Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on December 7, 2013 0 Comments


© 2013 By David Wainland

756 words

Cord settled into the chair, back against the wall. Yellow light, from a green shaded lamp, spilled across the green felt card table. He threw a fistful of cash in front of him and produced a pack of red backed playing cards.

“Five card draw, pot limit.” He said to the three other players.

“What to open?” asked the thin man to his right.

“Anything, this is a man’s game, that all right with you slim?”

“My name is Errol, and don’t call me slim, anything wild?”

“Are you kidding? Frank, what playground did you get this guy from?”

“He’s Ok,” Frank answered around a Marlboro, “He’s heavy with cash. I’ll vouch for him.” He broke off, coughing into a dirty handkerchief.

“Man you got to quit that habit. It’s killing you.” The fourth man, Dandy Max, shook his balding head. “Besides your killing me with that second hand smoke.”

The ripping sound of cards being shuffled broke into the banter.

Cord passed the deck to the right, “Cut it Skinny, is Skinny OK with you?”

Errol frowned, but lifted the top half of the deck and shifted the bottom to the top.

“Anybody else want a cut?” asked cord.

“Naw,” answered Dandy, “It takes brains to cheat. You ain’t got what it takes. By the way I thought we were having a fifth player tonight. It’s no good with just four.”

“He’s coming,” Frank choked out between coughs, “Some dude I met in the bar. He didn’t talk much, but when I heard him ask the bartender if there was a game in town. I introduced myself and we exchanged names, I had a good feeling and I invited him.”

“Well he’s late,” grumbled Cord, ”What’s his name anyhow?”

“Bill something or other; he’ll be here all right.  I smelled gambler.”

Cord started to deal and at that moment the door swung open. A chill settled on the room.

“Shut the door feller, it’s freezing in here. You Bill?”

“Yup, I came to play. Mind if we swap seats?”

“You talking to me?” asked cord.


“Well then, no.”

“Why not?” the stranger tilted back a broad brimmed black hat exposing cold dark eyes, a pale face decorated with long drooping mustache and hair down to his shoulders.

“Cause I always sit with my back to the wall, comes from a superstition. Back in the old west some bad guy got back-shot cause he gave up the wall seat. Too bad, it seems the fellow could have won the hand also. He had two pair.”

“Quite the tale, what was that bad guy’s name?”

“Funny, it was your name, but they called him Wild Bill instead.”

Bill settled into the empty chair, brushed his black jacket back, pulled out his money, sighed and whispered, “It’s not a problem partner, let’s play poker.”

Two hours later Bill had a big pile of money in front of him as did Cord. Dandy and Frank were broke and sitting out the last hand. Errol was pushing empty, still he hung in for the finale.

“What ya got Skinny?” demanded Cord.

“I’m busted, ace high.”

“And you Bill?”

He laid a pair of kings on the table.

“Well I guess that makes me the winner. I got two pair.” Cord smiled.

“Show me,” said Bill.

“Sure.” He threw his open cards on the felt and grabbed for the pile of money.

Bill reached under his coat, pulled out a long, black revolver and shot Cord between the eyes.

“Aces and eights, the ‘Dead man’s hand’,” I guess the superstition is real enough and it don’t matter if you got your back to the wall or not. The name’s Wild Bill Hitchcock fellers and I been waiting damn near a century and a half to find out if sitting with my back to the wall would have made a difference, seems like it didn’t.”

Cord slumped forward on the table, his three friends sat as though in a trance while the apparition of the long dead gunman faded to grey, then gone.

“I guess that makes me the winner,” said Cord, he lifted his head from the table top and swept his winnings into his lap. “Hey, where did that guy Bill go?”

“What guy?” croaked Frank as he lit another Marlboro.

“Must have been the whiskey, next time I don’t drink while I play. See you guys next week? Oh yeah, I think it’s time I sat in a different seat. This one don’t feel lucky no more.”

WWE, Wednesday’s challenge for Gather Writing Essential, 12/4/13, Ghost Writers


Challenge: Write anything you want, as much and as many posts as you want (in any form) about a ghost. Be sure to put Ghost Writers in your title, and if you remember, put this challenge in your post so people won’t think you’re crazy.

I know we’ve lost a lot of members and many remaining still can’t post, but I hope to see a pile of responses on this one.

The Rules:

Keep in mind, this is a monitored group and there are only a couple of rules, which are:

Make sure you put this (WWE, 12/4/13,Ghost Writers) in your title.

Be sure to tag it with WWE, Gather Writing Essential, Ghost Writers. Post to Gather Writing Essential, and be sure to make a comment on this post, so I’ll be able to check on anyone that may have responded.

I ask that you make your submission(s) by next Tuesday afternoon, but if you’re late, just give me the link. Actually, give me your link even if it’s on time or I might not know about it.

Who cares about the 3 submission thing.


About the Author ()

Crafter, writer, artist, retired and I love a good glass of wine.

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