Double Or Nothing

Satan sent an invitation, to a card game of Poker,

wagers-high, of which I had not,

the option of declining.

He was willing to bet I'd fold

and loose my very soul to him.

I, was willing to prove him wrong.


The room was pitched in darkness,

the stench of burning

flesh, emitted from skin-tones tapers,

dripping wax of blood red.

The walls were covered in crimson velvet

and accents of black and gold

accessorized the gaudy decor.

Minion servents, dashed here and there,

doing their master's bidding.

One gnarly handed creature, led me

to the table, where Lucifer himself, sat,

shuffling a deck of cards.

I sat across from evil and proffered

my own, unopened deck, from my pocket.

He emmited a sinister chuckle,

'Don't you trust me?' he asked.

I cocked my head, raised one eyebrow

and answered, 'Would you?'

Laughing again, he said, 'Fair enough.

You may even deal, my dear.'

I opened the fresh deck, removed the jokers

and began shuffling the cards

with precise movements.

Satan, watching closely remarked,

'I see you have played the game before.'

I looked up at his evilness,

'Yes, but never against such an opponant

and never, for such high stakes.'


I dealt out the cards, calling the game

at the same time, 'Five card draw-deuces wild.'

Setting the remaining cards aside,

I picked up my hand as Satan did the same.

His menacing eyes showed no sign of emotion,

not that I expected to see any there.

I knew beforehand, he would wear no 'poker-face.'

Looking at my hand, I too, remained stoic,

giving nothing away.

My hand was quite good-

ten, jack, queen, ace-all of hearts,

and a seven of diamonds.

With a flick of my head towards the evil one,

I asked, 'How many?'

Grinning from horn to horn, he said,

with confidence and arrogance,

'None, thank you.'

With that, I fidgeted slightly in my chair

and he must have noticed, for he said,

'Wait...lets up the stakes, why don't we?

As it stands, if I win, I get your soul.

If you win...I don't. Let's make it

more interesting, shall we?'

Instinctivly, my hand reached to the cross

I always wore around my neck.

The instant my fingers touched it,

the silver grew warm and I felt

a sense of peace wash over me.

'Okay then,' I said.

'What's the wager now?'

He set his cards facedown on the table,

sat back, clasped his hands together

and twiddled his long, sharp fingers

across his chest.

'Well, I see you are a true gambler.

If I win, I get your,

instead of when you die.'

'And if I win?'' I questioned.

'Then,' he said, 'You leave here-alive,

with never again the fear of my powers to you,

or to your loved ones. Let's call it,

Double or Nothing.'

'First off,' I informed him,

'I do not 'fear' you.

You have NO reign over my kingdom.

I am only here because you forced me

with your threats against my family.

So fine, I'll take your wager, Satan,

if it means the chance to keep you,

forever away from my family.'

'Quite the little devil, aren't you, my dear?'

he replied, with a grin.

'Don't you wish.' I answered sarcasticlly.

He enjoyed that and laughed so wickedly,

the hairs on the back of my neck,

stood on end.

'Let's get on with it, your evilness.'

I retorted.

He picked up his cards once more,

still looking quite pleased.

I gave my cross one more touch

and it was even warmer than before.

Picking up my own hand again, I removed

the seven of diamonds, set it aside and said,

'I'll take one.'

With calm hands, I picked up the remaining deck

and slowly dealt myself one card from the top,

leaving it facedown for a moment.

I then whispered a silent prayer,

to which Satan remarked,

'Feeling unsure...are we?'

With utter confidence, I looked him

squarly in the eye and replied,

'Not in the least.'

I picked up my one dealt card

to add it to my hand, not looking at it

until it was in place with the others.

It was, the King of hearts-

and for a split second, I thought I saw

the eye on the king, wink at me!

I blinked in astonishment, but composed

myself quickly, saying,

'Show me your hand.'

With a hell-bred cackle, Satan made a flourish

of laying down his cards for me to see

and said, 'I'm so sorry, my dear,

but its hard to beat a straight-flush.'

His cards were all spades,

ten, jack, queen, king and...nine!

I replicated his show of flourish, as I fanned

my own cards down upon the tabletop,

'Actually, its easy...'my dear'

...if its a ROYAL-straight-flush!'

His eyes flared with anger and disbelief.

In a lightning flash movement, he stood,

nearly upending the table, lifted his

cape high and disappeared, in a blaze of fire.


I sat, stunned for a moment, trying to grasp

all that had just transpired, mechanically

gathering the cards in my hand

and stood to depart the parlor, of Lucifer.

Outside, the sun shone brightly,

the sky was azure blue and all around

was calm and peaceful.

I turned to look back from where

I had just left, but nothing was there.

Only the same serene sights in every direction.

I looked down at the deck of cards

I still held in my hand, and there, on top,

was the card, that won me the game.

Except...I realized with a start

and a smile of knowing, that it no longer

bore a picture of the king of hearts...

but now bore the gentle face,

of the King of Kings.


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Shaketa Copelin's picture

This was one of the best poems I have ever read. What a story!! You had me on the edge of my seat, which is what a good story is all about. Bravo!