I was always a keen better. I was usually found at a slot machine or at a table. I was quite good too, almost bankrupted one casino, but the day after I always blew it again on whatever could draw me in. Because of this I was never financially safe, so when I received an offer a few months ago I couldn’t refuse.
“I recognise you; you are ze card counter, yes?” said a big Eastern European stood behind me.
“Accused card counter, no one has proved anything before, I play a completely fair game,” I replied with sweaty palms.
“Somehow, I don’t believe vou. And liars are the one thing I hate more than cheaters.” I could see the rage building up in his face. “Anyway, are you here to bet or vot?”
“Of course, just heading to the poker tables...”
“Poker is no fun, bets too small.”
“Don’t worry, I find a way to win enough.”
“No, no I have game much more interesting my friend.”
“What is it?” I asked hesitantly “Nothing too risky, I hope.”
“I vill explain ven you agree,” he said “Do voo accept or are voo too much of a weak and lousy better?” he asked quite smugly.
For some reason that angered me, it made me want to join him, despite my gut feeling. But I expected to show him wrong... God, why did I accept? I wouldn’t have if I knew what would happen.
“Follow me, then.”
We walked for several minutes before reaching a door with an aluminium sign reading ‘KEEP OUT’.
“Is in here,” he told me.
He unlocked the door with a key and we arrived in a dimly lit room stained with the smell of smoke and vodka.
“Take seat, I vill explain.”
He pulled out a leather chair for me. I sat down. The chair made me feel important for some reason, like I was in charge. And I guess this gave me the confidence to accept his proposal.
“So, what’s the deal?” I asked him.
“Oh ves, I explain now” He leaned on the other side of the round table, looking at me. “We play card game, but my own version. If you win, you win my casino, the one we’re in now. But if I win, I get your left eyeball, so you can never cheat again.”
I then realised who he was, the famed owner of the casino, known for his violence and cruelty.
“I told you, I don’t cheat.”
“Then you wont mind if you lose that eye,” he fired back. “I tell you, you will see perfectly with one eye, why waste the other one when someone else could use it?”
by Tom Hunt