29 October 2006

Fiction: Magical thinking

Leah needs some attention. She thinks she knows where to find the right kind for her right now. She's feeling lucky today and wants to see whether she can prove it's for real and not just all in her mind.

A six on the table and an ace in her hand, she ponders her knowledge of the situation. Ol' Texan over here in the big hat has already doubled down on his pair of queens when he sees the dealer's five showing. Leah thinks about that dealer's five and knows he'll have to hit it once. At least. She knows she should simply stand, but she could no more stand than sprout wings and fly up above the table. So she asked for the Dealer's next card, which turned out to be a three. She stood pat then.

With an inner sigh, she thinks that nineteen will probably get her back on track this time. Only it isn't. The dealer turns up a six, against all odds with her six right there, but then adds on a 10 and takes all the money at the table. Which amounts to the tenth time in a row this has happened -- or a variant of it that has ended in her losing another bet backed on promises of money to people just a little too glad to have that hold on her.

Stubbornly, as when she'd drawn that three to her sixteen, she tosses her cards into the slush pile at the same time she tosses another handful of chips into the betting circle. She will have to keep looking for victory until she gets a lot richer or all the money's gone. Then she will have gotten rid of it once and for all, or she'll know she's destined to have it.

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