I am not a gambler … in any sense of the word. BUT I was asked to write a short story dealing with games of chance. While SPINNING failed to make the cut for the anthology I wrote it for, I was pleased with the resulting tale. I hope you enjoy the opening 😀
BRETT D’AGOSTINO LEANED AGAINST the roulette table, hands clasped, eyes haunted, as he watched his life careen around a wheel of blurred red and black in the form of a little white ball. How had this happened? How could his entire existence be riding on a wheel of fortune?
He’d always been a solid citizen. The man who rose every morning with the dawn, dressed in a white shirt, dark pants, well-shined shoes, knotted on a conservative tie and, after a sensible breakfast of oatmeal and orange juice, made the commute to his office.
Numbers were his expertise. Accounting his profession. He knew the odds, probably better than anyone at the table other than the croupier, but that hadn’t stopped him from placing his chips and calling his bet, “Seventeen to the maximum, with approved override.”
Now all he could do was wait. With his heart in his throat, sweat beading his brow, his hands clasped to keep them from shaking. He’d signed his home over to the bank, scraped together every penny he could and then told management he wanted to place one make-or-break wager. Two hundred thousand dollars rode that wheel. When the ball dropped, he’d either be able to book passage to Arcturus Prime, or he’d be penniless, his family homeless.
How could he have been so stupid as to bet his family’s future on a spinning ball?
How could he allow his son to die?
He’d cast his lot with the Fates. He would live or die on the vagary of chance … and so would Jeremy.