To Short Man

August 19, 2015

It was Harlem’s Cotton Club, and Duke Ellington’s big band swung into a jazz rendition of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” as k’Lark gently puffed on his Cuban cigar. The interstellar gambler had come from nothing to make a fortune over the last few centuries, playing the long odds, betting on humanity’s continuing survival.

He’d miss this mad marvelous world and it’s quirky, creative and somewhat endearing stewards, but it was time to cash in his chips. 

Germany was making noises. A world war was brewing, and these clever Devils were on the verge of splitting the atom. No way humans were making it out of the 20th century alive.

The alien gambler decided to put it all in the interstellar market – to “short” mankind, banking they’d self destruct before the end of their 20th century.  

It was a sure thing. He was going to make a mint. 

– DeRicki Johnson

[NOTE: I’m fascinated by a group of flash fiction writers that refer to themselves as “Dragons” and lay down ink at a blog called Flash!Friday. They do weekly prompts that seem like fun. This story was written in response to last week’s prompt, Flash!Friday Vol 3-36. It’s set in 1920s New York and is about a special kind of gambler that comes from nothing to insane wealth betting the odds on mankind’s survival. Didn’t have the courage to submit it. Consider this a run up to get the nerve to participate…real soon.]


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