I got drunk last night. I keep telling myself that.
I went over to Charlie’s to play cards. Most of the usual group couldn’t come at the last minute, as sometimes happens, so Charlie’d rung around for stand-ins so the game could still go on. Card night is her mother’s bingo night and she won’t give up the weekly game without a fight.
There were six of us. Charlie, of course. Her cousin Deidre’s second- and fourth-last exes, Ben and Tiffany respectively. Taylor who could only come because her kids were at a school holiday pajama party. Yours truly and some guy Charlie’d met through one of her work’s suppliers.
Charlie’s mother has views on gambling so games at her place are for points, or in five cent increments or, when we’re broke or silly, we play for fantasy. Three bottles down among the table, all the five cents in front of Taylor, and we were in the mood for fantasy.
Charlie handed out the paper and the pens then tried to explain the rules. “You write down what you want to bid,” she said. “Nothing real. Nothing from a book. You can’t put up the title or the estates of the Count of Monte Cristo, but you could put up the Manor of Artelier or the title of Duke of Gornay.”
“Spells,” I reminded her, “you can bid spells and magical weapons.”
“Minions,” added Tiffany who’d played with us before.
“Ah.” The new guy, he was either Kerry or Gerry, grinned. “Sounds like fun.”
So we scribbled on our bits of paper, bid outrageously, and I drank lots more wine. My glass never emptied. Oh, and I won.
By the time Mrs T came home and kicked us out, I must’ve had fifty bits of paper in front of me. I said my goodnights and walked out the door with everyone else. I was taking a deep breath out the front of the house before I walked home when Gerry or Kerry came up to me. He had my fantasy winnings wadded up in his hand and he pushed them into my coat pocket.
What he said in my ear was, “I cheated. Mine are real. Good luck.” Then he was gone.
At that point I thought he was cute but weird.
Now I’m sober. It’s morning and according to the chits written in blood lying on my kitchen table, my winnings off Gerry/Kerry include: 3 dark towers; two dread armies; and The Black Sword of Lagloch. Oh, and I’m Dark Lady of Grean.
So, I have two commanding generals in front of me swearing fealty. What do I do now?