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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fame (05/10/12)

TITLE: For Sale
By C D Swanson


"He sold out. He's no longer a part of us man."

"Yeah, tell me about it. He's so weird, not his usual self anymore. All of a sudden he moves on? What's that about man?"

"Hey guys, I don't know about you, but I never saw it coming. I mean he's one of us, and then all of a sudden he sells out?"

Cigar smoke danced, and curled, into a cloud over the three friend's heads. “Jack,” had his own place in the middle of the table, close by, within reach. Their glasses were never empty. “Jack,” was indispensable, and ever accommodating.

"The crowd will be coming by soon, so let's set up and get ready." Mike said, as he lit another giant sized cigar. His black eye-glasses accentuated his pale skin.

"Mike, why do you think he sold out?" Brian asked, before continuing with, "I think he was a fraud all along...he never really was with us." A blue vein etched around his forehead high above his intense green eyes.

"Brian, come on...knock it off. How did you reach that brilliant conclusion? The truth is none of us knew he was a sellout okay? So, let's just get this game going huh?" Bob's face and nose, bright red, as a result of his agitation, and consumption of "Jack."

The young college students started to come in, and took their places around the tables strategically placed, throughout the oversized darkened room. Their voices mimicking a symphony fine tuning their instruments, prior to a performance.

I'm amazed he walked away from this deal and sold out!" Mike looked around with a smug smile, and opened the cash drawer, knowing it would be overflowing by nights end. Fame, and fortune their ultimate destiny.

"Yeah, he was with us for two years on this deal, then suddenly gone! He sold out." Brian shook his head in dismay before Bob countered with an extremely sharp response…

"Then to heck with him! Goodbye, and good riddance I say. He walked away from easy money. He is a sellout...and that's it." Bob picked up the cards and began shuffling. "Ante up guys, tonight is super Monday. For each bet you get a free drink."

The young men picked up their drinks, and piled their chips high. Hope, and aspirations soared. They picked up their cards, pushing back drink after drink…hovering between dreams, and reality.

“The house wins. Sorry young fella, perhaps next round.” Mike smiled disingenuously, and winked at the young man before dealing another hand.

Bob, and Brian, were doing the same at the other two tables. And, none of the young men knew they were being dealt a raw and cruel deal.

They never realized they could never win. The stacks were against them. Allowing one win here and there to occur, otherwise they might get suspicious. But, the drink kept their heads fuzzy, so as not to be sharp enough to catch it. Only once in two years did a young man become suspicious, but after “two wins” it wasn’t a problem.

This went on until the early morning. All of the young men departed pie-eyed with pockets unlined. Brian, Mike, and Bob, counted their fortune, and smiled wickedly.

“Wow, we’ve made more than ever before. This was some night! And without our former colleague, the ‘sell-out’…we only have to split it three ways now.” Brain’s eyes bulged with greed, as he salivated openly, while rubbing the money lovingly.

There was a knock on the door. Mike put the money away in the safe box before calling out, “who is it?”

“It’s me…Joshua.”

The three friends looked at each other. Each one not believing, or comprehending, what they had just heard.

“Come in.” Bob finally answered.

“Hello guys.” Joshua, in a navy blue pin-striped suit, replete with a white shirt, and yellow tie, smiled.

“What do you want? You here to rub it in our faces?” Mike questioned, as he leered at his former friend.

Joshua’s blue eyes were vibrant, and sparkling with an energy that radiated from within. “Guys, I stopped by to ask, if anyone would like to come to my church today?”

“Ha! Yeah…right.” Bob’s lips snarled while lighting up a cigar.

“I know, you think I’ve deserted you, I didn’t. Jesus opened my eyes. I’m sold on Jesus. Please, before it’s too late, give this up.”

As Joshua walked away, he heard Brian.

“Wait up Josh…”

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This article has been read 470 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/17/12
This is a great title. I enjoyed the characters. At first, I thought you were repeating too many words and phrases like man and sold-out. However as I read on I could feel the repetition like I see on TV where the "boss" says one things and his lackeys just parrot it back. You did a nice job with this. The ending was great too. Sometimes just one person makes all of the difference.
Dannie Hawley 05/19/12
Great title for this article! You have captured the secular scene well here. Nice job.
Sandra Renee Hicks 05/19/12
Greetings -

Thank you for this reminder about perspective.

The ending area could have had more punch.

It's such a joy that JESUS trumps it all. I love that Joshua chose our Lord over his buddies and continuance in a sinful life.
Genia Gilbert05/19/12
Great writing, and I like your title. I wonder if it may be a bit weak on topic, but it is definitely there. The two kinds of fame are always struggling within and Jesus is far stronger that "Jack."
Marina Rojas05/19/12
I get this being on topic...sounds like a bunch of garage band members complaining that one of their own left them when they're heading towards fame and fortune!

I like the ending- that one of them reaches out to hear what the "sell out" has to say.

Good read.
Leola Ogle 05/22/12
Great story. Held my interest all the way through. So glad it was Jesus that Joshua sold out to. Loved it! God bless!
Hiram Claudio05/23/12
This was very good and a very compelling read from begining to end. The ending was wonderful and left you wondering and hoping that something changed in the three friend's hearts. Awesome writing. Nice work!
Edmond Ng 05/24/12
A nicely written piece. Given the limit for the number of words, I guess it was without a choice the ending had to come in a little hasty and abrupt to mention one of them responding positively at the invitation to church. My thoughts are if the ending should be such, then the main part of the story should elaborate more on what had changed in the MC that made them feel he is different. On the whole, this makes a good story for a longer version. Good job!
Patsy Hallum05/24/12
this is one of those stories that I had trouble with the flow but was interested enough to read it till I got it. Never did like gambling.