Mid-Week Prompt: A Game of Confession

Hey writers,

Hope you had a refreshing Labor Day. I spent the weekend in Goshen, Ind., in the upper reaches of the great Midwest, tooling around on boats and board games (after all, as the local TV commercials boast, there’s more than corn in Indiana—which you’re pleased to discover after five hours of driving through husk country).

Even though I went down in flames on several games (I recall storming out on Pictureka! and proclaiming some rather unfair judgments upon the board featuring odd monsters and fantastical shapes), spending some time with old friends was excellent.

Here’s to hoping you had a pleasant weekend with old faces, free of any game-related confessions that go beyond mere Pictureka! slander (see below), and the clever, prompt-nailing trauma inherent in Jason Dougherty’s “A Decision, a Laugh, a Howl” post, which is this week’s Notable Story Pick.

Yours in writing,


PROMPT: A Game of Confession
In 500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring:

Old friends have gathered, and are passing the time with a card game.
“Ante up,” you say.
“I have a confession,” your old roommate replies.
Everyone widens their eyes, but then lowers their heads.
They know something you don’t.

Also, anyone interested in a writerly jaunt to NYC? Registration is still open for the WD Conference: The Business of Getting Published that’s coming up next week, Sept. 18-20. Check it out if you’re interested in the future of the industry, or want to take in some editor meetings, marketing and promotion sessions, and more. Update: Got ahold of a coupon code for us. If you register by Sept. 14, paste in “PC109” to get $50 off the registration.

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3 thoughts on “Mid-Week Prompt: A Game of Confession

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  2. J. Alvey

    Undealt hand

    Ante up I said flipping a white chip into the center of the table seven card stud no peak dealing the cards one at a time sliding them across the glossy wax of table from player to player until we each had three five chips in the middle everyone in two cards down one card up your bet john and don’t just friggin’ fold like you always do before you even see and John says i have a confession to make and i say yeah, you’re an idiot and everyone but John laughs and John just snorts and acts like that is just me being me and tosses a red chip into the middle and says Ten and Arnie and Bill follow with red chips of their own and the second Bill folds and I add a red chip of my own and then another saying that I am bumping it showing an ace to John’s king Arnie’s king and Bill’s seven so it must be Bill that is holding the pair of sevens I think and John stays in but I think it is only because I criticized him and Arnie folds I guess because he figures John has kings and there aren’t many left and Bill hangs in but does not bump me which surprises me and John says again I have a confession to make as I am sliding another up card around the table John getting a deuce of spades Bill a six of diamonds to go with his seven of same and me a ten of diamonds and I say it’s my bet with ace high on the table and I’m going ten again and John drops another red chip as does Bill and I slide another card face up to both of them and then to myself and I am not even checking my down cards to confirm they are what I remember them to be like I usually do this is my way of intimidating them and they know it probably but it works anyway most of the time John showing now king two four Bill showing seven six diamonds and the stray four of spades possible flush and I say now with ace two five ten again and they all stay with no bumping and John says I have a confession to make and everyone is gulping down beer and pretending to ignore me except for me since I don’t know but am busy at the moment but I am starting to get that something is different because no one is laughing and cutting up like they usually do I swig some beer and say to Bill 2 hey get us some beers you useless faggot and he gets up shaking his head like he is pissed off about something or can’t believe me or something like this is something NEW what the hell is going on and John says he has to go to the bathroom and I say go ahead do what you have to do hope you enjoy yourself don’t get any on the floor and no one laughs like they usually do and I toss out a card to John, a second showing king maybe he has trips and then a useless jack of hearts to Bill and drop a second deuce on myself knowing I’m holding now two pair aces over and slide a blue chip into the middle not sure of John’s hand now and say 25 and now we have to wait for John and John is taking forever and I finally notice the piece of paper he was doodling on I thought might be a cheat sheet since he remembers cards like he has Alzheimer’s and I pull it to me and it says "I’m gay" and before I can say anthing about that Bill 2 comes running in and says call 911 John hanged himself in your bedroom and before they can even move from the chairs, Bill and Arnie and standing Bill if just a glimpse of disgust at least a glimpse I will remember forever give me a look of disgust of contempt then go rushing to phones and rooms leaving me sitting stunned with an incomplete hand and chips on the table.


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