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Adventure Suspense Fiction

What happens when you are put in a position where money comes first. Always. 

I was on a trip to the other side of the country. My friend, Joey, was in the southwest part of Nevada and it had been quite a while since we got together to jam. And jamming had been our thing for quite some time, as in, since the third grade. The first time this came to light, was in a music class where we all had to pick a random object that was in a huge box in the room. How fun! When my name was called to go to the box, I looked over the ridge and with a happy gasp grabbed a round wooden thing that had bells on it. My teacher said, "Good choice! You have a tambourine!" A what? I had no idea what it was but proceeded to shake it and it made amazing sounds!

It just kept going from there as we went on and on with music as our thing. Two other guys stuck with Joey and me through the years. Brodie and CJ kept up with their percussion stuff. We made our music with cast off things that no one would ever guess could be a repurpose for anything other than a dump. Who knew? And here we were making a few bucks in our own crazy, unique way. I mean, really, I absolutely loved my cast iron sink!

We added our own vocal sounds to go along with this mishmash of iron, metal, tin, glass extravaganza of so-called instruments. Everything has a tune if we choose to listen. And it was a good thing for us that we did. No one thought we were anything other than screw ups with nothing to gain in life. Book learning was a passing way to get through the time in life where that seemed to be the only way to succeed. But we morphed our book learning into a different path. 

Since we had to make money from real work, although our music was real work, more was needed to keep us afloat just to keep moving ahead in the road to success. It was only a matter of time that we knew we would be in the right place to shine. Everyone had a side job or two. It's what it was. I had a few days off from my junk removal job. What a relief to just be away from piles of crap and not look back for a minute. As a driver picking up stuff all over the county, some of the places I went into reeked of dope mixed with, I swear, a rotting corpse or more. It was that dense smell of death. Those places were, thankfully, only a few that I went to now and then. Sometimes I came away from a job with newfound things for my other trade aka music with an oddly bent, twisted something or other and a new tune to rock the world, or so I hoped, with grand imagination.

 Joey and I came up with a plan to hit the Vegas area. Scoping out this unique venue place was a wild idea that we had for some time. Joey was the one closest to the place, living nearby, due to his side job as a rock climber guide for the Big Lift company. He had pricy-paying people wanting to climb with real boots on, but most were not even close to knowing what scaling up the side of a cliff entailed. It was like taking babies to a place they really shouldn't be before their shoes fit. The big boys needed to know their baby steps first. So, his job was to soften the way and make it seem like they were climbing in the Rocky Mountains. Whatever, they paid up. 

We were all meeting up to spend a few days to come up with a plan and we knew Vegas could be a game changer. The money was right there and everywhere you looked it was dripping down into and out of pockets left and right. Your eyes were forced to see the allure of money in every corner of this place; from each hotel elevator to side street phone booths, you were prompted to put your money in it for the win. It was as if the air in the entire area surrounding Las Vegas had something added to it as soon as you crossed into the city. The ripe, enticing smell of the color green was everywhere.

So our goal was to slip our way into a casino to find the right ones in charge to offer our funky music gig and hopefully come away with more than we went in with, like a ticket to play on a real front stage, to a huge crowd. The four of us together could dream something up, no doubt. CJ and Brodie caught a fast train to this neck of the woods or to this 'desert sand trap' and here we all were for a quick, few days to conjure up and work the plan.

So, the four of us decided to dress up like we had so much money and needed to just get rid of it and have everyone notice. As we played the room and strutted our stuff, we caught the eyes of many and were looked at with the intention of what we sought, money boys with way too much time on their hands. Sly eyes stole glances at us, and right then we knew who the ones were that aimed to flush us out of our easy money. We had agreed to each go in with a set amount, play it cool, don't give away too much and not look foolish. Play the hot card with our smooth looks and hoity toity attitude. "Fake it, til you make it", as someone once said. We got this.

CJ and Brodie went to one gaming table. Me and Joey went to another. Not at the same time. It had to look casual, not planned. Like that's never happened before. While we waited for the casino croupier, we were approached by a young lady with beverages for us. She was very cordial, and drinks were on the house. It seemed that today was a special day in the house. The Golden Gate Casino was celebrating its 115-year anniversary of its opening. A free golden chip was offered as long as you purchased one hundred at $10 bucks apiece. Joey and I opted to do this, one - to make our presence noticed, and two - win over some fans and our next, hopefully successful music scene. We gave the nod to CJ and Brodie to do the same.

And just like that, in a wink of an eye, we were had. All of us lost our first thousand to the lone guy who showed up, donning a cowboy hat. He was subtle about going from one table to the next. What a piece of work. Who shows up at a casino with two bodyguards packing obvious sidearms? Where were we anyway, in the O.K. Corral playing with Wyatt Earp? 

This was not what we had hoped would be our calling card. We were smoked out and left to ponder our next move. We took a wrong turn since this was the last thing, we had intended coming here in the first place. Music was our thing. We had all the bells and whistles in mind from working the roulette tables in spin mode to the slot machines screaming music, with buzzing and siren sounds. These would be our new pieces for an epic music event. 

All eyes were now on this guy as he left the building but not before flirting with a few ladies, shaking hands with the obvious top brass, and accepting a large envelope. We could only guess at how much the pay load was that he was given. Walking casually over to the window we saw him get into a huge limo emblazoned with his ego booster, <DEAL WITH IT>

January 29, 2022 01:40

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2 comments

W.D. Pierce
22:56 Feb 02, 2022

Hey Debbie, I really liked so many things about your story! My favorite quote was "We added our own vocal sounds to go along with this mishmash of iron, metal, tin, glass extravaganza of so-called instruments."  I also really enjoyed how fluid your story was, always switching from something exciting to the next. My only critique would be that I think you need to add more context for some of your scenes. I felt like some of the scenes and characters needed more background info or tie-ins from other parts of the story. But otherwise really gr...

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Debbie Curtin
02:13 Mar 06, 2022

Thanks for your insights. I need to write like the deadline is not just hours away which I seem to do more often than not. Reading a story out loud or have someone read it to you can pick out stuff to change up. Next time...

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