Loser Takes All
Jasper looked away. He didn't want to show how his heart was thump-thumping like the vibration of a thousand horses galloping. He dropped one hand over his chips and pushed the entire stack into the pot. "I raise you, and I call," he murmured.
The boy shifted in his seat. His Sunday-go-to-meeting pants itched his tiny behind, and the suspenders cut into his shoulders. He longed for his everyday dungarees...and he dreamed of home. Swatting a fly from his face, he hunkered down to watch the men. The round table gave him a position of equal importance to them.
Clyde and Jasper were in a deadlock, eyes resting on each other, each refusing to look away. Jasper's skinny frame held rigid against the other man's stare. A man who threw all his chips into the pot needed that. He had to look strong, unflappable...a winner. His mustache under normal circumstances would twitter when he felt nervous. But he had the presence of mind this time to hold it steady, even though it itched to move. It was like holding back a colony of ants on the run.
"Are you really going to bet all your chips at one time when the prize is so important?" Clyde's expression of outrage reached across the table like slaps to the face. Read more...