Sept. Challenge WIP Characters at the Poker Table #shortstory

This is the first month of a character switch up challenge, of writing the characters of your ‘work in progress’ at a random scene. As a fun way to introduce their personalities, and as a writing practice exercise. Tomorrow I’ll be announcing October’s scene. Feel free to jump in at any time of the month, and write your own scene with the challenge given, using your amazing characters and their one of a kind personalities!!

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THE CHARACTERS OF NEW AGE LAMIANS (book 2) AT THE POKER TABLE SCENE:

The tick tick ticking of the clock that hangs on the wall across the room is slamming into my eardrums, each tick as loud as a gong. I’ve grown accustomed to the background noises around me. Every pound, click, and swish in passing is as loud and clear as the next. They overpower voices, blend together in a chaotic mess of vibration. Over time, I’ve learned to shuffle through the enhanced sounds that my ‘gifts’ have ‘blessed’ me with, and am able to pick and choose what to concentrate on, and when. On a good day, I can pinpoint the whereabouts of a dropping pen in a mess haul, packed with the tromping boots of soldiers. Today, everything feels askew. I’m distracted by noises, mentally off track.

My equally heightened sight, however, is on point. Luck for me, I’ve been able to block out the bright flashing of red warning lights that are usually accompanied by painstrickening sirens. They pulse under the crack of our warehouse door in circular waves. The Company shut off the sound to the sirens early this morning, but have allowed them to spin in flashing light all day, as a reminder of how close our enemy is. Tonight we’ll battle. We’re as ready as we’ll ever be, but for now, the game of cards is a welcomed distraction of what’s to come.

I notice Amber’s shifty eyes. Each time a red wave passes under the crack, she’s distracted by it. It pulls her attention away from the cards in her hand, as well as the faces of everyone else at our table. From the corner of my eye I see her flinch at the shoulders. These involuntary movements of her body are few and far between, but have been happening more than usual lately. Dr. Brooklyn thinks that it’s due to the various shock treatments that she received so soon after our injection day. The electrical currents of punishment affected the newly placed fibers in her veins, causing a long-term reaction. Amber calls it her glitch. I call it heartbreaking. I watch her beautiful eyes, as she glances back to the red warning. It interrupts our game for the thousandth time in the last hour.

I sigh, and resume my study of the rest of our players. It’s sure to be the last hand of the night, and tension is high. The stack of cash in the middle of our table is impressive, compiled of every last dime. Only four of us are left in the game. Amber, myself, Dr. Brooklyn, and the Major. Dr. Brooklyn bites down on her bottom lip, before placing her cards face down on the table.

“I fold,” she sighs.

It’s odd, the way our doctor has kept her eyes down for our entire game. She’s acted as if the cards have held every ounce of her attention. I know different. I can’t announce her secret out loud, even if it were her and I alone, as the Company would inevitably hear every word. But I know. It’s been five years since I was taken by the Company, ripped away from everything I’ve ever loved. Dr. Brooklyn was one of the first people I met. Not only hasn’t she showed any sign of age, but she’s seemed to be reversing in age. Her minor wrinkles have smoothed, her hair has thickened, darkened even, and as of late there has even been a change in her eyes and her aura. Everything about the doctor screams Lamian in changing. As she dismisses herself from the table she lets her guard down. For the first time in days she makes eye contact with me. Just as I expected… snake.

Amber follows her lead. She folds, and steps away from the table.

The Major and I are all that’s left at the table. This will be cakework. I slide my last stack of cash into the center of the table. Go big, or go home, I think. If only I could return home. I long for my life before the Company, mostly before the injection. I long to be normal again, I’d kill to be a regular human once again. Even for one peaceful day.

The Major’s face is like stone. He doesn’t flinch. He only stares back into my eyes, and without hesitation he mirrors my action and slides his money in. Little does he know, I can see his tale. I know when he’s bluffing because the always bulging vein in his neck gives it away. Although, his face is unreadable, and he’s completely without a giveaway to be seen with the naked eye… my eye isn’t naked. In my peripheral I see it. Everytime he bluffs the rate of his heartbeat picks up a notch. The thump thumping of blood in that vein quickens, and I know that I have him exactly where I want him.

“Call,” I say. “Whatcha’ got old man?”

The Major lets out a lungful of air, and lays down his cards knowing full well that the odds are stacked against him. On the table before him now lay two pairs, Kings and Aces, a mediocre hand at best. His bluff is finally exposed to the room of mostly now onlookers. I smile a full grin, as proud as ever. His perfected poker face has cleared the table, leaving me with the better hand.

“My hell, Jackson. Just show us already.” He says, ever full of anticipation.

I casually lay down a straight flush, and then humbly step away. I leave the cash on the table, I have no need for it.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Love it!!! 💖💖 I adore the ending and there was great insight into the characters even though you’re plopped right into the middle of a story that isn’t led into or explained ahead of time! 👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nicole! This WIP is so much different than my other books, so it’s been so much fun! It’s refreshing to mix things up once in a while 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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