It was an all too familiar hand to Brunson Taylor and it made his Queen of Spades and Jack of Hearts weep, just as he was weeping on the inside.  The vulture had twenty-one and his hand had come up short.  One short.  Just as it had time and time and time again.


He had stopped calling the people who sit across from him every pay day “dealers” about 6 months ago.  At first he would call them “vultures” under his breath but as the night wore on and his paycheck disintegrated he would openly say it to their faces. “Vultures!”  Circling around him at every table waiting to get his money.  His hard earned money.  The money that he would sweat for in the hot New Orleans sun.  The money he held in his blistered hand for the duration it took for him to go from the bank to Harrah’s and lay down the cash for a modest stack of clay chips.  The chips that may last him hours, but inevitably, they would leave him.  Everything leaves Brunson.


His wife saw the signs about four months ago.  Brunson coming home drunk and belligerent after his payday evening was spent losing all his money but guzzling the free drinks as some sort of mental retribution for his loss.  When the shoving started she told him something had to change.  When the hitting started something did change.  Her bags packed, she left him.  Just like his small stack of chips did every week.


And now the vulture reached for his last three chips and stacked them with that familiar “plink-plink” sound behind her hand of Twenty-One.  And now Brunson Taylor faced another week with no cash, nothing in the bank, and he was reaching the limit of his final credit card.  He should have been enraged.  But as he stumbled back to his empty apartment, he smiled a crooked grin.  Brunson Taylor knew everything was going to be OK in a few days.


Brunson Taylor had a plan.



1.0 Miles