Author Topic: You bet your wife and lost  (Read 2298 times)

skip slocum

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You bet your wife and lost
« on: December 06, 2008, 12:00:49 AM »
These scenes pick up in the middle of this short story. Steve is a compulsive gambler and his friends are trying to save him before he looses his wife completely.

“Do you think he’ll agree?”

“Sure he will, he doesn’t think he has a problem, he’s in denial, and he’ll do it to prove he isn’t frightened by this, pretending he is still in control.”

     It was my job to explain it to Steve, show him Sherry’s signature on the work-contract as well as get him to sign it and the loan documents. He was already into me for five grand so he agreed. He must have thought he wouldn’t hit us up for any more cash, this way Sherry stayed home with him; he would carry on as usual. What he didn’t know was my wife and I have already made some calls, this city was dried up for him when it came to markers or loans. If he needs cash, we’re the only game in town for him.

     I gave him a good-luck charm; it’s a large custom coin similar to the coin the folks in A-A carry. As long as he had it in his pocket, he got to keep his wife. If he cashed it in for a loan, she instantly belonged to me. The good-luck coin is a one of a kind; since it had Y2K on the back of it, I thought it would be fitting to carry an extra two thousand dollars in my wallet.

     He got serious when I asked him if his wife was worth two thousand dollars. I also told him this wasn’t a game, because we cared for him and Sherry we were going to follow through with our promise to take her and work her ass off until he got control. He knew this was a better alternative then dealing with Tony or bent-nose Freddy so he signed the papers.

         He was doing great for a while; he was paying me back as much as he could. I didn’t press him for it because he was my friend, and digging himself out of a deep hole trying to hang onto his house and cars meant patience.

     Instead of going to the next game, I convinced him to bring Sherry over for a cookout. We could sit out that game showing his wife he was trying. Sherry beamed with pride as the girls bustled with their preparations. Steve and I had grill duty so we drank a few beers and enjoyed the warm desert night. He was a little fidgety and I figured the seductive clatter of the poker chips called to him.

     Over the next two weeks he got worse, things were falling apart. He started fighting with sherry again; he looked like a drug addict needing a fix.

     When I got home on Friday, I had a stack of papers to grade so I settled into my office for a brandy and some music. Glancing out my window, Sherry beat-feet across our back yards, anxiously she knocked on our back door. I heard Grace trying to calm her down as I made my way down the hall.

“Ed, you gotta stop him he wants to go to the game tonight, you didn’t tell him you were going did you?”

“No sweetie, but I can’t stop him if he goes.”

     I went over to talk to him but he was determined to go so I went with him as the voice of reason. Sherry figured that was better than turning him loose without anyone to pull him back a little. He kept telling me he was going to play tight, not falling for every loose bet that beckoned for action. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The worst part was every pot he won gave him the feeling he was in total control.

     They had three tables going in John’s living room with plenty of drink and munchies. I took a break and went out back to smoke a nice little ‘Henry-clay’ I had been saving since I only do cigars at our games and John’s wife didn’t want it in the house.

     I could look in through the picture window seeing things start turning for the worse Steve’s stack of chips dwindled. He waited for the blinds to pass him then he craned his neck to look around trying to find me. I took a few more steps out into the shadows not making it easy for him.

     I could already hear the conversation in my head before he found me. I would pat him on the back and tell him it just wasn’t his night and we’ll get them some other time. He would insist he could feel his luck changing and on and on.

     Part of me was hoping he would try to make the loan because having his pretty little wife cook and clean for us was appealing, hell she was better at fixing those exotic dishes than my Gracie. I knew I was pushing it but I also imagined her in one of those French-maid outfits dusting and bringing me ice-tea.

    When he did find me, I had him convinced we should just bow out. I didn’t want him to go back in so I told him I would go cash us both out, letting him leave through the side gate and I would meet him out by the car. I told the guys we were gonna pack it in for the night while I collected my chips off the table.

     When I turned, Steve was right behind me holding the Y2K coin.

“I can buy it back from you before we leave, then everything will be fine, trust me.”

Offline REGeorge

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Re: You bet your wife and lost
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2008, 12:25:35 AM »
Compelling stuff, and very well written. Especially the kind of sadistic turn that the narrators internal dialogue he is trying to help his friend out, and he's having a fantasy about having his friend's wife as a personal maid? It's vulgar but it's honest. I'd definitely read more of this story.

Can't wait to read more

Offline flights_of_fantasy

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Re: You bet your wife and lost
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2008, 02:48:58 AM »
I liked this one a lot, Skip.

You set the scene very well, I thought, and you left me curious to see what happens next.

There were a few technical issues that you can catch in the editing. A couple of times you slipped tense and there were some small punctuation issues, but nothing major.

Keep going!  :)

"A searing indictment of domestic servitude in the eighteenth century, with some hot gypsies thrown in. My magnum opus, Baldrick. Everybody has one novel in them, and this is mine."
Edmund Blackadder, Blackadder the Third, Ink & Incapability

skip slocum

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Re: You bet your wife and lost
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 08:06:00 AM »
Thanks guys (an Gals) I had fun writing this one. I'm finding out I get to say and do things as characters that would get me in loads of trouble otherwise. Ha

Offline Gyppo

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Re: You bet your wife and lost
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2008, 10:42:48 AM »
I'm finding out I get to say and do things as characters that would get me in loads of trouble otherwise.

One of the perks of being a writer ;-)

I like the idea behind this.  It has definite possibiities.  Good characterisation too.  Worth finishing.

My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at

skip slocum

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Re: You bet your wife and lost
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2008, 11:03:58 AM »
Thank you Gyppo, I'll send you the rest of it.

Offline "lorraineofkeli"

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Re: You bet your wife and lost
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2008, 04:00:37 PM »
This reads very well and I enjoyed it.. nice work. shall look out for more.

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: You bet your wife and lost
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2008, 12:57:03 AM »
the whole piece can be read here with a warning , if you blush easy,,runaway