The Circle

Every Sunday, the guys got together in the park to play cards. The hands would start innocently- coins and small bills piling themselves on the table- but inevitably ended with someone’s watch or wallet in the pot. The guys were always looking to raise the stakes, layering wager on wager.

On this particular afternoon, a man came by to watch them play. First he drifted to the outskirts of their circle, but with each passing hand, he was drawn in closer. Eventually he stood amongst them, posted in mute fixation, until the guys invited him in:

“Know how to play?”

“I shouldn’t.”

“It’s fun, let us show you.”

“Can I do this?”

“Yeah, that’s great, you’re a natural!”

The guys welcomed the man as one of their own, and boy did he learn quick! After the first hand, he had won someone’s ring and a nice chunk of busfare, and he sobbed and sobbed as he raked his winnings in.