TABLE EIGHTEEN… The latest @SciFi HyperShort from Ethan and Athony Lawrence #pitch #scifinovel #gambling @2tony2222


A very cool excerpt from Ethan and Tony’s upcoming novel, TABLE EIGHTEEN is a moment that pits faith against the cards. The only thing you can’t bet is money…

TABLE EIGHTEEN by Ethan Lawrence and Anthony Lawrence

“Who the hell do you think you are, God?” asked Jordan sardonically. Daniel’s smile was inscrutable. “Divining secrets, abstract formulations of probabilities, there have been intrepid visionaries who recognized their practical applications.” The smile now had an edge of triumph, the eyes a brilliant fire deep within. “…To alter fate…change destiny…change your life…”Jordan regarded him suddenly like he was a cross between Darth Vader and Hannibal Lechter. He had become weirdly terrifying. She swallowed and inquired tenuously. “Even if I believed you, which I don’t, why would you want to do this for me?” “I don’t want to do it, Jordan. You came here because you want me to do it. That is part of the contract between us. Your free will, your desire, your want. Without that, you wouldn’t even be here. “I…want my son back, but I just don’t believe you have the power to do such a thing. It’s not possible.”

“Do you know anything about quantum mechanics, Jordan?
 Well, simply put it’s the physical laws that describe the subatomic realm. Don’t scowl. It doesn’t matter whether you understand what that means. As a dealer in casinos, you have dealt the cards that have had an effect on the lives of many people. Isn’t that true, Jordan? The result of those cards played made them rich or poor, or simply excited or depressed. Here, a divine intelligence in command of chaos can manipulate a vast number of quantum events with just a few well-chosen controls. You must understand there are other designs at work. The controls I mentioned, Jordan, are right here inside this table of very ancient wood and the cards played on it. These cards can and do respond to those controls and affect the outcomes.”

“So what are you telling me? That we’re going to play cards?” She couldn’t keep the sarcasm out of the question. But it didn’t seem to bother him. He simply smiled. “Gaming goes back to the Romans divining the secrets of their diced-based oracles. Throughout history, humans have been riding the odds, seeking out certainty but settling, reluctantly for likelihood. They have been the shadowy props of probability.” Daniel began to shuffle the cards with nimble skill and velocity, but not so quick that Jordan couldn’t see the faces of the cards, Aces, Kings and various lower numbers blurring by. It was almost like a trance as Daniel continued to draw her into deeper waters. “But here…at Table Eighteen…there is certainty. No chaos here. The patterns are elegant and purposeful as those of a bevy of swans.”

Daniel suddenly stopped shuffling the cards, staring at Jordan with those steel-grey penetrating eyes. “Table Eighteen is the physical embodiment of the gambles we all take in our lives”, he said. “It’s where your deepest desire, your most intense wish can become reality.Here, on Table Eighteen, we play for anything and everything except money. On this table we make experiential bets. A wish fulfilled or denied on the deal of the cards. It’s a chance to use the controls of quantum mechanics to change the hand that life has dealt you. Wouldn’t you like to play one hand and alter the outcome of your personal tragedy?” “So…What happens if I lose?”
There was the slightest darkening in Daniel’s voice.
“What happens if you lose any wager? Something of equal value is taken from you. Even though it went against everything that Jordan understood and believed, she was beginning to imagine the unimaginable and it terrified her. Her head was spinning. Her mouth had gone dry. But she could not resist the temptation.

“Deal the cards,” she said.


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