Powder Burn Flash - #361 - Harding Young

by Harding Young

I got bullets.

Looking across the table at Dogger I imagine them, one by one, crashing through his skull and coming out the other end along with a big chunk of his brain.

Instead I keep them close, waiting for the right time, playing the hand slow and steady.

Lucy is standing now.  Her skirt rides high and every time she bends to lay cards on the table Dogger takes a long, lingering look at her ass.

She is loving him watching her.

“Check,” I say, having put in the big blind.

“I call,” Dogger says, throwing in some chips.

Lucy laughs.  “Ouchy.  Come on boys, don’t you know that size does matter?  I thought this was a high stakes game.”  She puts her shoulders back to enhance her cleavage and Dogger shows no shame. He makes lapping sounds with his tongue.

“Honey,” he says, “why don’t you throw those tits into the mix and I’ll bet my whole damn load.”

My bullets are getting hot.

“No offense, Cal,” he says.

“None taken Dog,” I say.

“Just admiring your bride’s bosom.  A man has to react to such a pair.”

“Not to mention her fine ass,” I say.

“Oh yes, her fine, fine ass.  I surely do agree.”

Lucy gives him a bend, a wiggle and a smile.  It’s much like the one I saw her give him through the blinds two nights ago, when I got home early.  Except she wasn’t wearing a damn thing then.

“How about just the flop,” I say.

Down they go. 




My odds slim.  Pair on the board means a dangerous trip lurks.  But, lying fuck that Dogger may be, his eyes always tell the truth.  His eyes tell me… he does NOT have a Jack in hand.

I put him maybe on a King-Six.  Pair of Kings looking pretty hot to him right now.  Hotter than Lucy’s tits.

I roll my head.  Knock on the table.

He smiles.  Breathes hard.  Smiles again.

“Well, time to heat things up.  Two thousand.”

I whistle.  Lucy gasps and says, “Now here comes the action, Jackson.”

Why the fuck does she always say that? Action, Jackson?  What the hell does that even mean?

Truth is, Dog is only her most recent affair.  There is a long list, increasing in frequency, duration, and inhibition.  Hell, she barely tries to hide it anymore.

I look at my cards again.  Ace-ace equals win-win.  But, I want more on the table.

“I call.”

“Baby baby baby,” Lucy says.  “Push it push it push it.”

“Hey, how about a kiss for luck,” I say.  She saunters over and slips her tongue into my throat.

Dogger says, “Now that ain’t fair.  This is a gentleman’s game.”

She giggles.  “Why Mr. Dog, I do think you are right.  Ruff ruff!”  She dances to him and turns around and wiggles her ass onto his crotch.  He gives her tits a big, hard squeeze.  “Oops,” she says.  “No touchy Mr. Dog.  Looksies only.”

I’m not sure what annoys me more, the flirting or her stupid voice.

“Just the cards please,” I say.

She flips the turn.


Just my luck.  I now put him on trip Kings.  Question is: what does he put me at?  The answer is easy.  A sucker.  He’s always thought me that.  Now, with Lucy licking his loins on a regular basis, he figures he’s got me every which way.

“One thousand,” I say.

“What you got there, Cal?”  Dog says.  “Eight-two off-suit?”

Lucy giggles and says, “Callie doesn’t bluff, Dog.  You know that.  Never knew a straighter arrow than my good ole Callie-wallie.”

“Raise,” Dog says.  “Another thousand.”

Got him.

“I call.”

Lucy jumps.  “Action, Jackson!”


Lucy takes the cards and rubs them sensually into her cleavage.  “A little luck for both of you, from all of us,” she says.  Dog salivates and looks rabid.

She burns a card and deals the river.


I’ve hit trip Aces.  Knock his Kings solid.  Time for the big stakes.  Time to put this miserable mutt out of my misery.

Bullets through his skull.

“I’m all in,” I say.

Dogger howls, shakes his head, breathes hard.  He says, “I don’t think you got me covered man.”

“No, doesn’t look like it.”

“Maybe we can make a deal.  Raise the stakes.  Put a little more action into the mix.  A little more Action, Jackson.”

Bullets ready to fly.

“Like what?” I say.

“Like Lucy.  A little Lucy goes a long way.”

“What do you mean? You want me to bet my wife?”

“Well, I’d be happy with just her tits, but the rest of her is pretty damn fine too.”

I shake.  I squirm.  I make a show of my dilemma.

“What are you putting on the table?”

“What do you want?”

Lucy is not smiling.  She’s lost her glow.  She’s deflating.

“Two things.  First, if I win, you stop fucking my wife. - Second, I want your car, and that new Bose stereo of yours."

His nose flares.  His jowl quivers.

Lucy is staring at me with something like hate.  Something sinister.  Something that suggests she actually feels betrayed.

“You bet me,” she says through her teeth, “for a fucking car.”

“Well… and a stereo.”

Dogger slams the table with his fist.  “I fucking call.”

I aim between the eyes.  I fire.

Bang, bang.

Bullets in the head.

His smirk lingers in a whirl of cigarette smoke.  He slams is cards on the table.

I was right.  King-six.

Only problem is the suit.



He’s got a flush.

As he’s leaving he shakes my hand.  “No hard feelings, Cal.  You played a good hand.  I had the nuts.”

On his way out the door he adds, “And now I got yours.”

Lucy is less congenial.  “You fucking lost me the second you put me on the table, you fucking bastard.”

And then she’s gone.

Like I said.

Ace-ace equals win-win.

BIO: Mr. Young still lives in Toronto, writing his first novel, caring for a diabetic cat, and trying to keep up his blog Oriolelounge.com.  In addition to Powder Burn Flash, his publication credits include an entry in an anthology called Twisted Cat Tales, by Coscom Entertainment, and the former Canadian Storyteller Magazine.


The Nuts!

Great suspense. Led me along till the River, and then surprised me.

Sometimes bullets don't beat a great big club

Caught the game solid, Harding. Get in with your best knowing sometimes the river takes you away. Nice slow play on the flush. Would have cleaned me out too. Ever see THe Cincinatti Kid with McQueen and Eddie G. Robinson? Cool.

good stuff!

well done, i agree with AJ, you caught the essence of the game... great characters, well told tale.


Bill Baber

Poker Device

Young makes the poker device work well in this tale, using the falling cards to increase the tension between the characters.  Nicely done!