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The Poker Game

User Thread
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Ajax271 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
The Poker Game
There's a table with three chairs.

A single bulb on a string illuminates its surface, worn through the finish where elbows rub the wood. There is a deck of cards in the center; an old deck, worn like the woodwork.
A player arrives; all in black, a fedora pulled down low over his face. A lit cigar protrudes beneath it, the glowing ember challenging the yellow glow from the bulb. Silvery wisps of smoke vent from the end of it, and occasional puffs of the essence of tobacco float from beneath the fedora's brim.
Another player, all in white as the other in black- He has no fedora, but only upon his face a pair of spectacles, golden rimmed and sparkling. He is clean shaven; the tang of aftershave bites the air around him. He leans forward and puts his elbows into the worn spots, his expression to the man in Black one of polite inquisition. His eyes sparkle like the glasses.

The man in Black doesn't look up, merely puffs on his cigar.

The third player; a woman in a red silk dress, hugging her form like a glove; every curve accentuated, every seam taught; on her face a makeup mask; white skin with red lips, and blue shadows above ice blue eyes. She smiles, and from a purse pulls out a poker chip.

The man in white shifts his eyes to her chip, and from his lapel withdraws another, identical in color and value.

The man in Black puffs his cigar, and throws his chip upon the table. It clatters against the wood and bounces off the deck of cards sitting in the center.
The other two place theirs on top of it, one after another.

The deck rises up when it is hit- like an invisible hand has lifted it- and to each player, two cards are dealt, face down. Each pick up their hand and look at it- White with curiosity and vigor, Red with muted interest, and Black with gruffness. The hands are out.

Only one of them will rise from the table.

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"\\\"Discretion in speech is more than Eloquence\\\""
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Ajax271 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.

There is a world where no shadows are cast- where light flows from every angle, everywhere. There are healthy trees and pristine streets, a downtown torn delicately from a postcard and willed into reality. And in this scene, every man, every woman, every child wears pure snow white.
Every expression is jubilant; tears evaporate from their ducts if they are ever conceived, since nobody cries in public. How would the postcard look with a crowd of people, one of whom has quartz tears streaming down their face? Jubilation, Expectation, Hope, Promise, and self-satisfaction- that is the order of the day here.
And walking down the street is the man in White. He's smiling like the rest of them, waving to a pair of young girls crossing the street up ahead at the crosswalk. The car that stops for them is obviously an out-of towner: nobody drives a Red ford in this town. Then again, nobody drives- it's much nicer for the body to walk, and you see more people.
The man in white sidles up to the local restaurant- entitled "Lucy's"- and takes a seat. From his pocket, twenty six cents are placed on the table- penny for the thought, quarter for the drink. A mug of steamed milk is placed in front of him.
As he sips, his eyes wander over to the local grocer, whose selling eggplants to a line of people, all of them waiting in line, one after the other, holding onto the dollar-twenty-five in their left hands. The grocer takes the money with his left hand and hands the eggplant over with his right, then bumps the counter with his elbow and moves to the next person. The customer and the grocer never talk, never connect eyes.
The man in White stands up and moves to this line, his cup of milk left forgotten sitting on the tabletop. He goes up to the line and stands behind another man in a white coat. The line shuffles forward. He can smell the aroma of the fresh eggplant- they have a smell, but it's indescribable in words. For some reason, this irked him, and he thought quietly of a way to describe the perfume. Nothing.
The man in front of him reached the counter, and the exchange took place, and the customer walked to the left. The man in white stepped up to the counter, and reached out with his money- in the right hand.
The grocer looked up for a second, and in that moment, a look of rage passed through his eyes, and the man in White was taken aback. The eggplant was shifted, and the resulting outstretched finger pointed to the left. The eyes shifted with it, indicating 'move along.'
The customer- the man in White- didn't move.
The grocer nodded his assent, and reached out to the next customer- who stepped through the man in White as if he were smoke. The man in White looked frantically around, seeing four feet on the ground where he stood- but nobody seemed to notice that the fundamental laws of matter were being shattered mere feet in front of them. The eggplant exchange happened through his sternum and the man walked away. Another stepped into the man in white and held up the dollar twenty five in his left hand for the grocer's goods.
The man in White felt something brush his leg in his pocket, and reaching in, withdrew something round and black. A poker chip. In this world of white, black meant only one thing: things were not right. When a man walks through you like smoke, things were not right.
He turned and walked to the table, where the man in Black was sitting, waiting to play...

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"\\\"Discretion in speech is more than Eloquence\\\""
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Ajax271 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.

In the 'real world' (whatever your definition be) there was a man who dressed all in black, with dark eyebrows and coaly eyes. He was a kindred soul, who fought for his beliefs and extended a helping hand to those who needed it. There was only one fatal flaw with the man in Black- He attempted to make certain everyone followed his doctrine. As he helped, to him that was the one way to help; all other forms of aid, no matter how honest or roundabout, were worthy of nothing more than his slap to discourage its giving, so he could help them as he saw fit.

Control was the basis of his existence: when he played poker, he dealt the cards. He never cheated; he 'researched future options'.

It was four o'clock at the railroad station, and the 4:05 was coming in a touch early, thanks to the engineer. The man in black was leaning up alongside the station, his fedora pulled low and cigar burning bright.

A child was playing on the railroad tracks, and the train was a minute away. Another person ran out on the tracks to try and scoop up the child from the certain death by rolling steel, and coolly, the man in black called him out, drew a pistol, and shot at the man's feet, then at his vocal cords, so that the child would not be touched. The man fell to the ground, clutching his throat, but he didn't yell, so the people didn't hear him.

Black turned his gun to the switch on the tracks and fired a shot; the lever swung over and the train, coming up to it, was diverted to the next track. The child was safe. He holstered the gun, smiling through the cigar smoke. The child was safe, and he had saved it. The man who ran to catch the child was an idiot; there was only one way to save the child, and diverting the train was it. Even as the train ran off the end of the dead end he'd diverted it too and exploded into flame, the child was fine. Even as the child's family burned, the child was fine.

A man ran from the wreckage on fire, and another ran after him with a blanket, yelling at him to drop and roll. The man dropped. The gun came out, and a single bullet ended the burning man's agony, dropping him in a vortex of flame. Those with the blanket stood there and looked at the man in black, at the pistol, at the cigar, silence from their lips but incredulous questions from their eyes. The man in Black smiled. Lost sheep, all of them.

Something dropped into his pocket. Reaching in, the man in black took out something round and black; a poker chip. He turned from his post and sat down at the table that had appeared there; the world melted away, darkening into blackness so there were no walls, no boundaries. Only a bulb on a string illuminated the table.

He took a seat at the table and put the chip in his pocket. No sooner had he settled back to see what would come today than a man all in white appeared over his shoulder and took a seat.

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"\\\"Discretion in speech is more than Eloquence\\\""
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Ajax271 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.

She walks the path to her car after a long day, a day of filling orders, fielding phone calls, writing memos, and watching the second hand of the old plastic clock on the wall tick closer and closer to quitting time. The pile of papers on her desk had mocked her all day, stubbornly refusing to be vanished by her efforts, merely doubling and redoubling as her efforts increased. It had been a hard day, but the keys were dangling by their lanyard from her hand; the night was still young.
As she drove, her fingers drummed on the wheel- chipped red nails, as bright as the cosmetics counter girl could find. The papers had dulled their sheen over the hours, but a fast dive to the house to 'freshen up' would remedy that fallacy of hers. Paint over them, another coat, and nobody knows the difference.
Before the full-length mirror at home she turned slowly in the dress, which hugged every curve like glistening red wax poured over a bottle, running down the sides of a candle in flawless streams and glittering sequins. Her nails, freshly coated, the same shade to match it, as if her skin was something she put on over the red and her flesh shown through the nails. Both were near flawless. Her brown hair pulled into an elegant bun, with a crossing of chopsticks to lock in in place, it pulled her face up, tightening the cheekbones into white satin pulled over a skeleton of fine china.
She slid the ring on her finger around in circles, admiring the golden sheen it cast on the two adjoining fingers. Her husband was gone that week, off to Philadelphia for meetings he said would give him ample time to daydream about her. Whipped old sap, she smiled as the ring slid slowing in circles, climbing towards the knuckle. A man from the old times when women tended the fires and reared the children, and were incapable of choosing presidents or thinking freely- or infidelity. She knew about the secretary, the young fresh-out-of-college tart who couldn't spell for her life but spent long hours with her husband working 'late'- it was funny how sex never happened after those long hours. Exhaustion, he'd claim, she smiled as the ring passed the blood red fingernail on her hand, coming to rest in the palm of her other. The shackle shed, a night awaited, one she'd earned through hard work and nights of tears, tonight she'd rejoin the chase, the plethora of petty conversation and free alcoholic beverages that every party hoped would end in a night of pure adrenaline and hormones and excitement. A night of no commitment.
The wedding ring dropped into her purse, and clinked with something already inside. Reaching in, she pulled out a small round poker chip, whose weight was heavy for its size. She turned the chip between her fingers, wondering where it came from.
When she looked up, the full-length mirror was gone. The world had gone to black, the only illumination- a poker table, with chairs and players- two men in white and black. All was not right.
She walked to the table, and tapped the man in white on the shoulder. He did not respond, merely looked straight ahead, as if cast from marble. Again, she tried to get the attention of the man in black, but he too was chiseled from the strongest Onyx, only the cigar pulsing to show his breath.
Seeing no alternative, she took her seat at the table.

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"\\\"Discretion in speech is more than Eloquence\\\""
 42yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Great work.
Please keep it up and not so slow to post it
(also try and separate your paragraphs as it is easier to read large amounts of text on the internet.)

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