This Is My Lucky Day
by Leroy B. Vaughn
The casino was quiet for a Friday night as I walked into the Topaz Lodge. The drink girl with the big ass offered me a drink as I sat down at the twenty-one table.
I declined the drink offer and put three hundred bucks on the table. “How do you want it?” the dealer asked.
“Two-fifty in twenty-fives and the rest in fives,” I told him as he counted out the chips.
He dealt a king and an ace to me and he hit eighteen. The next three hands were good also. I was able to double down on the third hand and the seventy-something year old women told me I was pretty lucky as she took a drag on her cigarette.
The guy in the trucker cap and the ‘show me you tits’ t-shirt had enough of the dealers “cheap shit” and was turning in his remaining chips when the man walked up to the table, said “hello” to everyone and pulled a wad of bills out of his pocket.
“Hello Danny,” the dealer greeted him as he counted out his chips.
It was warm for a windbreaker, but I knew why he was wearing it. As he reached for his drink his sleeve pulled up and I saw the jailhouse tats starting at his wrist. He wore a baseball cap that was pulled down over the tops of his ears and the bill was turned up a little bit.
I was sitting two stools away from him, and I was keeping an eye on him.
He had been at the table about twenty minutes and I was still winning when he told the drink girl to bring him a double bourbon “and a drink for the lucky player,” as he motioned towards me.
“No, but thanks anyway,” I replied as I looked at my cards.
“You on the job?” he asked as he watched the dealer pick up his bet.
“No, I don’t have a job, I’m retired,” I said as I watched the dealer’s hand.
I saw him look at my belt as he pointed towards my cell phone case. “I thought maybe you were transporting someone.”
The basket weave cell phone case had a small Texas Ranger style badge on it.
“I don’t drive a truck. I just came in to play cards. I’m retired from the Coast Guard,” I lied to him.
“I thought maybe you were a cop,” he told me. “You live around here?”
“Yeah, I live a couple of miles down the road on the California side” I answered.
He had jailbird written all over him, but he appeared to be a very nice guy otherwise. I saw the scar that ran all the way across the back of his left hand and I stood up and asked the dealer to place a marker on the table to hold my spot.
“Don’t take too long,” the man told me. “You’re really lucky tonight.”
The dealer agreed with him as I turned to walk towards the men’s room.
The man had stopped playing and was talking with the dealer. They seemed to know each other. I looked behind his ear when I walked past him and saw the faded blue lightning bolts. Neither one of them noticed as I stopped next to a slot machine and pretended to be looking at it as I reached into my boot and pulled out my snub nose revolver.
Before he knew what had happened I stuck the barrel of the two-inch into the back of his neck just below the skull and ordered him not to move.
“What the fuck’s going on man?” the jailbird wanted to know.
The dealer asked “Hey, hey, what is this?”
“This is my lucky day,” I told him. “I retired two days after you escaped from Florence eight years ago, Danny Boy. I can’t remember your real name, but I remember you. Call security, I’m going to need to borrow a set of handcuffs, this man is going back to the big house,” I said to the dealer.
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Leroy B. Vaughn
Leroy B. Vaughn’s short stories, both true and fiction have been published in eight print magazines, eight e-zines, one newspaper, four pod-casts an anthology and another writers book. He is a retired law enforcement officer living in Arizona.