Way to go

It’s a ten handed, $10-20 limit holdem game, but the action is obviously in the other games in the room. The players are watching everybody else watch each other. The cocktail server has circled the table at least three times in twenty minutes and no one even blinked an eye.

The buzzards gave up circling and took a seat on the blades of the ceiling fan . . . waiting for the dealer and cocktail server to leave . . . or stop moving.

Suddenly the action explodes with a frenzied round of betting. Chips crash into the center of the green felt until the bet is capped and 7 players are waiting for the dealer to burn and turn.

The flop comes off, J-9-3, and the action explodes again. The chips are slammed mercilessly into the pot and the field narrows to six. The turn card is an 8 and the match between the 3 and the 10 seat resembles a game of Pong. The other players gave up after the first raise and so did the buzzards.
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Joshua – A Poem

I watched the youth come over the hill, his shoulders hunched, my heart stood still. He struggled to make the top of that rise – his brow was furled, his breath was strained. The path ran down through a vale of peace, he chose it not and lifted his head to look at the mountain that was black and grim . . . I could not breathe for I knew him.

He held his pace and began to climb – straight up the face into clouds of black . . . I prayed that he would just turn back. He slipped and fell, then caught himself – the shirt was shredded across his back. His flesh was torn and still he climbed, up through the rocks and peaks of time.

He fell again and began to slip. The fires of hell opened far below and the mountain shuddered threatening to explode. My agony increased as I watched him hang, over an abyss that called to him . . . filled with the anguish of others who had failed within.

He pulled himself up, an inch at a time – each inch was measured by years of my life. The fateful climb was taking its toll, his blood was spilled and left behind . . . each drop had a hold on his soul. I tried to scream, “Don’t give up!” but an echo of silence was all I heard and then his breath more ragged and tense, built walls around me that would not move.

Just when I thought I would die with him, for his life was a measure of me, he crawled to the top, weak and grim, pulled himself up and lifted his chin. He was injured and weak, but stood strong and tall, the walls of his pain began to fall. He turned with a smile, a beckoning call, “See Mom, I made it after all.”

There is no God

Picture this. The poker room is just cranking up for the day. A few games are in progress that held over from graveyard. A five-handed $20-40 limit holdem game starts and the chips are flying into the pots like lemmings on their way to the ocean. One player goes bust and leaves a lockup. Another player takes a walk to the sports book. The other three continue to jam in silence. An announcement comes over the loudspeaker, “Immediate seating in 3-6 limit holdem.”
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Surfing the Star Wind – A Story

The gorge spread out before Togohn. Splitting the land as far as the eye could see, the gaping, empty blackness appeared to have a life of its own. The wind raced up out of its depths, twisting and howling in its flight to the stars – the Star Wind.

Excitement overcame the doubt and guilt that gnawed at Togohn. He wasn’t supposed to be here. Taking a deep breath, he turned off the engine of his modified skimmer just as it cruised over the edge of the gorge. The skimmer dropped straight down. His breath caught in his throat. His heart jumped. His stomach bounced somewhere in space trying to find him.
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Shenrah and the heartstone – A Story

Shenrah’s tiny fingers combed the tangled, black hair away from her pointed ears. Brown eyes searched the leaves and flowers until she found enough morning dew for a bath. Afterwards her soft, green wings flexed and spread, fanning her dry.

She was one of the young fairies of Gleth Forest. They slept in beds of vining ivy and awoke each day to leaf carpeted branches covered with flowers. High above the forest floor they were safe from the Barthdread, a hideous, furry beast that considered fairies to be a delicacy. There was a time when the fairies danced and sang. Every day was a holiday. Now everything was different. Shenrah knew why but she told no one.
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The poker player’s lament

Oh, woe is me. I’ve been here for days. I was hog-tied and drug in and forced to stay. I’ve lost thousands at least, give or take a few. My banker will kill me. What shall I do?

I make a straight on the flop – drawn out on the end. Then deuces full – killed once again. In agony I scream, “Change the deck, change the game!” Hand after hand the result is the same.

I hate all the dealers, the Poker God too. I’ve cussed everything ’til the air is blue. I’ll play one more hand, then I may start to win. If not . . . what the hell, I’ll just buy in again.

In the beginning poker was the primary content feed, somehow, life got in the way!