POOL STORY: The Name Of The Game

Story by Robbie Ferrell

“I believe this is ours.” said Alan Barber, as he shook hands with his partner, Russell Miller. Eight hundred dollars was now resting under the palm of his lightly tanned hand.  What a bunch of suckers, he thought to himself, but it sure will be a pleasure to spend their money.

“Not a chance.” Greg Masher replied, smacking his cue stick down onto the table. “I knew nothing good would come from playin’ you two. I could smell hustler all over you. Now take your hands off of our money.”

Russell raised his left eyebrow twice and Alan caught the signal. It wasn’t a situation they hadn’t seen before. That’s the price you pay when you’re a hustler. You win some, you lose some, and life keeps on keepin on.

The bar’s door was not far off from the table in which they were playing at, and slowly as their opponent spoke to them, they began back stepping towards it.

“Just where do you think you two are going?” asked Greg. “Marv, stop ‘em!” Doing as he was commanded, a massive man with a black leather jacket and a shining bald head hopped on top of the pool table and rolled off the side, sloppily landing on his feet.

“Let’s get the heck outta here!” yelled Alan. And in an instant, it became a mad dash toward the door. As they ran, Alan and Russell knocked over chair after chair in an attempt to delay their enemies.

A loud crash shook the floor beneath them, and the sound of splitting wood echoed throughout the pool hall. Alan looked back and saw the big oaf that had been chasing them was now sprawled out on the floor lying on top of an annihilated barstool.

They were home free. The fallen man had provided just enough time for the two to perfect their escape with ease. Exploding through the doors and out into the dirt lot, both men hopped over the doors of the dark blue convertible and into their seats. Quickly, Alan pulled the keys from his pocket, jammed them in the ignition, flipped the engine on, and punched the gas pedal down to the floor.

Successful again; as they were most of the time. In the rearview mirror Alan could see people storming out from the pool hall’s doors, but they wouldn’t be persued; they never were.

Russell unlocked the glove box with a key he pulled from his pant’s pocket and removed a tin coffee can. Alan then reached into his coat’s pocket and pulled out the stack of bills. While he added it to the contents of the tin can, Russell found the new total of money they now possessed. Five-thousand eight-hundred and twenty-one dollars, all acquired in the last 72 hours, and all acquired in the same way: billiards con.

Tonight, instead of sleeping in one of the rundown, highway side motels they normally call “home”, the two would sleep in a five star casino hotel in the city. When the following morning sun calls them to rise, it will be out on the open road again. The name of the game was Billiards, and from town to town and city to city the object remained the same: Hustle. As long as they could rely on those two things, they would never have a care in the world.





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