View Full Version : Short Story Contest: Dealer

Conde Koma
4th November 10, 02:53 PM
“Yer dealing’s crooked.”

He’d had too much to drink, that much was obvious.

“I said, yer dealing’s crooked,” he repeated, slamming his glass into the table for emphasis. He finished the scotch a while ago, his fifth after coming to my table. I wasn’t sure how many he had before that.

“You’re welcome to take it up with the manager if you want,” I sighed, gathering his hand from his seat. I paused to wipe some scotch off the cards, then thought better of it and just pulled out a new deck. As I broke open the box and started shuffling, I risked a glance at the man across from me. It takes a particular kind of person to stick around as the last player on the floor, even more so at a tiny place like The Beehive. He was disheveled, but at least had a decent suit on. A little scruffy for my tastes, but that wasn’t what stuck to me. It was his eyes, worn and full of desperation, latching on to anything for some glimmer of hope, whether it was drink or even just the chance at winning a hand.

“You wanna take a picture or what?” he growled, catching my gaze, “Yer thinkin’ ‘What a sad son of a bitch,’ am I right? That’s what yer thinking’ over there, am I right?” I looked back down at the cards and started dealing. He started to get up, planting himself on the table like he was going to climb over it. I took a step back reflexively, suddenly smelling the scotch on his breath.

“Sir, if you could please sit back down…” I turned, looking for Alan, the floor manager. He should have been here, waiting for the last man out. He should have been the one to deal with him. He should have gotten him out of here a long time ago. I turned over my shoulder, looking for where he should have been.

I shouldn’t have.

“Yer dealing’s crooked.”

He didn’t even bat an eye as he took the chips.

“I said, yer dealing’s crooked,” I thumped the table to get his attention. He kept working like he didn’t hear me.

“You’re welcome to take it up with the manager if you want,” he replied calmly. He took my cards and tossed them under the table, bringing out a new deck in the process. I could already tell the kind of priss the dealer was. The crispness of his uniform, the clean boyish face, the measured way he took care of his cards; he was too slick for his own good. He was definitely some sort of criminal. He was in on it with the rest of the place, taking money from good honest folk too scared to call them on their bullshit. He was laughing at all the suckers like me; I could see it on his face. He was looking me over, looking down at the poor sap in front of him. I could see it in his eyes: he was feeling sorry for me.

“You wanna take a picture or what?” I asked, meeting his eyes, “Yer thinkin’ ‘What a sad son of a bitch,’ am I right? That’s what yer thinking’ over there, am I right?” He looked away and I knew I caught him. This prissy ass little punk, who had been looking down on me all night, had been caught for what he really was. I started to get up so I could give the bastard a piece of my mind. He needed it; he needed someone to set him and this whole establishment straight.

“Sir, if you could please sit back down…” he trailed off, looking around for help from his bosses. He should have just been straight with me from the start. He should have just dealt clean cards instead of cheating. He should have never started at such a crooked place. He turned, looking for safety in numbers with his crooked partners.

I raised my glass and swung.

I shouldn’t have.

“Yer dealing’s crooked,” the man at the table grunted. It had been another long night with nothing but empty pockets to show for it. The dealer picked up the chips and placed them carefully away, unfazed by the accusation.

“I said, yer dealing’s crooked,” the man repeated his charge, making his point with his empty scotch glass. The dealer took it in stride, cool as ever. It requires a lot of patience to do this line of work, and he was a professional above all else.

“You’re welcome to take it up with the manager if you want,” the dealer responded without breaking his rhythm, taking the man’s cards from him. He had but the barest hint of hesitation as he looked at the spilled drink on the hand, but caught himself and easily broke out a new pack of cards. Here, in this smallest of moments, the two men at the table held a silent exchange, a point of perfect clarity between them. They saw through each other into exactly what the other was, but still knew nothing of themselves.

“You wanna take a picture or what?” the man suddenly broke the silence, “Yer thinkin’ ‘What a sad son of a bitch,’ am I right? That’s what yer thinking’ over there, am I right?” He bluntly brought the words to the surface, releasing any unspoken agreement to avoid the awkwardness of confronting what they saw in the other. Sensing weakness, he started up, hoping to press his advantage over the dealer before him.

“Sir, if you could please sit back down…” the dealer spoke out, but it had no force behind it. Already he was seeking an escape from the situation in which he found himself. He was overcome with an unfamiliar sensation, the feeling of being lost with no way home. As someone so used to the comfort of being in control, it was absolutely terrifying. The sad man at the table across from him knew the feeling well and embraced the plunge. Both men found themselves in a microcosm of their whole lives. Both would face the consequences of this moment for the rest of their lives. Both found themselves facing their fears in the most direct of ways.

Both men chose to run.

They shouldn’t have.

Shotgun Christening
4th November 10, 03:26 PM
What contest?

Conde Koma
4th November 10, 03:30 PM

5th November 10, 04:41 AM
come on people, i want you to raise the level, so far its all crap.

5th November 10, 04:50 AM


5th November 10, 05:35 AM
shut up virgin boy.
how can you be a virgin for jesus and still be an asshole to your fellowman?

5th November 10, 05:38 AM

Something is just not getting across.

Guys, I think I need a translator!?

5th November 10, 08:18 AM
you're net very good at this are you?
why are you calling for your guis?
isnt Jesus more then enough?

Fairy XXXmas
5th November 10, 09:21 AM
Lebell's actually right.

Peeps got a whole month. Revise that shit.

edit: Conde, you've got a good concept and structure but your dialogue isn't quite there and your descriptions are a bit bland.

5th November 10, 10:28 AM
what Helmut said.

Angry Mandrill
5th November 10, 10:41 AM
i can't believe you don't like mine, lebell. i was channeling you when i wrote it.

ah well, if a troll falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it count as a troll?

5th November 10, 12:40 PM
i can't believe you don't like mine, lebell. i was channeling you when i wrote it.

ah well, if a troll falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it count as a troll?

I think i read yours, yours was about some douche named todd meeting his daughter, right?

Angry Mandrill
5th November 10, 12:49 PM
i knew you cared...

5th November 10, 01:18 PM
well problem with your story was that i could pretty much guess the outcome after 4 lines.

Angry Mandrill
5th November 10, 01:26 PM
too bad todd can't...

5th November 10, 01:27 PM
yes i agree.
on the other hand countless men will enjoy cheap and speedy services from his kids when they go downhill, but hey, at least he tried right?
no wait..he didnt...nevermind.

Fairy XXXmas
5th November 10, 02:04 PM
The problem with the "Todd" story was there was no reason for any of the events to happen.

Todd is not established as a man with a dubious past or children that have grudges against him. He's just some asshole getting a drink at a bar in an airport somewhere.

His "daughter" doesn't seem like his daughter. He's just some crazy bitch because she's never established as a sympathetic character who was mentally scarred from the absence of her father.

Instead, we get "Blah blah I wanna drinky drinky" "Blah blah small talk" "Blah blah I'LL KILL YOU, YOU SON OF A BITCH."

No resonance whatsoever.

5th November 10, 02:12 PM
well said.
this is what i meant in that other thread when i said: you musnt assume the reader is in the know about the situation, nor explain him everything like he's a retard.
thats the difficulty of a short story.
but ofc it all derailed into tee hee lebell is jealous.
fucking peasants.

Angry Mandrill
5th November 10, 02:14 PM
in the phrase 'short story,' which word is confusing you?

5th November 10, 02:17 PM
just cos its a short story it doesnt mean you just drop the basic rules of writing.
are you completely retarded?
rejoice tho, yours is least weak.
you probably win.

Angry Mandrill
5th November 10, 02:44 PM
koma, sorry for shitting up your thread. mea culpa. i'm an ass.

Conde Koma
6th November 10, 02:22 AM
no worries. i wrote this a bit ago for a class, i'm thinking it could use some revisiting.