The Perfect Game

In response to The Daily Post Challenge

The Perfect Game

 

 

“One more game guys!”

He was meant with a chorus of groans. It was obvious that no one wanted to play another around with him, but he wasn’t called a persistant little bastard for nothing

“C’mon, guys, pleeeaaasee. I swear I’ll do better this time, really!”

Rick looked over at him, wearily. “No you won’t. You’ll lose and bitch about it for another 10 minutes before begging us to play another round.”

“Yeah,” piped up Darryl, “plus you don’t even have any more skittles to bet with anyways.”

It was true. He looked down at his pitiful pile of 5 skittles and sighed. It was looking pretty bleak for him. “I can still go one more round, though.”

“You have barely enough for the pot, Matt” grumbled Adam.

“I can still go.”

Rick opened his mouth to refuse the ten year old when a head popped into the kitchen.

“Matt honey,” she said sweetly when she spotted her son, “I’ll be outside in the back with everyone else if you need me.”

Matt waved her off. “Sure, ok mom.”

The older woman rolled her eyes. “Behave, Matt. Don’t stay up too long, it’s late.”

“I won’t,” He nodded, “I promise.”

Her eyes crinkled with a smile then narrowed slightly as she noticed the cards in Darryl’s hands. She gave a hard glance to each of the men surrounding her boy.

The men squirmed under her gaze and raised their hands in meek gestures. “It’s only skittles, Mrs. Davis.”

“It’s Lorraine, Darryl.” Her smile appearing on her face again, before she disappeared ro join the others.

All three men turned their attention back to Matt and the table in front of them.

Matt, not quite tall enough for his feet to lay firmly flat on the floor, raised them slightly so that he could swing them back and forth. Staring at the wasted candy laying on the table, he suddenly had an idea.

“Look guys, my mom is gone so why don’t we play another round, but with uh you know…higher stakes?”

Darryl’s eyes widened slightly. “Uh..what kind of stakes?”

“Mmm…maybe money perhaps?”

“Mon-”

“Hell no!” cut in Adam, “Your mom would murder us, hell my wife would gut me right here if she found out I took money from a kid.”

“I’m not a kid! I’m ten!”

“Yeah well then I’m fucking ancient, right? I still won’t take money from a ten year old.”

“Who says I’ll be losing money?!”

“How many skittles do you have left?!”

Matt blinked back tears. “Fi-ive,” he whispered, looking down.

“Oh Christ,” Adam felt guilt wash over him as he saw the boy struggle not to cry, “Matt don’t cry. Shit. Look, please don’t cry. Ah, fuck.” He leaned over and patted the boy’s shoulder awkwardly.

“Wow, Adam, wow. You made him cry.” Rick said dryly.

“Fuck you, Rick.” Glared Adam.

“Guys! Both of you are jerks! And would it kill you to stop cussing around the kid?”

“He’s hovered around us ever since he was 8. I think his ears are no longer virgin to graphic language, Darryl.”

“Not a good enough excuse Rick.”

Matt sniffed hard.

Swearing under his breath, Adam turned back towards Matt and lifted a hand to rub his face. He was going to regret this. “Aw hell, let’s play another round of poker then.”

Matt raised his head, a giant grin on his face. “Really?” He asked excitedly.

Trying hard not to grin back, “Yeah really kiddo. But no money.”

Pouting, Matt tugged on Adam’s hand. “Pleeaasee Adam”

“How about this Mattie, we’ll play with money and you’ll play with skittles. Fair?”

Matt rolled his eyes then sighed. “Fiiiine.”

“Great” chirped Darryle as he pushed his, Rick’s, and Adam’s accumulated piles of skittles in front of Matt and then began to shuffle the cards.

Quickly he dealt out two cards to each of them before placing the pack to the side of him. “Alright, Rick you start. No money in the pot this time and we’re starting with five dollars or,” he looked pointedly at Matt,” five skittles.”

Matt cheekily waved at him, nodding that he understood.

“Alright, I’ll just start with five.”

“Me too” said Adam and he tossed a crumpled bill into the center.

Wordlessly, Matt slid five skittles forward.

Darryl took another glance at his cards then thought back to the cash in his pocket. He really wanted to buy a pack of cigs on his way home. “Uh..I fold.” And then slid his cards under the deck.

“Wimp” muttered Rick.

He gave him the finger and then drew three cards, flipping them face up, one by one.

Ace of spades, Jack of hearts, and 8 of hearts.

Rick fingered his cards then grinned. What the hell, what was poker without a risk?

He slipped another five dollar bill out of his wallet and added it to the piled.

Hestitating only for a second, Adam called out, “Call”, and threw in five one’s.

Without missing a beat, Matt grinned. “Raise. Ten skittles.” He, then counted out fifteen pieces of candy and pushed them towards the bills.

Peeking over at Matt, Rick smiled affectionately. They all loved the kid despite how annoying he could get when he trailed after them. Two years in and he still followed them around like a puppy, never letting up. Two years of being step-in dads had gone by real fast, Rick realized as he watched the kid rest his chin on the table. He also realized that the poor kid was stuck with them for good now. No way in hell where they missing the chance to see their boy grow into a man.

“Call.” And he added ten dollars.

Adam also glanced warmly over at Matt and then contemplatively at Rick. Matt was no real threat. Half the time the kid bet was just for the hell of it and the other half because he had a measly pair. It was Rick where his concerns lay. The man loved to play risks, but he was no fool either when it came to poker. As much as he liked taking longshots, he also loved not losing money. Yeah, Rick was a force to reckon with, but then again…so was he.

“Raise five dollars.” And fifteen dollars was added to the pile.

Matt nodded and added another five skittles. Following Matt, Rick added in five dollars silently.

Shaking his head, Darryl dealt out one more card and added it to the other three.

8 of diamonds.

The round was quickly finished as each put in five dollars, calling each other’s bets. It seemed that everyone was in a hurry to get the last card revealed.

Tension filled the room as Darryl placed another card face up.

Ace of hearts.

The room was very quiet as each oppenent stared hard at each other almost as if hoping they could somehow read each other’s minds.

Finally, Rick began. “Five dollars.” He added the money then looked at Adam.

Adam shifted in his chair, pulling out a ten while glancing at Rick. “Raise five dollars.”

Matt, being unusually quiet, muttered, “Raise five dollars,” and pushed fifteen skittles into the center.

Surprised, Rick stared at Matt then at Adam. Then not one to back down, he called and dropped another ten dollars into the mass of bills.

Adam winked mischieviously at Rick then placed another five in.

Finally, the betting was done.

Darryl coughed lightly and turned to Rick. “Reveal, Rick.”

Rick flipped his two cards over, revealing a 6 of hearts and a 9 of hearts. A flush.

“Beat that,” he grinned.

Laughing lightly, Adam turned over his cards as well. “Sure, mate.”

Two Jacks. A Full House.

Groaning, Rick dropped his head onto the table. “Fuuuck!”

“Sorry, but I’ll be taking this now.” Adam started leaning towards the cash and skittles piled in the center. He was tickled pink with the sight of all those bills.

“Hold on a tick,” said Matt.

Grinning at each other, the three men turned towards Matt. “Alright, whatcha got kiddo?”

Matt flipped over his cards, revealing two Aces.

Four of a kind.

All three jaws dropped open.

“How-” started Rick

“What the hell?” broke in Adam.

“Holy shit!” said Darryl in an excited voice. Then upon seeing his fellow men’s traumatized faces, he started laughing. “Oh my god, he fucking beat you both!”

Amazed and paralyzed with shock, both men numbly stared as Matt leaned up and pulled all the winnings towards his end of the table. Carefully he set the bills aside from the skittles into a neat pile. Then grabbing the money, he hopped off his chair, hugged each man with his tiny arms around their necks, said goodnight, and strolled out the kitchen.

His head popped back in a few seconds later. “I forgot to say thank you…so uh…thanks for the 125 dollars, gentlemen.” Then they all saw a big shit-eating grin grow on his face before his head disappeared.

Smothering his giggles, Darryl smirked at his companions. “He totally just shit all over you guys.”

Adam was the first to break out of his daze. “Nooooooo!” He wailed. “That can’t have happened.”

“It’s all in my head,” grumbled Rick. “Matt did not just beat the hell out of us.”

Darryl resumed his snickering. “How does it feel to have your pockets lightened?”

“Fuck you.” sighed both Adam and Rick.

What a fucking disaster.

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Posted on November 11, 2013, in My Writings, Prompts/Challenges, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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