Camel looked around the room to see if he could spot the three wise guys. He knew that they were drawn to this place given the name of it and what went on behind the doors. Glitter and glam was the calling card and it showed all that from the outside. Aptly named, Frank’s Intense Gold ‘n More – Grand Casino and Bar, this is where the three came to play the game since being drawn in a long time ago. Camel’s eyes stopped at the casino table and Dog watched as his friend began to move his big lips and chew noisily.
“Don’t give them any trouble,” Dog reminded Camel hoping to avoid a huge confrontation. “Just let me tell them what they need to hear.” He knew about the situation that had happened with the three wise guys just a few hours ago. He also knew that Camel needed him here to provide moral support when it came time to settle the score. It was now or never. It would happen tonight. Dog heard about the way they took him down, stripped him of his bling and then sent him on his way in the middle of the night. Camel’s other so-called friends Ramel and Jamel, saw this, tossed their gift bags and ran off in the other direction never to be heard from again. That was just not right. They left Camel holding a big bag of trouble. It seems that the gifts from afar they were entrusted with were never going to be delivered to the intended recipient. He told Dog that they were at the stable spa getting their hoofs clipped and buffed when the three wise guys walked in. They were looking for a ride to get them to Holy Toledo, pronto, on time and without delay. The boys told them that they found their Desert Uber Service online and offered a pretty penny for what Jamel, Ramel and Camel thought was to be a quick ride since that was their intended route tonight. But now it seemed that all along they had other plans and rigged their GPS which took them nowhere near the town.
And now here they were celebrating with another scam under their belts. Camel knew the time for a confrontation was here. He began to sway and send out braying vocals in the form of a cadence. It was, “bleat, bleat, bleat, you make me want to sneeze!” With his big teeth showing and lips quivering he contorted his face into a sneer. Ignoring Dog’s advice Camel started towards them. He was now pumped up and ready for anything. Bravado moved him bumping and thumping through the crowd. He went over to the three wise guys and with a great show of theatrics gave them a round of raspberries with his big lips and sprayed them with a loaded wet tongue. He finished by blowing a great big sneeze onto their gaming table.
Caught by surprise, the three jumped up, knocking their drinks of wassail off the table along with all the chips. Somehow the dip stayed in place. The wise guys were shocked and surprised to see Camel since they left him wandering the sand dunes hours ago. But they weren’t the new kids on the block and quickly jumped up ready for action.
Dog was quick to throw himself into the fray. “Hey!” he yelled and put his large frame in the middle of the ruckus. “My friend here has something to discuss with you boys right here and now!” Dog was suddenly surprised at his take charge command performance in the faces of the ones who thought they were in command.
Meanwhile the other patrons started to take notice of the scene unfolding and began to surround the casino table. The three wise guys, Rap, Raz and Roi were well known in the place especially this time of the year. Every evening during The Big Adventure they showed up to try their luck.
Glancing at one another, each nodded and decided to play things cool. Dog was in their face and that was not a pretty scene. He was big, red, and plump, a combination that was anything but picturesque.
“Yo, Dog, waz up?” Roi said trying to sound friendly and smooth.
“Don’t try to be cool with me. We have a bone to pick with you.” Dog was just about to lift a leg then stopped.
“Whoa, back off Red. You don’t have a clue in who yo’ dealing with.” Raz tossed his chin over to where Camel stood loudly chewing on a hoof. “You with that sniveling thing over there?” He hiked up his breeches, tightened his belt with purpose and walked over to Dog with a stride that meant business. “How long you know this lily?”
Camel heard the comment, paused mid chew and glared a the boys. Raz looked him up and down and said to Dog. “You best be on your way or me and the boys will make you wish you hadn’t just sauntered on in.”
Dog looked around as all eyes were now on him. He knew he needed to stay tough or else trouble would find them once again.
“Boys, it looks like you owe my friend here a refund for a misguided trip that never took place.” He bounced over and stood next to Camel in a show of unity. The crowd began to loudly sing praise to offset the negative energy in the room. The baritone voice of the one they all knew as Shep thundered a ‘HALLELUJAH!’ in the middle of the group. Dog gave Camel a high five and stood with arms folded testing the boys reaction.
Raz knew they were outnumbered. Roi and Rap looked to each other not knowing what to do. Their bravado was fading and they needed an out. “What say we settle this with a friendly game of poker? Whoever wins walks away and we’ll call it even. We’ll even throw in the gifts just to be nice.”
The night was fading fast. Camel and Dog knew they needed to put an end to this fiasco with the boys once and for all. “You’re on - Let’s roll the dice!”
They went back to the gaming table. The manager, King Rodhe, pointed each one to a spot around the table. “In my house you will play by my rules. You lose; you leave. No questions.” He told each one there’s no room in the house for sore losers. For those he offered the stable out back.
The game began loudly with Shep as the Holy Roller. Roi was first to go and was escorted out the back door. Then Dog threw in the towel, but since he reneged he was allowed to stay. Camel nearly folded but Dog gave him a wink and the next to go was Rap. He was not happy and left to join Roi.
King Rodhe called the last roll of the night. This was it; it was all on the line. Would Camel walk away with the gifts and an Uber credit?
Shep tossed the dice and for a moment time stood still. A star shown brightly through the skylight of the casino. The crowd was quiet as the final roll of the dice made the only noise in the room. A cheer went up as Camel won the game!
King Rodhe escorted Raz to where the boys stashed the gifts. He also made him sign a reimbursement check for the Desert Uber Service. He was escorted out the back door where Roi and Rap waited. They were stunned by the news. King Rodhe let them off with a warning to not let this happen again. “You boys have been great for business but you pushed it too far this time.”
Camel was elated with his win and bayed in thanks to Dog. They bumped together and shook in glee. Now free to leave Dog offered to make the journey with Camel to deliver the gifts to Holy Toledo. Over the sand dune the two saw the glitter of Holy Toledo in the distance. Camel couldn’t thank Dog enough for all he did for him. “The boys should be thankful we didn’t pummel them, right?”
Dog smiled and told him, “I knew you wanted to thank them in some small way so I took it upon myself and left them with a fine selection of rubber cigars.”
Camel stopped with his mouth wide open and laughed until tears came down his face since he knew how that would end. It was a final stellar moment.
As they made their way to the manger a gleeful Dog called out a season’s greeting, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”