Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Devil's Game - #FridayFlash

The place was crowded, the lights dim. Old world elegance oozed from the inside of the bar, not at all what Cate expected from its non-descript exterior. She wondered if she had the right place. This didn’t seem like her friend’s style.

Her entrance went unnoticed, something she wasn’t use to. All eyes focused on the billiard game happening in the middle of the floor. Cate didn’t know much about pool, but the charming man with the easy grin must be winning. The others looked worried.

Cate studied the man in the expensive silk suit. She found herself unable to look away. He glanced at her—spoke a word of welcome. His voice was smooth whiskey tumbled over shards of ice. The ribbon of smoke from the cigar he held enticed her to follow its trail to his side.

He completed his shot as she reached him, three balls in the corner pocket. His opponent was visibly sweating as he watched the table.

“Hold this for me.”

He handed Cate his cigar with a smile. Its heady aroma wrapped Cate in its spell. She took a drag without knowing why.

“I’m Lucian,” he said and hit the final ball in the pocket.

The ground opened below his opponent, fiery souls billowed forth and consumed the man where he stood. Cate backed away but the crowd closed in around her, rapacity written on their faces. Her head spun from the cigar smoke.

“Are you ready to play, Cate?”

Lucian’s voice caressed her, locked her in place. She looked back at the door where she’d entered just moments ago. It had disappeared.

“If I win, will you let me leave?” Her voice sounded thick to her ears.

“No.” Lucian’s grin took on a wicked cast. “But I’ll buy you a drink if you do. I have to tell you though, I’ve never lost.”

©2009 Laura Eno