Mystery and Crime Flash Fiction posted February 2, 2018

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Friendship at a gaming table

A Friend in Need

by RodG

“Deal me a winner, Corinne,” said Mindy.

Her luck had wavered.  Since perching on a stool at my blackjack table, she’d sipped one Gin & Tonic after another. Now she clutched the edge of the table to keep from toppling.

 I dealt us both two cards.

  She gazed blearily at her cards, then scratched the felt. I dealt her a seven.

 She laid the three cards down face-up and yelped. “That’s twenty- one!”

  I glanced at the nine, six, and seven. “No . . . it’s twenty-two.” I turned over my cards, two tens. “Twenty. Dealer wins.”
For a moment she glared at me. “You’ve acted like a robot all night. Not one bit friendly and never a smile. Why?”
Not bred that way I thought as I dealt another four cards.

  Players can easily read my name tag, but have no clue the Big Boss of the Vacanza Hotel is my brother.

  “Polite’s pleasing, chummy’s cheating,” he reminds me daily. I don’t have to glance upwards at the two-way mirrors to know he’s always watching.

   “I tell you secrets tonight . . . how my husband beats me, breaks my bones,” Mindy said, not looking at her cards. “But do you care? No, damn it! Not one kind word!” She threw down her cards and me a handful of chips.

  “Have some fun, Corinne . . . without me.”

  She stumbled off the stool and staggered out of sight.

  I waited five minutes for new players. When none appeared, I waved over the Pit Boss.

  “Potty break, Lou. Five minutes?”

  He frowned, but nodded. 
*.    *.    *

  I stood at the sink, unable to wash away her words.

  When she first arrived, she straddled a stool and thrust out her hand.

  “I’m Mindy.”

  I shook it, but made no attempt to smile. As I dealt the cards, I listened while watching her closely.

  She was Vegas pretty. All pretense. Big blue eyes with long fake eyelashes under an expensive platinum wig, an over-made face, a skimpy red dress and boob implants not a male in the room ignored.

  As she drank, she’d whimper her story between hands.

  “I’m his newest trophy, nothing more. We live in a five-bedroom manse in The Lakes. No kids though he has two by an ex. Man only wants to screw, drink and gamble. Drags me here, then dumps me. At home he hits me, kicks me.”

  She leaned toward me, touching the bruises around her eyes. I suspected others, far worse, lay beneath the dress.

  “I wish he was dead!” she said.

  In the restroom’s mirror, I gazed at my own unmarred face.

  “Your wish is my command, Mindy, because I am also La Tigre, your friend. But she’s an assassin who works exclusively for Amos, and she would need his approval of what she intended to do.”
*   *.  *
Mindy reappeared at my table three days later, beaming.

“Corinne, would you believe I just became a widow? I don’t have friends to celebrate with, so I came here. Okay?”

 I smiled.

Assassinate Me A Thriller! writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
In 500 words or less, write a thriller (or/and horror) prose involving an assassin/assassination or hitman/hitwoman. No poetry or script, please. Be creative and have fun! :)

artwork is courtesy of Google images.

WORD COUNT: 499 Apple Pages

Some of you may recognize Corinne from previous exploits, most recently in VEGAS SECRETS. I introduced her in the flash-fiction story HIT ME.
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