I’m Andy Kali. I work as a bartender on the strip. I like my job; tips are great and the people are mostly…
To the right of my station is the Craps table. If you like people watching, Craps is solid entertainment. It’s a simple game – really. You put down money it goes away; you play it safe you may come away with some bills in your wallet. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you can make all the crazy bets you want. And if you think you can win, you might be right, but the gods of luck rarely make that happen.
There are customers who play hard and make bets that would bankrupt small countries. One such gambler is Texas oilman Johnny Quinn. He’s a giant of a man at six foot seven He makes bets, throws the bones and wins. He whoops and hollers. He hits us for over hundred-grand a week. I’ve learned that the fastest way to get the attention at the casino is by being a Johnny Quinn.
One girl who works here is a floor server who fills in at the coat-check. She’s the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Her name is Jayna Lau. Her coal-black, straight hair cascades down her back and her dark brown eyes are captivating.
One night she stopped by my bar on her break to pick up a coke. I was glued on the action at the table.
“Hey! Who does a girl have to kill around here to get a coke?” She snapped.
“Sorry, I said. I guess I get caught up in the tables,” I was caught off guard.
“I’d keep my eye on that shit-kicker if I were you.” She pointed to the big guy.
“He’s too lucky. He’s hit sevens on his first toss of the bones every time. There’s a 6.2 to 1 odd that he’s going to hit a seven. He hits a seven every time on his first toss,” she said.
“I don’t know enough to know what to look for. Where’d you learn so much about the game?” I asked.
“China. I used to work at the Big Six casino in Macau. I dealt the Baccarat and Craps tables. In China, if they suspect your cheating, they take you into a back room and mark your face or cut a couple of fingers off. If they catch you cheating, they’ll take you on a tour of the South China Sea and toss you overboard.” She smiled.
“Sounds like a rough game. I’d like to get a spot at the table as the dealer. But I don’t know enough about it yet,” I said.
“You rake in more money in tips as a bartender. If you tell me your name, maybe I can teach you craps, and you can teach me how to make a drink,” she winked.
“Jayna, she thrust out her hand and gave me a smile that made me melt. What’s your schedule look like?”
“Mornings free, Saturday is my night off.”
“Me too. I’m a full-time student at UNLV. I’m on holiday break. Let’s hang out on Saturday,”
“I’m all in,” I smiled. “What’s your major?”
“Close, insects. I’m fascinated with arachnids and scorpions.”
“Promise me you won’t bring any of your specimens on Saturday.”
“Most of them aren’t any near as dangerous as you think. A scorpion only uses venom to capture food. The venom neutralizes prey and starts the digestion process. ”
“If it’s all the same, I’ll carry my Benadryl.”
“There are spiders and scorpions that are so toxic, you’ll croak before you can take your Benadryl,” she smiled. “Here’s my phone number.” She walked away.
I watched her glide across the floor. She glanced back and caught me watching her.
Saturday took long coming. Jayna showed up at my door and looked great.
“You told me you wanted to learn how to play Craps.”
“I do. I think being a dealer at the table would be exciting.”
“The excitement wears off somewhere around the hundredth game. Then it’s just a job. I can teach you in a couple of weeks.”
“Sounds like I have a lot to learn.”
“I’ve been watching your friend play. He cheats.”
“How does he do it?”
“Not every player cheats alone. I think the dealer is in collusion with him. Every time he wins by throwing a seven. He cheats one time after thirty throws. That’s when he makes big bets.”
This is a month long journey with the A to Z challenge. Each day the letter is the prompt for my short stories themed: “Thirty Ways to Kill …”
And keep on the lookout for my upcoming novel – “Lifeblood of the Dragon.” Lifeblood is set in the seedy alleys of post-war Los Angeles. The morgue is full more often than not. Cameo appearances by the well known gangster Mickey Cohen and his goons.
many thanks to my editor: Leslie Moon aka Moondustwriter