“Two pair.”

Jenny laid her cards down on the table, her smile stretched to the very limits of her face.  She tapped her fingers impatiently on the scratched wooden tabled as her opponent looked at his cards and chewed on an old toothpick.  The dank, heavy air settled on her shoulders and sweat trickled down her bare arms.  “Good Goddess, give it up already, Jonesy!” she complained.

Jonesy looked at her from under the brim of his worn hat.  “Ahm thinkin’.”

“’Bout what?  This part ain’t hard!  Ya put the cards down on the table and ya tell me that I won.”

“Ya see, that’s the thing.”  He leaned slowly on to the table with one elbow and began turning his cards over one at a time.  “Ya dinna.”

Jenny stared down at his hand with disbelief as he turned over the last card in a full house, a bright shining Ace of Spades.  She slammed her hand on the table and pushed her pile of pretzels at him.

“Goddess, the way I’m playing t’night, ya think I’m gonna go hungry!”

Jonesy shrugged and gathered the pretzels into a handkerchief.  “Ya wanna go another round?”

“No,” she grumbled and began picking at her fingernails.  The dim yellow light of the dressing room hummed and flickered.  Jenny stood up and straightened her red ruffled dress.  “How do I look?” she asked.  Jonesy moved his finger in a circle and Jenny twired around, her high heels tapping on the creaky floorboards.  He stood up, took off his floppy hat, and bowed his head.

“Ya look half a lady,” he promised, and Jenny felt a red blush creep over her cheeks.

“Ya think so?” she asked more timidly, hands clasped behind her back.  The older man walked over to her and rubbed her cheek affectionately.

“Course, babygirl.  Now go out there and break some hearts!”

A smile returned to Jenny’s painted lips and she curtseyed grandiosely.  “Wish me luck?” she asked, but darted off out the dressing room door before her old friend could respond.  As she approached the stage door, following her like a ghost, she heard Jonesy’s response:

“All the luck in the world.”


Word: Grandiosely.  ||  Time: 15 minutes.  ||  Character: Jenny Andrev.


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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