Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Mystery of the Mousse - Chapter 3 - 'Game on'

Read Chapter 2

CHAPTER 3 - 'Game on'

Taking to their seats, the tension in the room was palpable. A bead of sweat trickled down the cheek of Mr C. The Victim's eyes darted to and fro, trying to sense any signs of weakness in his opponents. Mr G seemed calm, but his apparent resolve belied a rapidly beating heart and a feeling of intense fear.


"Shall we begin?" Mr G asked. "Or do you ladies need to powder your noses before we start?" he chortled mockingly, in an effort to appear cool and calm.

"Just get on with it G!" barked the Victim, clearly in no mood for such banter.

"Hang on a minute" interrupted Mr C. "We can't start without a drink!"

Mr C walked across to the bar and began to survey the stock. He was known to enjoy a good tipple, and wouldn't have felt comfortable carrying on the game without a stiff drink.



"Whiskey? I don't think so. Vodka? Not tonight. Tequila? Mayb.....Hang on! What's this??"

Mr C's gaze fell upon the strange looking bottle of red liquid labelled ' The Aftershock'

"Now this looks interesting!" he declared.

"That's dangerous stuff" shouted Mr G from across the room. "I've seen what that grog can do to people!"

Nevertheless, Mr C was already returning to the table with the bottle and three shot glasses.



He sat down and poured a thimbles worth of the bright liquid into each glass. Vapour swirled around the top of each glass.

"Thirty second challenge anyone?" challenged Mr C.

The thirty second challenge was a tradition amongst this group of friends. It involves the drinking of an alcoholic substance, with various stages involved in the consumption. The first stage, 'the hold' lasts ten seconds, and requires the drinker to keep perfectly still and retain the fiery liquid in their mouth. The second stage, 'the swill' demands that the drinker slosh their drink around their mouth to enhance the flavour - this too, lasts ten seconds. The final ten second stage, 'the shake' is the most rigorous, as the participant must shake their head violently for another 10 seconds before finally swallowing the whole lot.

Following these rules 'to the letter', each one of the three friends took a swig of the red firewater.

"Bloody Hell!" spluttered the Victim. "That's some strong shit!"

"You're telling me" replied Mr C, his face contorted by the bitter aftertaste of his drink.

"Are we rreeady then?" slurred Mr G, recoiling from his shot.

As the game of blackjack got underway, Mr C poured himself another glass of the demon drink. He figured his ability to out drink his opponents would give him a clear advantage.

"Pick up 5, ya fucker!" Shouted Mr C, as he casually threw down a black-jack prior to Mr G's turn. The drink was clearly making him aggressive.



"I don't think so!" snorted Mr G as he cancelled the move with a red-jack. "I'm too slick for your tricks, C!"

"Not for mine though, eh G?" taunted the Victim as he placed a queen (to reverse the direction of play) followed by another blackjack and a two, which meant Mr G needed to pick up a total of 7 cards.

"Damn, you nearly got me" said Mr G with a smirk on his face. "But I have one more move left!"

Mr G then confidently turned over another 2. The result of this move meant that Mr C was now facing the possibility of picking up 9 cards. The rouse he had created had backfired on him!

"You lot are a bunch of cheating bastards!" barked Mr C, angrily.

The others just smiled as Mr C began counting out the cards he needed to take.

"Make sure you pick them all up now C!", scoffed Mr G.

Fifteen minutes passed. The game was entering a critical stage now. The Victim had only 3 cards remaining and Mr G had only 4. Mr C, who was drinking heavily now, had over 25 cards in his hand and things were looking bleak for him.

"Yous lot are fuckin' cheatsss!" slurred Mr C. "I don't like this game annyymorrre!"



Mr C wobbled around on his chair and fell, the aftershock had taken full hold on him and his game was over.



Mr G placed a king down, which allowed him another turn. He followed this with and 2 and 3 of hearts (a perfectly legal move). This left him on the cusp of victory with just one card left in his hand. He rapped the table with his knuckle, as was customary in the game of blackjack to announce an intention to win on the next turn.

The world suddenly faded around the Victim. All that was left was his cards, the table and the intent stare of Mr G, seemingly willing him into making the wrong move.




The Victim's hand twitched nervously. He was about to play two 5's, but knew if he finished on the suit that matched Mr G's remaining card, it would all be over.

Cautiously, he placed the 5 of hearts followed by the 5 of clubs - and he too, knocked on the table with his hand. Mr G smiled. Was the game over?

"Well, well Victim", said Mr G scornfully. "What do you think is going to happen now?"

"You....win?" asked the Victim, slowly accepting the impending defeat.

"No. I bloody don't you lucky swine!" hissed Mr G, his confidence fading.

Mr G's last remaining card had been a heart. If the Victim had have placed his cards in a different order, the game may have ended in defeat for him.

But now a wry smile crept onto the face of the Victim. Suddenly he began to laugh hysterically.

For the briefest of moments, the world stopped turning. The patter of the rain outside ceased and the snores of the incapacitated Mr C faded into the background. Indeed, time itself stopped to observe the Victim's next move. Slowly and assuredly, the Victim reached for his final card. If it was a club, the game would be over.........

To be Continued.........

Read Chapter 4

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