Written for OLWG#180
There was five of us sittin’ ‘round the felt-covered table. Six if you counted Miss Fannie who perched on the Kid’s knee showin’ a lot of cleavage. She was certainly a distraction an’ Kid Hicks knew it. There was a lot at stake. Ever’one was strapped.
English Satchell carefully shuffled the cards and dealt. His every move was slow and deliberate and he dealt from the pack of cards lying facedown on the table in front of him. The first card went to Hicks. Miss Fannie scooped it up and showed it to him. Arnold Macy got the second, he didn’t take his eyes off ‘a Satchell and left it where it landed. The next card was mine. I left it facedown, didn’t look at it, but pulled it in closer. Luis got the fourth card. He reached towards it and drummed his fingers on the back. English pulled a card to himself and repeated the process four more times.
Miss Fannie was grinnin’ like a Cheshire cat and holdin’ all the Kid’s cards where he could see ‘em.
“I’ll open fer a hunnert,” he drawled and Miss Fannie snaked her arm around his neck, “oh,” she whispered and kissed his cheek. Kid Hicks shushed her. He tossed a stack of chips into the pot.
“I’ll see yer hunnert,” Macy intoned and he slid a black chip forward. He studied his cards.
My cards were all still facedown. “See the hundred,” I said, “and raise another.” I tossed two black chips in.
Luis said nothing, barely glanced at his hand, and counted out two hundred dollars’ worth of chips. He offered them into the growing piles near the centre of the table. He went back to drumming his fingers.
All eyes were now on the Englishman. He drew a deep breath and looked at each of us, in turn. Finally, he dropped his cards face down on the table, “Fold.”
Miss Fannie giggled and fanned Kid’s cards so that he could see them. He twisted his mouth a bit and put his hand on her ample bottom.
“Hey,” Macy hollered. “Keep yer hands where I can see ‘em.”
When Arnold started to stand, I reached out and stilled him, “Easy there, Mr Macy,” I said, “He didn’t mean nothin’.” Arnold slowly lowered himself back into the chair, shaking his head as he sat. The kid brought his hand up from the whore’s bottom and showed it to everyone. It was empty but Miss Fannie grabbed it and placed it roughly on her breast. The kid squeezed once and then, using both hands pushed all his chips toward the centre of the table.
“All in,” Kid Hicks announced. From his lap, Fannie Parmalee squinted to study his cards.
Macy reached for his drink, amber liquor that Luis made in the back and sold as whisky. He leaned back and made a show of thinking ‘bout his hand. Then, he placed his cards face down on the table and pushed his chips forward. “All right” he said and leaned back in his chair once again. He crossed his arms, waiting.
I was working the math, calculating the side pots and still hadn’t looked at my hand. I had figured out that this could be lucrative for me, if my cards were any good. “I’ll stick around,” I said as I moved my chips forward.
Luis raised his eyebrows and addressed me, “Doc, you haven’t even looked at your cards.”
“It’s OK, Luis,” I replied, “I feel good about this one.”
Luis took a sip of his drink, a clear liquid that I suspected was water. When he sat the glass down he pushed his chips forward too.
“Let’s see what we all have,” Luis said and he lay his cards face-up on the table. He had three aces, Spades, Clubs, and Hearts.
Fannie fanned the Kid’s cards on the table. “Royal Flush, Spades” she said laughing.
“Cheatin’…” was all Arnold Macy said as he pulled his Colt and stood. He was quick. His bullet hit Fannie at the base of her neck, passed through and caught Hicks in the face. It shattered his jaw and the chair tumbled over backwards. Fannie was clearly dead, blood spurting from the hole in her neck. The Kid moaned from beneath her.
By this time we were all standing with our guns drawn. Navarro and Macy fired at the same time and they both went down.
I looked at Satchell and he looked at me. “Wadda ya say, Doc?” he asked, “Wanna split the pot?”
I smiled at him and shook my head, “Don’t think I do,” He was surprised when my bullet pierced his chest and went through his heart. He crumpled I leaned down gathering all the chips from the table. I bundled them in a bandana and with my gun still at the ready I took them to the cashier’s cage.
I handed the scarf full of chips to Mrs Parmalee. “I wanna cash these in please,” I said. “Sorry ‘bout what happened to yer girl.”
This week’s prompts were:
- playing a poor hand well
- not a sound for miles around
- like a poem without words