Hard Rock Jobs, Employment in Biloxi, MS Indeed.com

Drove my Cayman home this weekend

Drove my Cayman home this weekend
Just wanted to introduce myself to the community and jump on the "picked up and drove my Cayman home" bandwagon from last week.
I purchased a 2016 Cayman from a Mercedes dealership in Lafayette this weekend and drove it home to Atlanta - stopping at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi for a few pictures on top of their parking deck. That was a long (and ultimately painful to the legs) drive and I'm hoping I can get the Cayman out on some North Georgia twisties today to feel her out.
This isn't my first Cayman - I had a 2009 (second Cayman in the pictures) that I had to sell at the beginning of the pandemic due to a job loss. Once our family's finances recovered I spent the last two months trying to find another 987.2 - but y'all know how hard these are to find (and how much the prices have gone up). When I sold mine in March - it was gone a day after I posted it to Autotrader.
The 981 was a compromise with the wife - she's got a 2008 Mercedes SLK I've been trying to replace and the PDK was a must-have for her.


2016 Cayman

2016 Cayman

Long Drive Home

Previous Cayman
submitted by _shiny_side_up_ to Porsche_Cayman [link] [comments]

[HIRING] 40 Jobs in MS Hiring Now!

Company Name Title City
R. E. Garrison CDL-A Driving Jobs - Dedicated Lanes Abbeville
Milan Supply Chain Solutions Class A CDL Company Truck Drivers Aberdeen
R. E. Garrison CDL-A Driving Jobs - Dedicated Lanes Aberdeen
R. E. Garrison CDL-A Driving Jobs - Dedicated Lanes Ackerman
Cylcon Jobs - FedEx Ground PH US Fedex Ground Ph Us Warehouse Evenings Acklena
Cylcon Jobs Fedex Ground Ph Us Warehouse Evenings Acklena
Tri-National Inc CDL-A OTR Driving Jobs - $6K Sign-On Bonus - Avg. $75k/Year Alligator
Diversicare Certified Nursing Assistant - CNA/STNA Amory
Lawrence Merchandising Part-Time Retail Merchandiser Amory
Variant CDL-A Experienced OTR Truck Drivers Amory
MVL MVL: Cdl-A Company Driver Truck Driver - Home Weekly Amory
Ashley Furniture Ashley Furniture: Entry Level Manufacturing - Ripley Baldwyn
Ashley Furniture Entry Level Manufacturing - Ripley Baldwyn
Boyd Bros Transportation CDL-A Experienced Flatbed Truck Driver Batesville
N/a Inventory Associate - 0434 Batesville
Tower Loan Customer Service Representative Batesville
Taco Bell Team Member Batesville
Capstone Logistics Warehouse Clerk Batesville
Ochsner Health Ochsner Health: Primary Care Physician - Bay St. Bay Saint Louis
CalArk CalArk: Cdl-A Solo Company Truck Driver Jobs Bay Saint Louis
Footprint Retail Services Retail Merchandiser footprint Retail Services Bay Springs
Ochsner Health Primary Care Physician - Bay St. Bay-Saint-Louis
Ochsner Health System Medical Assistant (MA) - Orthopedics Clinic - Bay St. Louis - Full Time Bay-Saint-Louis
US LBM Holdings Class A or B CDL Driver with Moffett Bay-Saint-Louis
Ochsner Health System Registered Nurse (RN) Medical Surgical - Telemetry - Shifts Varied Bay-Saint-Louis
Penn National Gaming Security Officer - Full Time Bay-Saint-Louis
Burger King Burger King Bay-Saint-Louis
Ochsner Health System Medical Assistant - Podiatry/Wound Care Clinic - Bay St. Louis -PRN Bay-Saint-Louis
Host Healthcare RN Operating Room job in Bay St. Louis, MS Bay-Saint-Louis
SCP Health Emergency Medicine Physician Bay-Saint-Louis
FedEx Cross Border Package Handler- Warehouse Belden
Waste Management CDL Truck Driver - Residential Belden
Tempur-Pedic 3rd Shift Saw Machine Operator Belmont
Tri-National Inc CDL-A OTR Driving Jobs - $6K Sign-On Bonus - Avg. $75k/Year Benoit
Tri-National Inc CDL-A OTR Driving Jobs - $6K Sign-On Bonus - Avg. $75k/Year Beulah
Curo Health Services Registered Nurse Biloxi
Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos Dishwasher Biloxi
Community Health System Phlebotomist, Full Time Biloxi
Company Confidential Advertise on your car! Start collecting “rent” from your own mini billboard. Biloxi
CalArk CalArk: Cdl-A Solo Company Truck Driver Jobs Biloxi
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in ms. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
submitted by DramaticPatience0 to mississippijobs [link] [comments]

PREMIERE: We're Having Issues On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
I sifted in my seat. My ass still in pain from when Nicki Minaj fucked me.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to rhonnie14 [link] [comments]

We’re Having Problems On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to DarkTales [link] [comments]

We’re Having Problems On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to Odd_directions [link] [comments]

We’re Having Problems On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to Wholesomenosleep [link] [comments]

Player Down!

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to libraryofshadows [link] [comments]

We’re Having Issues On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to ComedicNosleep [link] [comments]

We’re Having Issues On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
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