Seven of Spades: 'Golden Horizon'

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“Straight Flush, Queen high.” I said, smirking, laying my five Diamonds on the table in front of me. The other ruffians gathered 'round cursed and spat, tossing their losing hands back towards the dealer as I pulled the money towards me, stashing the small pot into a pouch at my side.

“I've had enough of your dumb luck for one night, stranger.” The biggest one said, scooting back from the table and heading towards the bar. The rest of the players spouted words of agreement, heading out of the saloon or to the second floor, or where ever the hell they were off to, leaving just myself and the dealer still sitting.

“Well, guess I'll be off too.” I said, looking over at the dealer. “Not very fun playing poker with just two people, eh?”

The dealer shifted slightly, the cowboy hat on his head angled over his face just far enough that all I could see was his mouth. His eyes stayed ever hidden, just like they had been that entire night. Guy had some skills, though, passing cards out around the table and pulling card tricks occasionally to the applause of the players, almost as if he knew exactly where all his cards would be.

“Oh, I wouldn't be off just yet, partner.” He said, his rugged voice drifting like a tumbleweed across the table as he collected his cards, shuffled them, and raised his hands, the cards nowhere to be seen. “How about one more hand?”

Shrugging, I settled back down, reaching into my pouch. “What are the stakes?”

“Not a thing, friend. No money. Just cards.” He drawled, lifting his hat just high enough to reach underneath it. From the bullet hole in the hat, I didn't see anything underneath, but he soon produced another deck of cards. This one appeared somewhat thinner than a standard deck, like it was missing a few, but I paid it no mind.

Spreading them out on the table in front of me, he gestured as if asking me to pick a card.

“Trying to be some two-bit magician?” I asked with a chuckle, leaning forward. “Gonna tell me what card I pick?”

He said nothing, but the mouth underneath that hat grinned.

“Ah, hell.” I said, looking over the cards, before drawing one from the lineup. Turning it over, I laid it down on the table.

“Seven of Spades.” The dealer said, looking at the card.

“So now what?” I asked, leaning back in my chair and staring at him. “Gonna shuffle and try to impress me?”

The dealer chuckled, a gravelly, rasping sound. “Not at all. The cards have already been dealt. Now you just need to make a choice.” He said, leaning forward, staring at the card. “Play? Or Fold?”

Glancing down, I gasped at seeing an ornate gun where the card had laid before. A seven-shot revolver, handle made of wood that practically shined like the sun, the barrel a dark metal, almost black, and on the hammer, the number 7, merging into an upside-down spade.

I had heard the rumors on my travels, but this was my first time seeing a Gun in the flesh. It made my old slugtosser seem like a worthless hunk of metal.

“Why me?” I asked, running my fingers over the smooth grip.

“Don't ask me.” The Dealer said. “The Gun chose you. Just as they all do.”

As my hand wrapped around the grip, the Gun almost seemed to hum, the air around it visibly shaking. “Well, in that case, I can hardly turn it down, can I?”

The last I saw of him was his grin before he was gone, as though he had never set foot in the saloon.

Quickly, I pulled my slugtosser from its holster inside my jacket, gently sliding the Seven of Spades into it and pulling my jacket closed. Tossing the slugtosser onto the table, I grabbed my coat, tossed a gold coin to the bartender, and threw my coat on as I walked out into the cold night.

I jumped up onto my horse hitched nearby, and gave the reins a quick tug to loosen them. I guided my steed out into the night, heading out of the town, and in no particular direction.

Where was I going? What was I going to do once I got there? I had no idea. But I was sure my partner would know.

My Seven of Spades.

My Golden Horizon.


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