Short Stories

Bet on Black – A Short Story

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I walked into the pathetic excuse of a casino, just up the road from where I lived, I needed some time alone with just the numbers and the colors red and black. The walls were lined with cheap machines that nobody ever seemed to play. As I made my way through the narrow path surrounded by those cheap slot machines, I noticed a single roulette table fully occupied by middle-aged men. I knew I’d landed in a dingy low-quality casino, the look of the guard as I entered gave it away. He was surprised, hell, even I was surprised to be there. I stood behind the men at work, choosing their numbers carefully.

           “I swear man, number thirteen is lucky tonight,” one of the roulette players called out.

           “Nah man, I’ve been trying that number for days now, you are a fool,” someone else responded.

The two men, both wearing what appeared to be fila track suits, squared up and began wrestling around on the faded regal red carpet with gold trim. I headed towards the exit as I chuckled internally.

It was stupid of me to go there, I knew it wouldn’t be like the casinos in the movies. It at least needed to have a few roulette tables, that was the mark of a good casino. I headed back home, the rain had started falling out of the grayish sky, people were in a hurry to get home, to shelter. I scurried along, buttoning up my green bomber jacket when I noticed a scuffle in the alleyway to my left. It was dark but I could make out three people, two larger men, and a smaller figure. I assumed the worst, they must have been bothering her and I approached them immediately. My years of boxing as a youth amateur might finally come in handy, it at least gave me great confidence and the kick I was looking for. Maybe tonight would be about heroic deeds instead of wasted money hoping for numbers to work out in my favor. I approached the two men and noticed that they were indeed bothering a young girl, she must have been school age, university.

            “Hey, what the hell do you two think you are doing,” I yelled out in a commanding tone.

They charged me before I could get my next sentence out. I readied myself, bent my knees and got into my boxer stance, hoping I still had some of my old tricks. I charged forward and landed a jab right on the mouth of the left attacker, who smelt of cheap grocery store beer, the kind without a brand label which just said ‘beer’ on it. His nose burst open and red flowed out of it like a great red river. He held his nose with one hand and yelled at his friend to do something about this. The only man with any courage left charged forward and began swinging wildly, well it was more windmilling than anything. I sidestepped him, regained my balance before he could finish and smacked him right in the mouth with an open hand, a proper bitch slap. The sound was deafening, with that perfect skin to skin suction, like one of those good Hollywood slaps. The little girl, covering in the corner, burst out laughing.

              “This is what your mother should have done with you when you were younger,” I said. “A good smack will set you straight.”

I moved towards him and landed a crisp 1,2,3 combination, which in boxing meant a jab followed with a straight right followed by a left hook. I still had it and I sent the man with the bright red cheek towards the cold hard ground. The rush I felt after dispatching these two men with minimal effort was almost as great as winning my first amateur fight ever. I did what any logical man would do in this situation and opened my trousers and began pissing all over him. I don’t smoke, but if I did and I had some on me, now would have been a perfect time. The other guy, frozen from shock looked on as I gave him the finger and continued urinating all over his friend. I was the Ali of that back alley boxing situation, the Tyson of old, raw intimidation and power. In my rage I had forgotten that there was a young girl still looking on, the look of surprise on her face was unbelievable. I quickly finished my business and headed over to her to see if she was all right. As I approached her with a healthy dose of doubt about the entire situation, she reached for her purse in a cat-like manner.

                 “No, I don’t want your money, are you alright,” I asked.

What I felt next, I imagine, was like being sunburned and being slapped in the face full force, by a thousand hands. I lost control of my sight and it felt like I was fighting the world’s biggest sneeze. I dropped to my knees, nearly sobbing and I soiled myself. She quickly searched me while I was sort of flailing around on the ground, signaled her friends in a foreign language and they ran off. I bet on black that day and the house won.

The end