goes on and on in a circle until after a few hours, where they can agree to end the game and reveal the 4 cards they have. The best 4 you can possibly have are 3 ones and a Q, automatically making you the winner.

"NO! God-Dammit! No!", this tall, oranage-collored creature that looked like a walking rock screamed as the game ended. Everyone looked down at their deck in dread, except for Melvin of course, who won the game. He sat back and relaxed. "aaah, sorry guys. Just remember, your deaths are to keep the gods from destroying the city. It will always be appreciated.", Melvin said as he smirked. "No!", the rocky alien's deep voice roared across the rooms, nearly shattering a few of the cameras that were recording them. "I should've won!" Melvin simply shrugged in response, instigating the walking rock to pull out a pistol and point it at Melvin, but before he could pull the trigger, his head exploded into blood, goo and rocks. 

"When will they ever learn?" Melvin asked the other 10. "Trying to escape or do something phsyically threatening only makes you die quicker. The gods watch. They see everything." "Are you a cheat?", another alien asks. "No, only a skilled player." Melvin smiled. "By the way, if any of you have any last words, I'd say them now. It should happen any moment now. The other aliens just looked down in silence, some in shock, some in anger, and some in sadness. "My girlfriend will be ok", one of the players said half-heartedly, as if making a passing comment. Melvin then put on a football helmet, and seconds later all of the others' heads splattered on the walls and table like a set of balloons popping. Melvin remained in his seat, covered in blood. "Blech!"

The next day, Melvin was at his house, admiring himself in a mirror that sat in one of his bedrooms. The tuxedo he was wearing looked good. "So Errald, do you think this makes me look too thin?", he asked his elder butler, a human that was standing a few feet behind him. "I think it looks fantastic master, simply fantastic." "Yeah, well, I hope Laurie shares your enthusiasm. She's usually hard to impress, you know." "And with good reason.", the butler pointed out. "You're a legend." Suddenly the door beside them opened, and Melvin's family walked in. His two green skinned-children ran to him and hugged him. They were twins of the age of 6, a boy and a girl. "Hey guys, hey, hey, whoa, don't tear up the suit." He looked up at his wife and laughed. Laurie smiled. She was beautiful. Her skin was bright orange and her pupils were yellow, which almost matched her long blond hair. The two kissed. "Does it look good?" Melvin asked her. "Yes, perfect for the party. Now lets go, you're taking far too long." "Right", Melvin agreed.

The party was a gathering and tribute to the gods. Everyone there was rich and dressed well like Melvin's family. Melvin chatted with everyone and casually walked around and had a few drinks, until his cell phone went off. He answered it. "Hello?" "Hello.", a dark, rough and edgy voice replied. "Who is this?", Melvin asked. "You know who I am. I am famous, like you. I used to play 4 and a Q every week and win, although I haven't for over 20 years. My name is Qrotar Gamble, and I am going to beat you in the next game, should you choose to still play." "Are you kidding me?" Melvin chuckeled. "Is this a fucking joke?" "No, why would you say that?" "Listen to me old man, I don't know who you think you are or what you're trying to prove, but please don't act weird with me." "Am I acting weird? Did I say something wrong. I was as polite and mannered as I could possibly be, something I'm not known for. I'm just letting you know that I'm going to be at the next game, and am going to win at the next game. I'm even going through the trouble of giving you a chance to walk away." "Hahahaha, you're serious?! Wow man, hey, I'll tell you what. I AM going to be at the next game and I will win. Bye fucker." Melvin hung up the phone. "Is everything ok, honey?", Laurie asked. "Yeah, everything's fine.", Melvin said as he took a deep breath and went back to the group.

Days later, on the night of the game, Melvin sat in his chair with 10 others. The cameras were on as most of everyone in the city watched the tv live. 2 aliens were talking about the game like they did every week on tv, explaining the players' motives and predicting who would get what cards and how they would play. "Alright Sam, everyone's together except for Gamble." "You know, I find it interesting that he is, in fact, playing against Melvin." "It's very interesting, because Gamble was a legend back in the day, but surely he can't go against Melvin! Melvin is the unstoppable young wolf!" "We'll just have to see."

Outside of Holaiva, a shuttle came and stopped, and walking out of it was a figure in a black coat and black hat. He walked with his head down. He was in his 50s, and most of his skin was unnaturally green, like a layer of skin had been ripped off of it. The parts that weren't green were white, and the flesh was more full-looking. This was Gamble, and he was walking to the table.

The aliens continued their discussion. "Gamble's a weird story. He should be still living in his mansion in Mocow, but has come all this way to compete." "Ever since that chemical accident at the age of 5, he's had those famous scars." "It is quite surreal to look at."

Gamble got to the table and sat down in the only empty chair. "Well look who's finally arrived." Melvin commented. Gamble simply sat there quietly, as the 12 players took 4 cards from the stack of cards in the middle of the table. The game had began. It was intense. Melvin was looking intensely at Gamble, who's lack of an any emotion almost made him look like he was the devil. But he was going to beat Gamble, he knew it. After the first hour, he called Gamble bluff on one of the cards he laid down and was correct, and did it again about 45 minutes later. Now surely he was going to win. At this point, it occured to him to ask the deformed-looking man a qustion. "So Gamble, if you don't mind continuing to be polite, why did you want to face me? Why do you want to prove so badly that you're better than me?" Gamble just breathed for a moment, then responded. "You've won a lot of games. You're the new icon, and you're good looking. It's made me a forgotton afterthought. But that will change tonight." "Huh. I almost feel sorry for you." Melvin commented. "I feel sorry for you.", Gamble continued. "A wife and children, a mansion, all the glory, and you still play. Do you have a death wish?" "No. I just...knowing that the grandchildren of your grandchildren will have enough money to pass down to their grandchildren gives you a feeling of power."

The game had finally ended. As the other 10 players sighed and laid down their unfavorable hands, Melvin smiled and revealed his; three 1s and a 2. "Ha! Almost perfect. We both know you can't beat that." Gamble looked at Melvin with sadnes in his aging eyes, then laid down his cards; 3 twos and a Q. Suddenly, the color in Melvin's face dipped and his grin leaned over into a sucked-in frown. The others couldn't help but be impressed while waiting for their imminent demise. "three Q. That can be straight 2s, which is better.", Gamble explained. Melvin simply stared at the cards in horror, as as he sweated and stuttered. "I-I'm not that good looking." Suddenly, 11 players' heads, including Melvin's exploded everywhere. Gamble simply sat in his seat, covered in guts from head to toe, and he took out a ciggerate and lit it.


Submitted: January 27, 2015

© Copyright 2020 insanewriter94. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Well,I'm not a big fan of Thrillers but i read it as it was a request and since i said that i read anything.
So it was great and very well written,well that's all what i can say..But i gave it a LIKE :)
Keep writing and i wish you all the best :)

Thu, February 12th, 2015 3:52pm

The Forgotten Earth's Son

umm, it's original but rather spontaneous. perhaps you should add small nuances to hint at the ending rather than it being too much of a spontaneous shock to the reader.
Nevertheless, keep on rollin' xD
(I apologize for bad humor)

Thu, February 12th, 2015 8:26pm


Hey there! Well, I ain't that much into fantasized thrillers but this one was good. The descriptions were amazing and in detail. The last scene were you say that Gamble gets covered in guts and blood and still lit up a cigarette and sat there .... That was... Lol. To be honest, the plot could have been a lil' more better. And I never understood the reason why the gods killed the 11loser of 4 and q

Tue, March 3rd, 2015 10:22am


Not really the sort of stuff I usually read but it was well done. I'm not a fan of the centre-justify and the general set out needs to be sorted so it is easier to read. Layout is easy to sort and will improve the experience. ~EoM

Sun, March 22nd, 2015 9:32am


This is an original concept for a story, but I feel like you could expand on it and go in to more depth on the world and the people who live there. Maybe that's for another story though. Just look over your sentence structure and the flow of the story in general, what I do is read it backwards, it make finding any errors a little easier. Other than some simple syntax stuff though this is great!

Sun, March 22nd, 2015 2:25pm


hey.sorry for the late comment.was kinda,this was interesting..while reading, I could'nt wait to reach the end..will definitely read the other chaps whenever i get time..LOVED IT :)

Mon, March 23rd, 2015 11:12am

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