The gambler

Gimme your damn wallet

Said the middle-aged pyknic, in a slow and deep cadence. A clearly edacious black man, with an air of dumbfounded innocence. His pinguid complexion bled rancid stains beneath rolls and rotund. While a mayfly’s attention echoed in his cleanly shaven dome.

Gimme your damn wallet

A macilent, black youth wearing a white, tank-top and a minacious gaze. The gold-toothed bruxist, seethed the words with venomous bravado. He was a sheep in wolf’s clothing, surrendering to a survival instinct that perhaps worked better in darkness, than a well lit room.

Gimme your damn wallet

The hoary, flocculent patches of his otherwise dark hair, betrayed his age; as much as the tired wisdom reflected in his watery, bloodshot eyes. His measured, nonchalant delivery, showed he’d been here before; he knew the routine. A gelid, gliding stream hidden within a sinewy, ebony derma.

Gimme your damn wallet

An obviously hispanic accent, flourished each syllable with susurrus threats. He had coriaceous skin, covered in a black, hirsute down almost as thick as the monochrome tattoos constellated across his aggressive frame. His bandoline hair, was pulled back into a ponytail that hung away from his heavily inked neck, as his jaw protruded forward in defiance.

Gimme your damn wallet

Chittered the glaucope, in a rapid, pauseless utterance. His cyanic eyes darted vagariously around the room, from above rubicund, haughty cheeks. Nervous, but in an unperturbed way. Like a confident gambler betting on a sure thing, but harboring a morsel of realistic doubt. An anxious excitement anticipating a favourable outcome.

Do any of these voices sound like the man who killed your wife? asked the detective standing to his right in front of the 2-way, almost guarding the token white.

The old man wonders if they are aware of this gradience of guilt. Is this layered lineup learned after years in law enforcement, or is it bred into them at the academy? It could simply be a coincidence. Or it could be a bad seed.

He knew he was wasting time, but they all sounded the same to him. He didn’t see the perpetrator, and only heard – or only remembered hearing – that phrase.

Gimme your damn wallet

He deeply wanted justice, but would justice return his wife? His breathing had become operose. The detective looked at him with impatience, but otherwise little concern.

The old man didn’t know who it was, but the police surely must. This was just a formality, right? Everyone here is guilty of something. Did it really matter? He just wanted this to be over, so he could grieve.

Finally, he concluded that he had no choice but to gamble, too. So with a tearful gesture, and his voice caught in a viscous, bubbling tar, he noncommittally waved his trembling hand leftward, and muttered

It was him.

10 thoughts on “The gambler

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