The Game #15

Edward managed to catch Tim’s eye and gave him just the slightest wink so that Darius could not see it.  Tim appeared to absentmindedly scratch his nose and nodded yes ever so slightly.  Good, thought Edward, one down and eight to go.  Edward turned over his cards as did Tim.

“Straight flush is the winner” said Kenny, sliding the pot toward Edward.  Tim stared at him and Edward nodded “no” just enough for Tim to catch it.  The rumbling began again and water began to pour into almost all of the rooms.  Edward noticed that the water in Mary’s room drained down into the floor.  She stopped and looked down into the drain, then waved “bye-bye” as the last of the water disappeared.  The water in most of the rooms was a couple feet deep, but the level in Gary’s room kept rising until it was almost up to his chest.

“Gary!” Ginger yelled and started to get off her stool.  Craig grabbed her arm and pulled her back.

“Don’t get up, you’ll only make it worse” Craig said.

Craig’s gesture gave Edward some hope that they might get out of this yet.  If the nine of them worked together without Darius catching on, they might have a shot.

The water was still filling Erin’s room.  “Daddy!…..Help me!” she screamed as the water rose up forcing her to tread water.

“Hang on, honey…” Tim said, his eyes beginning to fill with tears.

Everyone turned to look at Erin which put their gaze very close to Edward.  He caught Angela and gave her a small nod in Tim’s direction, and then did the same with George.  He could see the players starting to look at each other; the slightest nod, a twitch, so small that Edward was sure Darius would not catch on.  These players made a living out of studying body language and instead of trying to hide it from each other, they were using it to communicate. 

The rumbling stopped.  Erin had reached down and slipped off her shoes, making it easier for her to stay afloat.  There was only a little over a foot of space between the surface of the water and the ceiling, but she looked like she was keeping herself up without too much trouble.

Kenny scooped up the cards and shuffled them.  He moved the dealer button in front of Ginger, putting Tim and George on the blinds.  Each man placed the chips on the felt and Kenny began to deal the cards.  Edward looked at the timer; ten minutes until the blinds increased.  Angela was first up.  She looked at her son before mucking her cards.  Tommy and Nellie did the same.  Bill looked at his cards.  Because of their seating positions, Edward was unable to catch Bill’s eye.  He could not tell if the man was on board with the rest of the group or not.  After a moment, Bill flipped his cards to Kenny.  Darius was next and he called the blind without raising.  Edward looked at his hole cards; he had a pair of tens, spades and diamonds.  He called; Craig and Ginger both folded.  Tim looked at his hole cards again, at Erin and flicked them across the felt to Kenny.  He glanced briefly at Edward who blinked slowly in response.  The turn came to George who checked his option on the big blind.  Three players in the pot.

The flop; king of diamonds, jack of hearts, three of clubs.  George checked.  Two fingers on the felt.  Edward knew George always tapped with four fingers flat on the table.  He had a pair.  George crossed his hands on the edge of the table, his left index finger absently scratching the back of his right hand toward the table.  Small pair.  Action went to Darius who said, “Bet three hundred” and placed the chips in the pot.  Edward guessed that Darius had a strong hand, but he hadn’t paired the board or he would have raised more.  Probably an ace with a ten or queen.  If so, he would be looking to fill a straight.  Edward hoped Darius had the queen.  With Edward having two of the tens, there was less chance that Darius would make a straight. 

Edward called putting three hundred dollar chips into the pot.  George hesitated for a brief moment, then tossed his cards to Kenny.  Just the two of them, just the way Edward wanted it.

The turn card came up two of clubs.  Edward was certain the card had not helped Darius, he saw him shift slightly in his seat.  Darius bet one hundred dollars.  Was he setting a trap?  Edward didn’t think so. 

“Raise to four hundred”.  Edward studied Darius.  The man’s posture had stiffened just a little at the raise.  He hadn’t expected that and still did not have a winning hand.  This is exactly where Edward wanted him.


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