The Game #42

Nelly and Darius were all in.  Robert Overton, Nelly’s father, was seriously at risk.  If the board had paired, Nelly would have gotten a full house.  The king of diamonds would have given her quads.  Edward looked down at the river card, not wanting to believe that it was actually what it said it was.  It did not change.  The eight of hearts.  Edward heard Nelly catch her breath and a little sob escaped her.

“Ace high flush is the winner”, Kenny announced as if he was unaware of the implications of that statement.  He pushed the chips to Darius who calmly added them to his stack.  The vibration began and the water level in the three remaining cells began to rise.  The water in Mary’s and Martinique’s cells only went up a few inches, but Robert’s cell began to fill to the top.  Nelly had busted and there was no reason to expect that the outcome would be any different this time.

“Daddy!”  Nelly screamed and ran to the window of the cell.  She pounded on the glass with her hands, her sobs wracking her body.  The water continued its unceasing rise.  Robert managed to tread water and just before it reached the top of the cell, he said, “I love you Nelly, and I’m proud of you.”  The water reached the ceiling.  Robert held his breath for nearly two minutes before his life, like those of the other victims, ended in a stream of bubbles.  Nelly fell to the floor crying uncontrollably.  Her body was wound tight in a fetal ball.  Darius signaled and the door opened to admit two men with a stretcher.  They placed Nelly on it and carried her out of the room.  The panel to Robert’s cell finally closed and the game had been whittled down to just three players.

Edward knew that as the group got smaller there was less of a chance that one of them could beat Darius.  It also made each hand more powerful.  Edward sincerely hoped that George’s head was still in this game.  One of the two of them had to find a way to bust Darius if there was any hope of saving the two women still in their cells.

Edward watched Mary.  He guessed that there was a little less than two feet of water in her cell.  She was actually sitting down as if she were in a bath and racing her hand through the water like a toy motor boat.  He could hear her making ‘vroom vroom’ noises as she played. 

Martinique stood with her hand against the glass, her dress swirling around her legs in the water.  Even though the water had risen to nearly four feet at one time, her composure had remained the same.  She would never allow Darius the satisfaction of seeing her beg or cry, regardless of the outcome.  Martinique Solomon was indeed a beautiful woman, but her beauty was well surpassed by her grace and strength of character.  Edward hoped that she and Mary would be spared the fate of the other seven victims.

“It would seem that other than our spectators, it has become a gentleman’s game”, Darius said.

“I doubt there are many who would consider you a gentleman,” said Edward.  “You are responsible for the deaths of eight innocent people.”

“Their fates were decided by their loved ones.  I have merely facilitated the circumstances.” Darius replied.

“We’ll see what a jury thinks about that”, said Edward.

“You are a monster.”  George’s statement took Edward by surprise.  The man had hardly said a word in the last hour.  “You have no conscience and no morals.  You have convinced yourself that all of the victims have died because of circumstances beyond your control, but none of us would be here if it wasn’t for you.”

Edward could hear the tension in George’s voice and realized that he might not get a chance to kill Darius.  George might beat him to it.

The cards were shuffled and dealt.


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June 2010
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