Wednesday, September 15, 2010

That Reminds Me Of A Story

Wow, this blog has been lonely for the past week.

"Sorry blog."

Now how many people talk to their blogs? Well, let's face it, sometimes there's nobody else around willing to listen. And besides, my blog never talks back.

"Stop whining."

Um. Okay. Who said that?

Enough of the silly stuff.

I've been bogged down lately with editing my MS and a few wedding related activities. My son is getting married in December and my friend's son is getting married in October.

Last weekend my friend and I tagged along with our husbands to her son's bachelor party in Reno. Had a great time, by the way. No, we did not attend the actual bachelor party. That might have been a bit disturbing.

Anyway, as I pushed the "Draw" button on the video poker game I was playing, I remembered this short humorous story (or macabre, depending on your point of view) I wrote a while back for an amoral and controversial themed project that got scratched due to lack of submissions. I submitted seven, this was one of the milder ones.

Here's the story. Hope you enjoy it.

Lady Luck


Susan Griscom

With the kids asleep in their beds and their father snoring beside me, I stared at the ceiling. I tried to ignore the urge of the phantom voice calling to me. I waited five minutes, then ten. A feeble attempt. I tiptoed from the room. The next couple of hours belonged to me. My private time to zone out. To escape the demands of car pools, PTA meetings, soccer game practices, and homework.

The pressure, too much to endure, my competitive drive besieged me, but my instincts outrivaled most.

Scott didn't appreciate my talent. He worried about the money and begged me to stop. I didn't understand why he had a problem with it. I wasn't sitting in some smoke filled casino night-after-night drinking. He said he'd take the computer away if I didn't quit. I had my doubts about that. The kids needed it for school.

Bills piled up. We needed more money. We always needed more. I don't know where it all went.

The receptionist from the orthodontist had called today, threatening to send the account to collections and informed me that Matthew couldn't come back unless I paid the bill. Bitch. Well, Matt had his braces. He could wait. It wouldn't be too long, I felt lucky tonight.

The virtual room glared on the screen, lighting up the entire office. The green table set with nine hands. Texas Holdem. A game of guts and acuity. My heart pounded with the anticipation of the rush of everyone pitting their skills against mine. A surge of adrenaline tingled through my veins as I thought of holding the winning hand. Tonight I was queen.

I fingered the keyboard. The tip of my forefinger itched to push the up arrow. I looked at my hand. Two red ladies stared back at me. I doubled the bet. In the middle of the table, the first card drawn is a seven-of-hearts. A good sign. Seven being my lucky number and the heart showed promise of a straight if my queens didn't pan out.

The next card came up a king-of-hearts. Oh yeah, things were looking rosy.

The third card down, a four-of-hearts. Mine pounded in my chest. One had to bet big to win big and I knew how to work the table. So I went all in. I tapped the key, pushing the rest of my chips to the center. Five other players folded. I couldn't believe my luck.

The fourth card popped up. Three-of-spades. No worries, I still had one more to go. Two more players folded. Just the two of us now.

"Come on baby. Give it to me."

My legs shook. I thought of the celebration. I could see it now, Scott and the kids, so proud and thankful. The five of us dancing around the living room, discussing our dream vacation. Oh yeah, baby.

The computer flashed the last card up. A five-of-diamonds. "Damn."

In my mind, my opponent's eyes squinted.

Well, I still had my two queens. I couldn't lose.

The other player revealed his cards.

Two kings.

My stomach pitched and I wanted to die.

All my dreams and hopes shattered. I clenched my fists and shoved the keyboard away. Rubbing my face with my hands, I slumped to the bathroom and glared back at the loser I knew I was.

After returning to bed I gazed at the ceiling again, feeling dejected. A drain on my family. More worthless than a tit on a bull. No better than the clowns sitting in the casinos. I hated the fool within my soul.

A breeze blew in through the open window, and with it, a revelation came to me.

Tomorrow I'll be luckier. If Scott doesn't kill me first.

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