Sometimes, it is fun to take an idea and run with it, especially those ideas you got from the inspiration you were not looking for.
“I will raise you five hundred.”
“Anubis, this is the adults table, if that is how you are going to bet, go sit at the kids table,” Thor said, eyeing the five cards that were in his hand. He smiled greedily. “But if that’s your bet though, I call.”
Yahweh sat there, looking smug, and threw in the chips representing his followers,
“I’m in,” he boomed.
“Knock it off, we are all gods here, you are not impressing anyone,” Loki said. He was sitting in a corner, already having ducked out much earlier with the few remaining souls he had left.
Athena tittered, off in her own corner, having chosen to sit out this game.
Zeus sat in between Yahweh and Vishnu, lightning flashing from the small storm clouds that had formed around his head. Looking up at them, he slammed down his cards on the table. “Why can’t we let the souls ride on a the back of the mortals themselves. Each of us choose a champion and whoever survives gets the pot.”
“Zeus!” Cronus cried out, from his seat watching his son play. “It was Loki’s turn to pick the game, when it is your turn, if that is what you want to play, then everyone else can choose to play along then, but until then, YOU chose to play, you could have sat out over there with Athena.”
“Yes dad.” And whispered to Vishnu, “I should have killed him when I had the chance.”
Vishnu looked on impassively, biding his time, “I will fold this hand,” he said calmly and laid out his hand for everyone to see, a pair of threes.
“You could have bluffed,” Loki interjected, laughing. Vishnu had the patience to bluff, Zeus’ tells were not of his control.
Odin, the last remaining player at the table looked over his shoulder. “Loki, if you still want to play, the buy in is still 2000 followers. I know you have at least that many left, don’t you?” He pushed in his chips. This silenced Loki, and the game resumed.
“Ok everyone, what have you got,” Anubis rasped. “I have two pair, queens over tens.”
Yahweh looked at Anubis, then met the eyes of the remaining players. “Sorry my dear friend, I have three fives.”
Horus, who was standing behind Anubis, looking over his shoulder smirked, and snorted.
Odin, the final player at the table, “Damn, I was bluffing. I got nothing, ten high.”
“Ok, deal me back in,” Loki took some chips from the tray where they sat, the smug look on his face as hard as stone. He took the seat he had vacated earlier, in between Odin and Anubis. “Horus, I do not want to be accused of cheating, will you please shuffle and deal?” He asked collecting the cards from the table and handing the deck to the hawk headed god, silently palming the bottom card without looking at it. No one seemed to notice.
Horus shuffled the cards and allowed Athena to cut them. “Ok, who is in, five hundred soul ante,” he screeched.
All six players threw in a chip to represent the five hundred followers, and Horus dealt five cards to each. “Loki, you are the newcomer, so to speak at least, your call.” Leaving his cards on the table, Loki pulled the two that had been dealt last to him and said, “I want two.” Horus gave him the cards, and then proceeded around
the table. Every one was watching Loki, who had still not picked up his cards.
“Ok Loki, your bet?"
“I’m all in.” Loki pushed his remaining chips into the center of the table.
“Ha,” Anubis barked, “I am calling that bluff.” And pushed fifteen hundred more followers worth of chips in.
Yahweh said, “I too will call your bluff.”
Zeus smiled, no lightning bolts or storm clouds about his shoulders. “I’m in.”
Vishnu looked at his hand and said “Why not?”
Odin, the final player, pushed his chips in silently. “Let us build the suspense, and the tension a little more. Loki, since you do not know what your cards are, you
can wait until all of us have shown our hands.”
Loki smiled and nodded, but did not say anything. Anubis showed his hand. A straight, the 2 of hearts, 3 of hearts, 4 of clubs, 5 of spades, and the 6 of diamonds.
Yahweh went next, “A pair of aces.” He said showing the ace of hearts and of diamonds. His remaining cards were the jack of hearts, the 10 of clubs, and the 7 of clubs.
Zeus, looking ecstatic, “I have two pair, fives over fours.” He showed the five of clubs and of diamonds, and the fours were a diamond and a heart. The king of hearts stared back from the final card in his hand.
Anubis, looking at Zeus, “Wipe that look off your face, I am still beating you.”
Zeus looked again at the cards in front of him and the cards sitting in front of Anubis, and visibly deflated.
Vishnu looked at his cards chuckled softly and said ”I have nothing, except this,” before flipping over a diamond flush, 2, 3, 7, jack, king.
Odin, laughed, “I have the remaining twos,” he said, looking at the table and dropping the 2 of clubs and the 2 of spades, followed by the ace of clubs, the 8 of hearts, and the 7 of spades. ‘Well, Loki, do you just want to hand Vishnu your souls, or are you going to show us what you have?"
Theatrically, Loki reached out and flipped over the first card he had been dealt, and the 10 of spades sat there in front of him. Flipping over the next card revealed another spade, this time the king. Third card, third spade, the queen. Fourth card, Loki hesitated a moment, felt the palmed card he held itching his wrist. He flipped the card and revealed the fourth spade, the jack.
“I’ll be damned,” Odin said.
In unison, four of the remaining five members sitting at the table replied, “I can arrange that.”
Flipping the final card over revealed what Loki had known to rest their all along. The ace of spades…