How do you justify gambling? A serious thing that develop into an addiction that can destroy your entire life, and harm those around you. How do you justify it to them?
On the last Sunday of every month I go this dinky little bar in town called 'The Pitstop' to meet with a group and play a game in back. It's always a pretty high stakes game and everyone who gets involved has to wear a mask. Heh, helps me hide my poker face. I always wear this pale white mask with a big black smile on it, a gift from the bar owner who runs the show.
Last week I walked into the back of the bar to take my usual seat at the table but only the owner, an average looking blue eyed brunett, was sitting there, all of the other usuals were gone.
I sat down across from her and took off my mask to drink. I looked at the seats next to me, a couple jackets hung onto them, shoes underneath one.
I waited a few more minutes, then the owner spoke, "Are you ready to begin Mr. Morning?"
"T-The others won't be joining us?"
"Oh, they already lost Mr. Morning. They just couldn't wait to start, you see," The Owner chuckled.
My throat went as dry as the Sahara when she said that.
I poured a drink and took a sip, "Ok then. W-what would you like to play this week, Miss Kölski?
"Well given the circumstances of this meeting, I am feeling a tad generous Mr. Morning. I shall let you choose our game, keep in mind that the bet is still the usual," She said, sprouting a wide smile.
"Go fish then," I said. I never was good at choosing games.
Miss Kölski laughed, "Go fish? If that is your wish," She said as her laughter increased.
I poured myself another drink.
Miss Kölski shuffled the deck and dealt out seven cards each. I looked at my cards and already had two pairs, two aces and two kings. I looked to Miss Kölski and she still had her whole hand.
I pushed my chair back.
"Would you like to go first Miss Kölski?" I asked.
She smirked and leaned forward, "Do you have an ace?"
I smiled, "Go fish."
She reached toward the center of the round table where she had placed the deck and slowly took the top card. She put it and another card down.
I took a sip of my drink, "Do you have a jack?" I asked.
I took the first card off the top as quick as I could. It was a jack, I put it and the other card down. Only one card left, the queen of hearts.
"Do you have a six?" She asked.
I shake my head and she takes her card, another pair.
I take a sip of my drink, "What exactly happened to the others, Miss Kölski?"
Her smile grew larger, her forked tongue licking her red lips, "They simply lost, Mr. Morning."
I finish my drink and pour another glass.
"It's rude to keep a lady waiting, you know."
I look at her, "Do you have a queen?" I ask, wiping sweat from my forehead.
"Go. Fish," She says.
I take my card, a seven.
Miss Kölski shifted in her chair, crossing one leg over the other.
"Do you have a seven," She asks.
I nod and slowly hand her my seven, she had her third pair.
I take a sip of my drink.
"Mr. Morning I have a question," She stated.
I shifted in my chair again under her gaze, "What is it?" I asked, hesitant to hear the question.
She leaned forward as far as she could, her eyes now a piercing red, "Did you tell your family where you were going tonight?"
I shake my head furiously, tossing sweat to the corners of the room.
"Good," She stated as she sunk back into her seat, "Your turn."
"Do you have a q-queen?" I asked.
"Go fish," She replied.
I take a card, a five.
I sip my drink again.
"Do you have a two?"
I shake my head, slowly this time as to not shoot sweat again.
She takes a card and keeps it in her hand.
I sip my drink, "Do you have a five?" I ask.
She tosses me the card, her smile still on her face like nothing is happening. Just the queen left again.
She takes a card, "Not gonna ask first?" I say.
"Well you only have a queen, so why should I?" She replies.
I clear my throat, "You wouldn't happen to have a queen now, would you?"
Miss Kölski began to play with her twirled horns now, "Go fish."
I take slowly take a card, looking at Miss Kölski as she licks a red speck off her cheek. How long has that been there? I thought. I put the card in my hand, a six.
She looks at me, her eyes burning a hole in my heart, "Got a six?" I hand her my six, she chuckles.
I look around the room, the coats from before are covered in a red liquid and the shoes from before have dismembered feet in them. W-whats going on? Is this blood? I thought.
"Mr. Morning! It's your turn," Miss Kölski stated.
I took a sip of my drink, my shakey hands spilling most of it over me.
I looked up to Miss Kölski, an arrow tipped tail wrapped around her neck like it was trying to choke her.
"Do you have a q-queen?" I stammered.
She tosses me her last card and I place it into the pairs.
I looked up to Miss Kölski and she frowned.
Sweat dripped from my hair and a shiver rushed down my spine, "D-Do I win?" I muttered.
Miss Kölski flipped the table, revealing dismembered body parts underneath and rushed me, digging her claw like nails into my shoulders, "Yes, Mr. Morning, you win," She growled into my ear.
She pushed me and I fell back off the chair and immediately rushed to door. Before leaving I dared to look back and saw that the table was back to normal, all the blood was gone and Miss Kölski sat at the edged of the table smiling like a temptress.
I turned back to the door and left, I survived for another month.
So how do I justify gambling to my loved ones? I gamble with the Devil.