Tick, Tick, Tick


The sun sat well below the horizon by the time I mustered myself enough to get up and rejoin my guards in the common area. Something heavy had taken up residence on my ribs, making every breath just a little shallower than I needed, and I couldn’t get it to go away.

“Hey.” Sam leaned away from the table my security team was gathered around, revealing the pile of weapons and technology on top. “You want to play some more cards?”

That couldn’t possibly be worse than sitting in the dark alone. I nodded and walked over to the low table that still held the remains of our poker game. Rico, Sam, and Eddie joined me. Thankfully, I’d already hustled Eddie. I didn’t have that in me now. Harry remained at the supply table, bent over a laptop that I didn’t want to ask about.

Sam shuffled the cards. I checked the time on my phone: 9:02. Prayer call would be soon. Sam dealt the cards, two apiece.

“Ante two,” he said. “And no dinosaur arms.”

I tossed in two candied nuts and looked at my cards.
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