The Jack


Last time with Dead Money:

Before you this, read this:

The cab pulled up to The Oracle casino in downtown Atlantic City. Built thirty years earlier during the Mob’s peak years of running the town, The Oracle was one of the few places left that paid homage to its reputation as a hardcore gambler’s hangout. Amidst the neon lights, Roman columns, and double-breasted suited Italian bodyguards The Oracle begged to be in a Martin Scorcese film.

Millicent knew The Oracle well. She’d sat next to her father many times as he doubled-down on one bad poker or blackjack hand after another between his marriages. When she graduated college, her classmates went through pomp and circumstance to get their diplomas. She drove to New Jersey to pry him away from gambling losses and some cocktail waitress aiming to be the next Mrs. Arthur Stingley. It had been a few years since she’d been inside the casino. She’d use her knowledge of the place and the turnover in personnel to blend in and get her job done; paying off another debt of her father’s.

Pauley paid the cabbie and Millicent walked behind her and jerked the hem of her dress down. Pauley whirled around in anger.

“What the hell are you doing!”

Millicent rolled her eyes, flipped her long, dark brown hair to one side and stepped to within a foot of Pauley.

“You can show your ass or whatever body part you want to Niles to distract him. But in the parking lot walking into  this place, you’ll look like the cheapest of all Atlantic City hookers with your dress around your waist.”

Pauley smirked and walked away from Millicent to escape the awkwardness. She was starting to appreciate Millicent’s style but she wasn’t letting her know that. Millicent caught up to her, before they reached the first doorman.

“Pauley, I’ll find the bartender, this Kip Ebberling person. Look over the place for a while and settle in before you approach Niles. If he’s playing blackjack and he hits on anything over sixteen, then do whatever you want. That means he deserves to die.”

Pauley tried to choke back a laugh. She eyed the first doorman. He looked ex-military or maybe a former athlete. This was her kind of man and she felt confident about charming him. She turned to say something to Millicent but her new partner had disappeared to the side casino entrance, reserved for employees.


Millicent didn’t worry about not looking like someone who’d work at The Oracle. Food was being delivered and she walked next to a wall of steaks and other meats. A black-haired woman of about fifty-years old wearing a Chef’s uniform yelled, “Hey! and grabbed her arm.” Millicent didn’t flinch. She turned demure, smiled with a slight pout and layed on her best Georgia drawl.

“Oh, hey there. I’m so sorry to just walk in but I’m looking for my husband. He’s a bartender. The silly man turned off his cell phone because we’re fighting. There’s a problem with our daughter at school. I just must talk to him. Where can I find the main bar mixing area?”

The woman relaxed and patted Millicent’s arm.

“Oh, it’s okay. Yeah, men. Walk down to the salad bar then turn left. There’s this ugly sonofabitch named Yancey tending the front bar. He’s not married but he hates drama and will love the looks of you. Just tell him who you’re looking for.”

Millicent smiled and mouthed thank you. She didn’t bother with Yancey. Next to a dice table, dropping off two rum and cokes, was twenty-three year-old Kip Ebberling, shaking, sweating, and scared of his own shadow. Millicent clutched her trusted Prada handbag and strutted to her new partner in crime.

*****blogger’s note****

This is a new story episode of a summer blog series I’m writing with my partner in crime, Tara aka @tara_r on the twitter and the author or Thin spiral notebook:  Every Monday we write new new chapters of the story of two female kilelrs forced to work together. Read her first, then check me.

Today’s song is more in tone with Millicent’s attitude and some of the lyrics match, metaphorically. It’s what I listed to as I wrote. Here’s old Bon Scott full AC/DC’s The Jack. Crank it.


15 thoughts on “The Jack

  1. The two women seem to be building a reluctant respect for each other, knowing they have to work together to get the job done right. I like how this is playing out.

  2. I love it. Great development with the unsteady bartender. Millicent and Pauley are strong links in this chain, but Kip here (perfect name) sounds like he might not be. As I said over at Tara’s, as an editor, I would want to see less shifting between voices in a short space. I’d want the shifts to be really clearly defined. (I love how you can both get into both women’s heads, though.) And as I said over at Tara’s, YOU ARE GETTING THIS PUBLISHED.

    Three typos

    fifty-year’s (shouldn’t be possessive)
    mustyto (I’m guessing you really said ‘need to’ or something)
    They’ll this (be)

  3. Liking the story overall. I hope there will be something explosive in the next few segments, I feel like we’re building up to something.

    Biggest critique is something I have noticed appear throughout the segments: Lance, you just love talking about women’s hair. And that’s good. We need to get a sense of what a person looks like and sometimes hair can become a character all its own. BUT it’s repetitive. I’ve seen the phrase “long, brown hair” show up in almost all your pieces. Probably something to be aware of. That and you really like smirk. I’m sure there are other words to describe how these women smile that are just as descriptive.

    • i have so many crutches. I’m correcting them while editing Helene. I appeciate that you read me so much you catch them. I smirk a lot and my characters smirk alot. Maybe i should write about a band called The Smirks.

      thank you Carrie

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