Plan C by D.I. Jolly

Lying in the bath sipping on the most expensive bottle of wine he’d ever seen, Derrick said out loud.

“Well, I’m just… breathtakingly fucked.”

He then took another sip and turned his attention to a small sculpture of a frog that acted as a bookend to the towel stack.

“What would you do, in my position?”

Pausing for effect, as if actually waiting for an answer, he eventually had to sigh.

“Who am I kidding, look at you, a sensible fellow like yourself would never have gotten himself into a situation like this. “

A few large sips later and he could feel the heat, and the alcohol begin to mingle. He then ran his hand through his hair and considered pouring the rest of the wine over his face, but stopped himself remembering the price tag. Just then a gentle knock at the door brought him back to reality and the familiar voice of the concierge drifted into the room.

“Excuse me, sir, but 15 minutes until you’re required to be back at the table.”

“Thanks, Alfred.” Yelled Derrick, wondering again what the man’s actual name was.

He then downed the rest of the wine, pulled the plug and all but jumped out of the bath. It was time to face the music, time to go all in! He looked around for his towel and spotted the frog still staring at him. Then as the combination hot bath, red wine and standing up to quickly began to get the better of him, and as the floor started rushing towards his face, he thought he could hear the frog saying.

“You really are so fucked.”

When he eventually regained his consciousness, he found a concerned-looking Alfred crouched over him gently slapping his face.

“Sir, sir are you alright sir?”

“Did… did I win?”

“No sir, you seem to have blacked out.”

“Blacked out? What? I was playing poker, wasn’t I?”

“Yes sir.”

“Did I win?”

“Again, no sir.”

“You sure? Can we have a re-count?”

Alfred smiled nervously trying to not be aware of just how naked Derrick was and offered him a towel.

“Is, everything alright sir?”

Taking the towel and deciding to stay on the floor for a bit longer while the world, and his life choices, came back into focus, Derrick found himself saying.

“Is there a back way out of this hotel?”

“I… I beg your pardon, sir?”

“Didn’t think so. Ok, let’s try this again, how long have I been out?”

“About 5 minutes, sir. What did you mean a back way out?”

The concierge had paled visibly and it actually made Derrick smile to see someone else panicking for a change.

“Oh nothing, don’t worry. Right, let’s get me up.”

He held out his hand and as Alfred pulled him to his feet, and the towel slipped out of place, only one man blushed.

“Give me two minutes and I’ll be ready.”

“Yes sir.”

Alfred then hurried from the room and Derrick wondered if he’d survive jumping from the window. But looking at cars the size of micro machines, he decided against trying to break the glass. 10 minutes later he was back at the poker table, dressed and sitting across from people who would almost certainly be able to have him killed. But who weren’t half as scary as the 6 people he’d borrowed the money from to enter the game in the first place. He’s sold them all on the line,

“Of course I’m a safe bet when have I ever lost at poker?”

Having never actually played before, what he’d said was true, but now he thought, I guess this is when I’ve lost at poker. Alfred appeared with a large glass of something strong and expensive and placed it down next to him.

“Will that be all sir?”

Smiling as confidently as he could, Derrick slipped the watch off his wrist and into Alfred’s pocket, whispering.

“Go bet that on black somewhere and let it ride until your nerve breaks, then either bring me a pile of cash or a much, much, stronger drink.”

Alfred tried to protest but seeing the look in Derricks eyes felt his mouth dry up to the point where words wouldn’t dare try make the journey. So instead he nodded, took a sip of the drink he’d just put down and headed out onto the casino floor. Derrick, feeling no better about his chances, turned his smile towards the table, took a sip himself and said.

“Right, who here’s heard the one about the duck who walks into a bar?”

Two hours, two more drinks and no Alfred later, Derrick found himself saying,

“All in.”

On a queen seven, while wondering if anyone would think to call his parents and tell them what had happened. Then, as he watched the cards he didn’t want begin to appear on the table, he thought again about the frog in his room, the wine he couldn’t have afforded even if he had won, and how much time he’d get between being excused from the table and being confronted by large scary men with torturous intentions. Then as the final card sealed his fate and he rose graciously to leave and walk calmly from the room he spotted Alfred looking somehow even paler, but holding two glasses of champagne and a very curious smile.

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