The Gaming Hall

  Photo credit jppi from morguefile.

The Gaming Hall

Traci Kenworth


I wasn’t supposed to be in here, to see what went on, but hey, when your sixteen rules are meant to be broken. Especially when it may attract attention from parents who act like you don’t exist anymore since the divorce. Not that I wanted them crushing my world further than it was, but I’d heard things about this place. Things I hoped were true.

“What’s your name?” the woman in charge of the dice asked.

“Madeline Grace Hill,” I squeaked.

“Do you prefer Maddy?”

I nodded.

“Well, this table you’re sitting at is special but I can see right away that you need this more than most.”

I leaned forward. “Can it really help me? Get the two of them together again? To fix everything?”

She smiled. “I can promise, if the dice rolls right, they’ll never be apart again.”

I took the dice in hand. They felt cold, slimy to the touch. I shivered in despite of the sweltering heat outside and in the room. The background around us seemed to fade, the noise of the crowd drowned out. There was only the two of us—and a wish.

“Choose your bet,” she said.


“Lucky sevens. Let’s roll.”

I wiggled the pieces in my hand and then let them fly forth.

The dice tipped and landed on—seven.

My hand went to my throat.

“A winner in the house,” the woman called. She glanced at me and her smile appeared a bit—toothy. And not the crooked kind of way, but gappy like a creature in a horror flick. “Go home, Maddy.”

I stood then paused. “But how will I know it worked?”

She tapped the dice. “The magic is in the dice.”

I hurried home through twisted, populated streets. Caught the subway and felt the splash as we went under the river above. I forced myself to put one foot in front of the other as I went to the door. A blood-curdling scream unlocked my hesitancy.

Inside, I found them.

Hooked together like Siamese twins.

On the sofa, the woman from the table stood. “You see, now they’ll have to get along.”

I stared in horror as each reached for a knife.

The woman shrugged. “Or maybe not.” She stepped toward me. “But, in any case, there’s a price to be paid for the wish.” She licked her needle-like teeth.

The End




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