General Fiction posted May 14, 2022

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Big-time poker night at the Trocadero

Tucker at Poker Night (Part-3)

by Ric Myworld

After the morning robbery, the evening’s murderous lynching of five, and the next day’s investigations, it was big-time poker night at the Trocadero.
Our goals and expectations are fueled by wishes and dreams. But seldom, if ever, do outcomes match or approximate our intended successes.  
Running late, Tucker wheeled into the Trocadero parking lot. Tires spinning and gravel flying, he slid into a front slot by the door.
Daniel Farnsworth’s two-dollar-pistoled protectors sandwiched the building’s outer entranceway like frowning bookends—screening patrons—and refusing admittance without sold-out tickets or invitations. Tucker hurried to split the pair of worthless door ornaments with a nod and strolled inside.
Chatter buzzed throughout the game-room’s event line. Players registered, paid entry fees, and were assigned seats. Velvet roped stanchions replaced outer-wall panels, allowing more spectators better tournament viewing.
Big Heavy, Farnsworth’s robust, monumental mammoth, would have made King Kong look like a dwarf. His bald, sweaty black head glistened under the lights as he checked pesky, impatient suckers’ credentials. Human sacrifices, unwittingly advancing to financial doom.    
In the smoky shadows of the darkest corner, Farnsworth stood phlegmatic and about as inconspicuous as a rattlesnake making waves in a punch bowl.
As Tucker approached the cardroom, a ruckus broke out. A turned-away Goliath-sized monster punched Big Heavy in the chest, about as high as he could reach.
Big Heavy retaliated, landing a vicious overhand right. Nearly the circumference of the aggressor’s head, Heavy’s wadded fist struck the man’s face harder than a sledgehammer shot from a cannon. Teeth tumbled out of his mouth like bowling pins scattering to an adjacent alley. Then his head hit the floor, making a squishy, smushed pumpkin runover-by-a-tractor-tire sound. Lifeless, he lay flat on his back, eyes frozen in a distant stare.
Paramedics rushed in and scooped the limp casualty up on a hard-backed stretcher. Engrossed with the crowd and upcoming action, fellow players didn’t seem to notice the puddle of blood or fading tracks of the stiff’s emergency-path exit.   
At a table of six, across the way, sat a dead ringer for Amber Heard. Gorgeous. Dazzling bright-green eyes ablaze from the mischievous fire behind them. Soft blonde hair flowing to the middle of her back, lights shimmering off the palest bleached strands. She carelessly crossed her legs revealing a meticulously coiffured bush beneath her micro-length mini skirt.
Tucker pretended not to notice. Probably thinking the detailed grooming was intended to deter attention from razor-sharp teeth hidden in pink, awaiting an unsuspecting, and soon to be, unfortunate intruder grasping for his cropped manhood. Appalling is the irrational evil bubbling within such beautiful creatures.
Dressed more conservatively in silk blouses and tight-knit thinly transparent skirts—textured somewhere between cellophane and sharks’ skin—sat twelve of the finest looking babes ever assembled under the same roof, anywhere.  
Both bordering tables of flesh-peddling hotties sparkled from glittering accents of pearl necklaces, chains, rings, and a bevy of bracelets: bangles, interlocking tennis, hoops, and enough diamonds to start their own mine. Darling dates ready to do the nasty—no priming necessary—just affording wallets brimming in scratch and a willingness to fork-out such humongous trespassing fees.
Farnsworth entered the room to applause and cheers. Repeatedly tipping his head and waving as he turned, he smiled, and pointed to acknowledge every observer possible.
The young lady on his arm wore an elegant gold sequined dress split halfway up her thigh, revealing her shapely tanned legs. The open neckline plunged below her breast cleavage, exposing most of the dual package. Almost unrecognizable with her new makeover, Tammy Jo rivaled any Hollywood starlet parading the red carpet.
Tucker gritted his teeth, jaws clenched and twitching. An aged, heat-damaged bottle of champagne, his cork about to pop.
The ultimate illusionist, Farnsworth had quickly transitioned from his early-on, hidden in the shadows, pouting-toddler mentality.
He had metamorphosed from stewing brat to Mr. Personality. His beaming smile more captivating than a toothpaste-commercial model spitting digital glitter . . . an ever-shuffling deck of unpredictability . . . from Godzilla fierce . . . to an instantaneous dancing purple panda passing out bubble gum and pixie sticks to tiny clinching fingers. A psycho beast never to be trusted for a moment.
Farnsworth hugged Tammy up close and kissed her forehead. He rubbed her exposed back, his hands sliding down to squeeze her waist, easing toward her bottom.
Tammy Jo pushed octopus arms away and stepped back, unaware of the dangerous territory she was playing in. Farnsworth the manipulator, had intentionally been pushing Tucker’s buttons for days, and Tucker was edging toward ballistic.  
Against the far wall sat three statuesque Rottweilers, heads and bodies motionless. Their dark-brown almond-shaped eyes never stopped as they scanned every attendees’ moves.
Touchdown McCann eased up on Tucker’s right, and said, “Hey, what’s up, Tuck?”
“T. D., where’ve you been, fella? I waited for you to pop-in for a sip of sauce the other day, but you didn’t show.”
“Well, truth is . . . I fell asleep in the car. Then, I woke up to special forces making a quick getaway in a black Escalade.”
“Did you get a license number?”
“Nope . . . once I figured out, I wasn’t dreaming, all I saw was cardboard taped over the plate. Then I took a coward’s precautionary measure . . . and ducked out of sight . . . lying in the seat until I was sure they were gone.” T.D. guffawed. “The bar door was locked with a closed-sign up by the time I climbed out.”
“Okay, I get it. So, you’re here to play cards?”
“Fat chance,” T.D. chuckled. “This Texas Hold’em buy-in is $5,000, with a $5,000 one-time re-buy. Not a poor boy’s game. Twenty-seven tables, nine-seats per, and if every player re-buys, the total payout equals $2,430,000.”
“Wow, so, you’re just coming to watch?”
“Nope . . . I wish. Farnsworth has me working the mandatory blinds’ clock on 30-minute-raise intervals.”
“Have you worked for him before?”
“Only when I’m broke and hungry.” T.D. grinned, and said, “Which is about every weekend.”
“So, how long has Tammy been seeing Farnsworth? And why hasn’t anyone bothered to tell me.”
“Oh, don’t worry Tuck. She isn’t really seeing him. He just treats her real nice, buys her things, and takes her to fancy places.”
“Gee thanks, Touchdown, now I’m really worried.” They both laughed, Tucker’s panicked expression in full view.
Approaching the courtesan beauties and engulfed by their deliciously sweet, aromatic perfumes, Tucker smiled, acting respectful with a nod, and said, “Evening ladies.”
Hauntingly deep-set and beautiful, a pale-blue-eyed stunner with caramel skin made a gazing erotic peeper-to-peeper connection with Tucker as she licked her gleaming lips, and said, “What’s the hurry handsome?”
“No hurry ma’am,” Tucker replied. “Just practicing self-control. Thinking back to the little dog who couldn’t see too well.” Tucker knew she didn’t have a clue what his little-dog gibberish meant. His reference to lyrics from “Drowning on Dry Land” by Albert King. A verse that went something like:
You know my mother told me the story,
about that lil' dog that couldn't see too well
He was crossing a railroad track one day,
when the train cut off a part of his tail
He turned around but never looked up, just to peep over the rail
And she said he lost his whole head
trying to find a little piece of tail

A fitting innuendo.

Tucker wasn't the type attracted to loose women. In truth, he didn't care much about any . . . but Tammy Jo.
T.D. and Tucker went their separate ways. T.D. to work. Tucker to the men’s room.
Tucker idly strolled into the lavatory to an unexpected exchange. Farnsworth stood directing Big Heavy, who had snatched up some perp in a stranglehold.
Tucker quickly excused himself and turned to leave. But he couldn’t get out before Farnsworth made a slicing gesture, hand across his throat. Immediately, the guy’s neck snapped like a crisp carrot and Big Heavy pitched him headfirst into the last stall. Tucker heard the man’s head clang against the porcelain toilet as the door swung shut behind him.
Tucker spent much of the evening just wandering around taking in the sights, watching off-the-wall characters wearing goofy hats, hoodies on a hot summer’s night, and dark sunglasses indoors.
He finally found an out-of-the-way seat at a makeshift bar with a good view, angled front and center to the poker tables, behind standing observers. He kept incognito yet managed to lean this way and that to catch regular glimpses of Tammy and Farnsworth making goo-goo eyes, all scootched up close in the fancy V.I.P. booth.
Tucker analyzed the poker game, between deep thoughts drifting into activities of the last few days. Something was bad wrong. But what?
A Mexican brute in Jimmy Choo combat boots strutted past. A normal looking dude, besides his bulging muscles and massive physique; and of course, his high-dollar boots.
Then, Tucker’s awareness shot to red alert. From jeans and tee-shirts to high-dollar suits, men wearing Jimmy Choo’s seemingly gallivanted everywhere. Sharp and trendy, but a rare commodity, which few could afford. Too many pairs spread throughout the swarm of stragglers meant time to move quickly. Mayday!
T.D. had just changed the thirty-minute blinds and condensed the remaining players down to the final table. The bulk of the masses dwindling down and headed for the exits, all but the hardcore fans scrunched up to see the last nine vie for the title’s huge payday.
Tucker waved frantically at T.D., who recognized his demeanor and hurried over.
“T.D., listen closely, trust me, and act fast. Please.”
“Okay, Tuck, what cha need?”
“Grab Tammy and get you and her out of here, now. Get far away from this place . . . quickly as you can. And keep your phone handy.”
“Okay, Tuck, but—?”
“No time for questions, brother! This is life or death. Get somewhere safe.”



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