What I Write
The Dice Room on Space Dock 11A was not the place many wandered into by chance. If they did, the person usually found an excuse to leave as quickly as they entered. It was a place only the desperate sought; populated by likewise minded fools and those too old or cynical to care anymore.
In the center of the room, sat a wooden table. The wood was from Earth, a planet the majority of occupants of 11A had only ever heard of, and even less had seen a picture. The grain of the mahogany ran a deep red, polished over the decades by many hands brushing against the smooth texture. Lying along the small square table was a green synthetic felt that had seen millions of dice thrown at it. It was no different today, as two ten-sided die fell from the open hand of a woman onto the felt.
The dice tumbled and bounced against the raised sides of the table, landing with two diamonds on one and three on the other.
“A two-three, not bad,” the guy standing next to the woman said. “I mean, if you’re playing by yourself it’s not bad. Right now, it just adds to the run I have.”
“The run you have?” she asked. She tugged on her long brown braid. “What run would you be referring to? When you ran down the hall to The Dice Room?”
Jeers met her insult from the crowd that sat around the table. Paper money, a currency that made a comeback after the Computer Implosion of ’78, passed hands in the crowd. A board above the bartop that ran the entire right side of the Room, updated to show the odds. The guy was now 3:2 to the woman. She glanced at the board and scowled.
“That’s the fear talking.” He took a sip of his rice wine. “Fear of losing all those hard dollars that are being passed around right now. Why not just call it a win for me and go home not so broke?”
She gave him an obscene gesture, holding up two fingers. The guy laughed.
“Hey Tend!” The guy yelled. “Can I get some top shelf rum? My palms are itching from the money I’m about to make.”
Across the room, behind a haze of gray smoke from the cigars, standing at the bar ready to serve customers was man barely out of puberty. He raised his eyebrows as he grabbed a tumbler from beneath the bar, and then using a small step to get him some height, Tend reached to a shelf next to the board. He pulled a small decanter clothed in a purple bag from the shelf, and then pulled the stopper out when he set it on the bartop, sniffing the fine rum.
“Mic, take this over to the guy who thinks he’s wealthy,” Tend said as he poured the tumbler half full. He pointed at the guy. “You’ll be doing dishes for a month if she wins.”
“She won’t.” he said.
The woman grunted. She pointed at the dice. “You gonna pick up and keep playing? I’m not quittin.”
He waved her off, “Yeah, yeah, just wait till I get a sip of my new drink of choice,” he said with a smile.
A giant of a man, standing close to seven feet tall, with a mass of muscle tipping the scales at four hundred pounds, walked over to the guy, with the tumbler in hand; the small glass swallowed by his large hand. At the table, he moved the glass to two fingers and held it out. The guy nodded and took the tumbler. He moved the glass in front of his nose and took a deep breath in, savoring the aroma.
“Appreciate it Tend. If it tastes half as good as it smells I’ll give you a tip.”
“That’ll be a first,” Tend said.
The guy smiled and took a small sip. He smiled even larger and nodded at Tend. Setting the glass down on a high top table next to the wood table, he grabbed the dice and shook them in his loosely clenched hand.
“I feel luck running through my veins,” he said, and tossed the dice. The dice hit the sides and tumbled to a stop, five diamonds and four diamonds showed.
“Cruck!” the woman yelled.
“Four-five!” A woman in the crowd yelled. The odds on the board changed to 4:2 in the guy’s favor. Money moved hands and more people began to gather around them, pulled from the corners of the large room.
The guy laughed, took another sip of the rum, and scooped up the dice. He wiggled a little dance as he shook his hand, and tossed the dice. Two sevens showed when the dice came to a stop.
“Oh!” the guy yelled out. “Double-sevens!” He began to move his arms, bouncing around on his feet, dancing a happy jig. The woman ran a hand over her face, in an attempt to conceal the distraught look on her face.
“Gimmie another Tend!” the guy yelled out. He continued to dance while he finished the first tumbler of rum, still dancing in place as Tend filled a second glass and Mic walked it over. The guy smiled and nodded at Mic, and then drank half of the rum.
The crowd was loud, betting moving fast. Some people made remarks that the dice are probably loaded. Those remarks were drowned out with loud voices and some pushing at those people. Two people touched their earpieces, making calls to bring their friends in. They had seen this same situation many times before; the guy would win, and immediately want another game, betting large sums of money because he thought himself unbeatable.
The guy sniffed the rum, again, and took a sip. He set the glass down, scooped up the dice and stopped. He tilted his head to the side as if thinking. “If I throw a double-ten on this throw, I’ll take on the goddamn Man with a Gun.”
… (there’s more to the short story)
|What I Write||
I write sci-fi, because I’m obsessed with it. Android Hunters is my first book that’s been published. I’m hoping to have 2 more published by the end of the year.
My Write-a-thon Goals
My goal is to complete the writing and editing of Harper’s Odyssey by the end of the Write-a-thon.
Anything is better than nothing.