Writing Group: A Roll of the Dice

Hello everyone!

This is a call to anyone whose got a rabbit’s paw dangling from their rear-view mirror, a mutated clover pressed between the pages of a book, or a penny in their pocket they found staring at the sky. Keep all your lucky trinkets and baubles near, because…

This week’s prompt is:


A Roll of the Dice


Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!


Bring on the gambling stories. I wanna see all your gunslingers with a bone to pick and your irreverent rogues with bones in need of pickin’. If someone doesn’t got with a card up their sleeve or a weighted pair of dice somewhere in the mix… well that just wouldn’t be right, would it?

Actually, it would.

This is a lot broader than that, because instead of explicitly writing something about gambling, take this prompt more broadly to be about chance. Chance, but also stakes. Because for that roll of the dice to mean anything, first you gotta ante up. Whether than means looking embarrassment in the face to ask that cute person out, or putting your life into a stranger’s hands—that’s up to you! Just make us feel that moment of tension before the dice settle.

It’s all in that roll, that top card of the deck, that falling coin. Take us into that anxious limbo where the laws of physics and probability melt away into pure emotion at what could be.



Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Friday at 7:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit, and get ready to help each other improve their confidence in their writing, as well as their skill with their craft!


Rules and Guidelines

We read six stories during each stream, three of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected from among the top ten most-liked of each post, so be sure to share your submissions on social media and with your friends!

  • English only.
  • Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
  • One submission per participant.
  • Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
  • Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
  • Submissions close at 4:00pm CST each Friday.
  • Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name).
  • Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
  • Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
  • Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or stories written for other purposes).
  • Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
  • Please format your submission as “Submission Title” by Author Name and be sure to separate paragraphs. (Example Submission)
  • No fan fiction without explicit permission from the source’s owner, and no spoilers for the source material if you are writing a fan fic.
  • Original art may be included in your submission, but is not guaranteed to be shown on stream. Only .jpeg format images shared via a direct link will be accepted. (Example Submission) (Information on “Direct Links”)
  • No additional formatting (such as italics or bold text) will be applied to the text of submissions. Symbols or instruction indicating such formatting may render your submission ineligible.
  • You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible, and your reviews must be at least 50 words long. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
  • Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.


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3 years ago

Blackjack by Domtron
“You know how to play kid?” The man remarks to me, cigar in his mouth unlit with a smirk that reeks of confidence as he shuffled the cards. “Do you call all players who go up against you kid?” I returned the expression showing no fear on the inside but on the inside I was scared. Joe Bell is the best dealer in the business, in all my 40 years of beating dealers Bell was the one I wouldn’t go up against but now at 63 I knew people wanted to see a match between us and by God I couldn’t disappoint my fans
“If you say so” Bell dealt me my hand: 3 of clubs and a queen of hearts, not a good hand to start off but not so bad either. I looked at my chips, $10,000 out of $100,000 total is on the line here, sure not big money for a guy like me or Joe but when two players are the best at what they do well that money becomes pride. I freeze my hand and watch Joe deal his own hand. “Read them and weep Vinny a king and a queen” The crowd gasped in disbelief, Joe won the round and the $10,000. A few murmurs erupted in the audience: “Joe is scary! Vinny didn’t even try in this round! I knew Vinny Delo is becoming washed out!” I grabbed the rest of my chips and put them all on the board “all in no take backs” the room fell silent as Joe looked at me amused. “Well well all in already? Seems like dementia has already caught up to you. I’ll play by your rules Vin, all in for me no take backs. Tell me when to stop.” My eyes were glued to the cards, 2 of clubs, 3 of spades, 6 of clubs. My brain calculated all the possibilities of the next card I looked at Joe still having that smirk on his face “what’s the next card gonna be Vin? You got 11 on ya. You can freeze but then I could win and the world would know that Vinny Delo has lost his touch!” I chuckled a little as my index pointed to the table “hit me” my confidence was unmatched as Joe pulls out the next card. His smirk went away, his cigar fell onto the floor as I stood up grinning from ear to ear “I think Vinny Delo still has it”

3 years ago

“Moifriendzotoa and Mister Probability”
by the Tale Foundry Community,
a bunch of dice,

Aw SLUGS, don’t you hate when you’re rubbing your PAPAYA and just casually summon a trickster spirit?

“I’m not a genie,” HOWLED the VERMILLION spirit when I started spouting off about 3.141592 wishes. “I’m a MOIFRIENDZOTOA.” The not-genie stuck her WEENIS out at me. “I can tell your probability though.”

“My what?”

“Like your fortune. But it’s how likely a given question is to come true. Look! I use this.” She pulled out a CHEESE YELLOW TALEOID. “Watch.” She yelled right at it: “Mister Probability, DOES TALEBOT LIKE CHEESE?”

Then she shook the taleoid SMELLILY. When she stopped, it appeared to have turned into a BRITISH stuffed EMU WITH A GUN. The moifriendzotoa stared into its eye, and nodded. “See? ALL SIGNS POINT TO YEA.”

“Wow, that’s pretty UNSPEAKABLE,” I said. “Let me try.” I knew instantly what I wanted to ask. “DO ANIME GIRLS DREAM OF 3D MEN?”

“Ooh, careful,” said the spirit. “Whatever Mister Probability says is absolute truth. But let’s check.” She shook it again. The thing became 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999998 ASSES and words flashed on the sides:

I was LIVID to read it. I must act on this newfound knowledge immediately!

“Aww, EVERY NUMBER IS THE SUM OF THREE CUBES EXCEPT THOSE WITH REMAINDER 4 OR 5 ON DIVISION WITH 9,” said the moifriendzotoa. She patted my STRAND OF HAIR #456. “Let’s do one more. Something big. What’s something you’d LOVECRAFTILY like to know?”

I tapped my COLON thoughtfully. Then I smiled. “I know my question,” I PONTIFICATED. I turned to what was now a GATTE OF A SOFT MIXTURE OF PASTEL PINK, NEON GREEN, AND BLACK and made one last query.


The shapeshifting object vibrated ADVERBALLY for a moment. Then it CROWED its final answer:


As if to prove its point, the colorful Gatte sprang from the moifriendzotoa’s arms and dashed for the WINGNUT. A second later, I could hear rumbling outside. I looked through the window and saw 666 BRICKOSAURUS REXES charging right for me.

Guess I’d better run too, huh?

3 years ago

Random Chance, by Matthew (Handsome Johanson)

It’s a quiet day at the office. It is nearing 2 pm and time is seemingly slowing down. Each moment, each revolution of the clock is taking longer and longer. Beyond the clattering of keyboards and the clicks of computer mouses,

A loud tummy rumbling is heard, breaking the silence.

‘Ugh, I shouldn’t have skipped lunch. Now everyone knows I am starving.’ I check my desk drawer to see if any of my emergency secret snack stash survives. Nothing but a couple pens and an IOU from Penny remains.

‘Dammit!’ I close the drawer feeling defeated and sit back in my chair. I stare at my work for a bit, but then remember that the rec room has a vending machine in it!

I get up from my desk and rush to the room to see a glorious snack machine staring back at me. I take out my wallet and judge the possible treats.

‘I don’t want something too small or else I will have to come back, but I also don’t want something too messy or I’ll look like a slob at work.’ I stand there deliberating for a moment before I settle on some delicious nuts. I put a dollar into the machine and await my prize.

The machine takes the dollar and begins rotating the solenoid to release the snack. As the package begins to release, the solenoid stops and the package remains there, stuck. Dutifully, the machine produces my change and wishes me a great day.

‘AAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHH’ My internal screaming and frustration almost bursts forth into reality as I stand with the most dour face, staring at my lost prize.

‘What luck! Now, I can’t just buy it again because the machine will have then conned me out of two dollars, and I probably won’t even get both snacks. Besides, if I give in and actually get two snacks, the machine wins and my coworkers will look at me funny.’

Dejected, I return to my desk and give a sour look to Penny as she smiles and waves from across the office.

3 years ago

“Diving by the Cloudside”
by MinniLou

Sora looked down over the ledge. All she could see beyond the swirling, spiraling clouds, was the dark, seemingly bottomless sea. As she leaned over the cliff, the drop seemed even longer and she leaped back as soon as her head passed the edge.

“How do you know I won’t rip my wings on the coral again?” Sora said, her legs slightly shaking at the length of the fall.”Or chip my scales, and open my scars. Besides, just because you managed to get a big crawfish, doesn’t mean I’ll get one too.”

“Oh, relax already!” Bellhopper replied as she juggled shells in her claws. “It’ll be fine, Just dive in, grab whatever tries to run away first, and fly back up with it.”

Sora looked over the ledge again. This was her 91st attempt if she remembered correctly. She grazed the spots where scars replaced the azure scales that she once had, now lost to the ocean sands. She remembered all the times she got ensnared in the anemone fields, watching a month’s worth of colorful fish swim away. All the times she let go of her breath just as she was about to grab a
mid-size crawfish. All the times she had to eat gulls’ bone marrow in shame as nearly everyone else ate their superior catches.

“No more…” Sora muttered to herself. “No more.”

Sora took a few deep breaths, stepped back a few paces on the fluffy cloudy platform, spread her wings, and leaped off the cliff straight into the midday sky. The wind whipped against her face as the gravity pulled her into the realm of the sea. All kinds of different fish and squid swam away as Sora broke through the waves. She snatched a shellfish from the dunes and swam back up to the sky. As Sora leaped out of the water and landed back onto the platform, Bellhopper looked at her with shock.

“What in the seas and skies…?” Bellhopper gasped, dropping her shells.

Sora looked down at her catch. It was a large, rainbow crawfish.

3 years ago

Up to Chance
By Alexander (BrokenEarth)

“And he gets the jackpot! Can anything stop him?” The game show’s host was shocked. This man’s luck was incredible.

“Wow! That’s incredible!” John, the contestant who had just gotten the jackpot, looked surprised and happy. In truth, he couldn’t care less. He knew he’d get the jackpot. He knew he’d win the game.

He wasn’t cheating, though. He had been told what to do, within the game’s rules, that would guarantee his victory.

The prize money wasn’t what he wanted. It’d be nice, but what was important to him was that his niece would see him on TV and be delighted that he had won.

“This is for you, Emily!” John spoke the words, and meant them, but there was no conviction behind them. They were empty.

The game continued, and he ended up winning the best prize the show’d ever seen, but the only thing on John’s mind was getting back to celebrate with Emily.

On the way to his car in the parking lot, John saw a casino and decided to get a drink at their bar before heading home.

He hadn’t even drank his shot when a stranger, presumable someone who worked at the casino, approached him.

“Aren’t you the guy who just won big on TV?”


“Are you here ’cause you feel lucky? Wanna bet some of those winnings on the dice?”

“No. I just want a drink.”

“C’mon, I’m sure you could win something!”

“I could. I won’t.”

The man thought for a moment.

“For someone who just won, you don’t seem very happy.”

“What’s it to you?” John’s sharp reply caught the man off guard.

“Nothing, nothing… Just thought I’d seen someone like you before. We get a lot of folks around here, but sometimes we see the same kind of people. They act almost identically. The man I’m talking about ended up losing everything here, but maybe you’ll have better luck.”

“I told you, I’m not here to gamble.”

“Even so…” The man handed John a poker chip. “You never know what might happen.”

3 years ago

Chancing it
By T. A. Andrewson

The rain poured endlessly as Iggy waited for their autocar. It always rained here. Something to do with how the autocars powered themselves. Iggy had heard the explanation a few times. It always just sounded like excuses for why the world had to be the way it was.

They had been excited for this once. Back when they bought into the whole company logic of climb the ladder to get a cushy job. Heh, they had that job now. It was less work than before. Less stress too. The pay bump was nice, until they were upgraded so their accommodations to fit their position and the deduction left them with the same money as before in an apartment which… was cleaner? Still it showed they cared.

They looked at their phone for what must have been the hundredth time, not looking for the autocar but at a message. In their free time, when they even had free time which was less and less often these days, they would work on robotics designs and mods. Nothing radical, not even real, it was all in the Datastream. It didn’t pay, but it was fun, a hobby more than a passion these days. It hadn’t always been that way though. Two hours ago they had gotten a message from a friend. She had a job offer for them in a start up.

Their contract had a no moonlighting clause. They’d have to quit if they went for this. They’d have to quit anyway, it would take up too much time.

Looking at the sky at the endless steaming rain they wondered if they could even remember what the sun looked like? What it felt like?

As the Autocar pulled up they punched in a new destination. One that wasn’t their home. As the autocar pulled away they began penning their letter of resignation.

Maybe this was a risk. Maybe it wouldn’t pan out. But maybe the risk of climbing was was worth it for the chance to see the sun one more time instead of rain.

3 years ago

By Smyser

Luck is—Hmm, what is luck? Luck is a tingle down my back. Some of us are able to push it out into the world to work for us. It’s an ability. A sense. We can give others luck, ourselves, or store it until it builds and builds. The one rule—never let your luck hit empty. Even a trickle can keep me from exploding or getting literally stabbed in my aforementioned back. I use it to make me money. It’s quite effective in achieving that.

I’ve stored mine for too long. So long, in fact, that I think it may have a detrimental impact on my social and emotional life. And just my physical life in general. Because otherwise these guillotine straps wouldn’t be so uncomfortable—and the wood is giving me splinters on my chin. Well, that’s my fault I suppose for calling the mayor’s bluff.

That’s alright. My posse of renegades will be here shortly to sneak through the crowd and save the day. No, they’ll probably latch their luck onto an arrow and disable the guillotine from afar. No, wait, I bet the executioner is one of them in disguise, ready to pull some crazy stunt at the last second. Here he comes now, reaching for the lever. The crowd is anxiously awaiting my doom. What a show they’ll get.

Perhaps I should use my luck just in case.

The tingle expands as I push my luck out into the world. I focus its power on the guillotine itself. The executioner pulls the lever.

Yeah, any fraction of a second now.

The guillotine comes screeching down. I push and push and push. I focus on the rust of the contraption and explode with every drop of my luck. It halts. It’s stuck. The executioner attempts to dislodge it, but it doesn’t budge.

They didn’t come for me. They were everything to me. Was I not everything to them?

I push more on my luck, only to find it empty. I broke the one rule.

3 years ago

“Blood Oath” by Hikitsune-Red

The “cell” the amateur monster hunters had picked for Farran was (as I’m told they say in your world) spartan, to say the least. It was, in truth, an empty storeroom on the western edge of some warehouse near the port—Farran could smell seawater through the rotting wooden slats. They had provided him a rusted cot, to which his right hand was cuffed, and a metal bucket purposefully placed just out of reach. Outside, the carousing of the three men Kerrigan had put on watch echoed throughout the building.

“A few bits o’ planted evidence and this boy thinks we’ll fall for it,” one shouted, following the statement with a laugh more akin to choking.

“Kerrigan told me he’s gonna put two in his chest for that,” said another. His voice matched the other’s in volume. “Hear that? We don’t normally hunt humans, boy, but we’re gonna put you down just like your wolfen lass!”

Farran tuned them out half-an-hour ago, opting instead to weigh what few options he had. On the mattress before him was a piece of paper they hadn’t found on him, short instructions about how to form a blood oath with the goddess Asena. Farran’s sister would have warned him to think about the consequences, what he’d become. But he knew no one else knew Kerrigan’s plans; he planned to kill one of the few friends Farran had.

One of the legs of the cot had an exposed screw, a sharp glinting point, and Farran quickly ran the index finger of his free hand across it, drawing blood. He drew the symbol from the paper on the back of his other hand, careful to be as detailed as he could. Once he finished, he hesitated.

Farran nervously chuckled to himself. A blood oath to an ancient goddess? Surely, he thought, such a thing wasn’t real. But then the laughter caught in his throat.

What if it worked? He may never get out of the cell alive if it didn’t (Farran wasn’t exactly an optimist), but if it did, he’d become just like her, a killer—a werewolf.

R J Chapman
R J Chapman
3 years ago

“Benefactor” by R J Chapman

Peter gasped. His pain receptors detonated and the subsequent explosion had short-circuited his brain. There were no thoughts. There were no subconscious instructions going to the heart or the lungs. Images from his orbital sockets had stopped transmitting. The pain was quite literally blinding.

His body, desperate for air, overrode his incapacitated mind and forced the carbon dioxide from his lungs with what could only have been muscle memory. An intake of breath followed, as his other four senses slowly began to re-emerge. Staccato sobs followed.

‘Pete, what is this?’ he heard a distant voice ask.

When Peter failed to answer, the pain surged through him once more. This time, his eyes saw the man pressing down on his broken hand.

‘What is it, Pete?’ the voice asked again, this time in absolute clarity. The man held an object in front of him.

‘It’s a horseshoe,’ Peter whimpered.

‘What’s it a symbol of?’

‘But I paid,’ Peter pleaded.

‘Not what I asked.’

Peter shook his head, ‘I don’t know.’ The man pressed his thumb into the fractured bones of Peter’s hand. ‘My hand… my broken hand.’

The man released it. ‘That’s where you’re wrong Pete. This is a symbol of good luck. You’re a gambler, not a very good one admittedly, but a gambler all the same. As a degenerate, I’d thought you’d be superstitious. It’s yours to keep. It’s a gift.’

‘Why?’ Peter squeaked.

‘This horseshoe just saved your life. You see, this is your last roll. Your final chance to avoid a reckoning. You’re gonna carry this wherever you go. Every time you feel the urge for a little flutter, you’ll look at this and remember the pain this way of life causes.’ Peter felt the pressure on his hand once more. ‘I’ll pop by every now and again to make sure you’re carrying your…’ he paused for a moment before grinning, ‘…your sober chip! Think of me as your sponsor!’

The horseshoe fell to the floor with a clunk.

‘What if I can’t stop?’

‘Then you’ll be betting your life,’ he smirked. ‘Welcome to Gamblers Anonymous.’

3 years ago

Unfair Luck
by Lumikat117 “Lumi”

Lyeff burst into laughter as the human landed on a trap, gleefully watching him yelp in shock as he was swallowed by a monster.

“I can’t believe you fell for that! I practically told you it was there!” He snickered, taking a minute to calm down. Alex rolled his eyes and shoving his shoulder into the disguised demon beside him.

“You did no such thing ‘ya jerk. Great now I have to revive him… Ugh how are you so good at this?! This is literally the first time you’re playing a console game!” Alex protested, flabbergasted by how he was being beaten by a demon who’d never even touched a console before, let alone played.

Lyeff shrugged, not really sure why either. “Just lucky, I guess? We don’t have things like this in my home dimension.” He tapped a button on the controller, watching as the dice rolled on the tv and moved his character forward towards the goal. He grinned, getting another reward, adding to his already massive wealth and snickering again when he heard his human boyfriend grumble about it being ‘unfair’.

“Lighten up, we can play one of your ‘board games’ next if you like. Maybe that, what did you call it? Monopoly?”

“Oh hell no, we are not playing that. We’ll play something that doesn’t pit you against me because I swear you have the greatest luck and I get my ass kicked each time. Look I have another console game that we can play co-op, that means we play on the same side.”

“Sure, but who would we be playing against?” He turns to Alex, tipping his head curiously.

“Against the computer, it’s called a ‘First Person Shooter game’ where we play a character in a war and have to shoot AI controlled enemies to get to the end of the missions and achieve our goal, either by winning the war or putting an end to it.”

Lyeff thought about it… so violent… he didn’t understand humans and their need for violence, but if it made his boyfriend happy, he would at least try it.

3 years ago

“The Amethyst Jackal Casino” by Carrie (Glaceon373)

The Amethyst Jackal Casino brimmed with activity as three adventures gathered around a red door on the back wall. The guards knew of them, and opened the door, leading them into a back room.

The boss of the casino, Redeye, sat at a mahogany table, trademark eye gleaming, tainted right arm oozing and shifting. Two guards flanked him. Around his neck hung a red crystal. On the table rested two decks of cards and a coin.

“You’ve earned your place against me,” Redeye said. “Flip the coin, then draw a card from the corresponding pile. We reveal, loser’s card activates. Each of you get one shot. You win, you get the crystal. I win, the guards take care of you. Understand?”

“We’d like a moment outside first, please,” the half-elf said.

Redeye allowed it. The half-elf handed a potion to the wizard. She downed it and flinched as the thoughts of everyone in the casino were now inside her head.

“They’ll first look like regular cards, but each have random effects,” she explained. “But I can’t illusion anything without getting noticed. All that matters is the card. Like a roll of the dice.”

“Then we hope,” the half-elf said. They returned to the room.

“Ready? Then the paladin goes first.”

The half-elf and Redeye flipped left. A jack against a seven. Redeye’s card formed two orbs of light that floated near him. “Interesting,” he said.

The dwarf flipped left, and Redeye flipped right. A two against a ten. A dark copy of the dwarf appeared and cackled, joining the guards.

It was tied up.

The wizard flipped right. Redeye flipped left. The wizard laid down a nine. Redeye laid down an eight.

The party held their breath as Redeye’s card ignited with green fire. The dark copy, guards, and orbs of light flashed and vanished. The chain around Redeye’s neck turned to dust and the gem hit the table.

“Congratulations,” Redeye smiled. “You’ve earned it.”

The wizard picked up the crystal. “Thank you.”

She felt the beating heart within it. She smiled. The kingdom might survive after all.

Felicia Taylor
Felicia Taylor
3 years ago

The Gamble by feliciataylor_91

A dreamy sigh escaped Ella’s crimson lips as she gazed into her mirror.

“I feel the time drawing ever closer, my dearest.”

One gloved hand caressed the surface, a tingle racing down her spine. Her lover smiled back, his eyes warm and kind.

“Soon, we will be together.”

She leaned forward and kissed the glass, and a chill touched her skin.


Her older brother Chet opened the door, shaking her from her fantasy. “Ell, Mom said time for-,”

A stupid grin split his face at the sight of her kissing Marcus Brady’s picture. How humiliating.

“WHAT?!” Ella screeched, her heart hammering.

“Well, Mom said dinner is ready, but I see you’ve already started on the appetizer.”

She picked up her stuffed unicorn and threw it at his head, but he used the door as a shield.

“Ugh! Get out!”

“I’ll just say you need a few more minutes.”

She glowered at his retreating laugher.

*Annoying jerk!*

Sometimes, she wished they weren’t related. Still, he HAD protected her from those bullies last year. And he was also the first one to encourage her to actually TALK to Marcus.

Jerk or no, Chet wasn’t ALL bad.

Returning focus to the picture, she sighed. She scrubbed it and her face clean after removing the gloves.

Ok. Marcus wasn’t her lover, YET, but she planned to change that.

She removed her journal from an unlocked drawer and penned this latest daydream.

Turning to the inside front cover, she read over a letter she’d written to Marcus. It wasn’t perfect, but it was as close as she could get to expressing her true feelings. She had worked on it for WEEKS.

Open books of poetry and music appreciation cluttered her bed and nightstand. Two of Marcus’ favorite subjects. Ella wasn’t a fan, but she could understand why he liked them. They helped her letter flow.

Saturday was the magic day. After the school play, she would give Marcus the letter. All of her fears, hopes, and deepest feelings.

And IF he read it, she would have her answer. One way or the other.

3 years ago

“The Boss”
By Madelyn

If there was a common thread between a game of poker and surviving for a century or two, it was that there was no such thing as luck. Some people had an advantage, but never luck. Everyone just had to use the hand they got and hope to be the last one standing.

That’s how Avi even had the opportunity to hold what Reginold Black called “Lady Luck’s dice.”

“Now, I cannot let just anyone take these,” Reginold explained. “No offense.”

“I’m used to it.” It was the second time Avi spoke the truth that night. He was not as good at lying as Balthazar, but he was still decent enough.

“Before you take them, I must be certain that Lady Luck is willing to part ways.” Reginold motioned for Avi to throw the dice on the desk.

Avi knew the risk, but Balthazar still needed time to get the information they came here for in the first place. He rolled the dice and watched as they landed on a four and a one. Then those dots shifted to a head and a snake. He looked at Reginold and asked, “Mind explaining what—”

There was a black void around him. Then a golden figure appeared before him. The face cracked as several eyes opened.

“Faust.” Avi was not as surprised as he thought he would be.

“You’re lucky you have a pact with me,” Faust spoke as he floated above the ground. “Anyone else would have let you crack under your greatest fears. Curious, though. You don’t seem like the kind of person who fears being alone.”

Avi felt himself stiffen. “What am I supposed to be witnessing?”

Faust got close to Avi’s face, all eyes trained on him. “Oh, you know, loved ones falling away one by one until you’re alone. The usual. Gotta go. Chat next time?”

Avi opened his eyes and saw Balthazar crouched in front of him, making sure Avi was fine. “Mind explaining what you were thinking?”

Avi used the desk to stand up and ignored Reginold’s unconscious body, “I need a drink first.”

3 years ago

New Job
By Giovanna J. Fuller

“You did well,” the strange man complimented.

I gave him a confident smirk, “Yeah, I did.”

He snorted, but smiled.

We watched as the good men and women of the police department took care of the mess. The only light was the soft yellow light of flashlights as they did their work in silence. Everything would be cleaned up before the first 9-5 employee got up for work. It amazed me how I could have gone my whole life not ever seeing this, if it wasn’t for that night.

“You’d make a good cop.”

I turned my head to look at him. He was still watching the clean up. I said nothing, thinking I had misheard him.

“Well, ever given it any thought?” I watched as he slipped a hand into his coat and pulled out a pack and a lighter.


He lit a cigarette and gave it a puff. “To this,” he gestured to the mess. “You’d be a half decent one too, better than any rookie I’ve had to train.”
Work for the police.

“Not really my style.”

“Perks come with the badge.”



I shrugged. “I work best when I don’t have someone breathing down my back.”

“Well,” he handed me a business card, “if you ever change your mind. Give me a call.” He walked over and began barking orders at the clean up crew.

Mr. Willard of the Dover Police Department.

I brought the card closer to my face. My hot breath warmed it slightly. The black letters melted and fused into new ones.

Mr. Willard of the Dover Supernatural Investigation Squad.

‘Maybe it was time for a career change.’ I rubbed my jaw. ‘Come on Max, you’ve done weirder things.’