Gambler’s Math

(4,848 Words) 

this is a brief excerpt:


Limbo was an odd place to reside. The past rendered negligible and the future full of infinite possibility or none at all. Nothing was decided yet and in that space of unrecorded time Lulu Cole felt a great sense of comfort.

Two days into her marriage, Lulu knew she had made a big mistake. Staring at the ceiling from their bridal bed in a modest cabin at the resort on a lake, alone, she mouthed the words that only she would hear.

“What have I done?”

Just moments before, he was there beside her, petting her hair before first light, maybe checking to see how asleep she was as he mapped out his furtive departure. Or maybe he was saying sorry in advance. For his imminent transgression. She was a fungible item, easily replaced with a new distraction.

As light filtered in between the cracks of doorways and walls, a new day arrived. Or did it? Like many other days in the past, he left her to immerse himself in the smoke and clamor to play his hand at blackjack among sad sacks and desperados. There he would sit in that airless box with no windows or clocks, in a place where people were bound to lose their way. She was fairly certain there was a room in hell that closely resembled a casino.

Today was not a new day but just the same day again like many before, repeating itself on a hamster wheel. A timeless loop.

. . .

© 2018, Mary Corbin

Gambler’s Math is from the “Life Lines” collection. Featured painting by Mary Corbin: “Cards on the Table #2.”  No reprints without permission.

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