No U-Turns

Daily Prompt: Twenty-Five – Choose a letter and write a post sans that letter. 

Johnny saw Tito walking down the street. “Hey man,” Johnny said. “Have a beer? Play a hand?”

Tito answered with a smirk, “Yea man, I got a bill.”

Johnny and Tito walked to the corner bar, Hops and Hands, and took a tranq each. They both ordered dark, manly beer and sat down at a table in the corner. Johnny grabbed a well-worn deck of cards from of the inside pocket of his jacket. He reached into his khakis and grabbed a few dozen poker chips. “Green is five dollars. Black is ten. Red is twenty,” Johnny said.

“Best chance at that Ben Franklin,” Tito winked as he answered.

Johnny handed Tito his half of the chips and the deck of cards. Tito split the deck between his hands, keeping his eyes on Johnny. “Texas?” Tito asked.

“One hand to win,” Johnny answered.

Tito dealt the cards, face down. Johnny flipped in five chip and Tito tossed in five after dealing the cards. Johnny looked at his cards and bet ten dollars. Tito bet the same. Both men eyed each other. Tito flopped one and flipped three cards. Johnny held his poker face. Tito knocked his fingers on the table and took a drink of his beer. Tito played a black chip, thwacking it on the table. He grabbed a green chip and snapped it together with the black chip. Finally, he tossed thirty dollars into the pot.

Johnny saw that and raised Tito ten. Tito met. He flopped one and flipped one card. Johnny bet a black and a green, and Tito met. Johnny eyed Tito. Tito took a drink of his beer. Tito flopped one and flipped the final card. Then he finished his beer in one swallow. Johnny reached for his beer for the first time. Tito went all for nothing and shoved his pile of chips into the middle of the table.

“Well, that was easy,” Johnny said.

“I’m ready. No sense tossing chips when we both know we’re all in,” Tito answered.

Johnny shoved his chips together with Tito’s and the two men showed their cards.

“Damn!” cried Tito. “Three sevens.”

“Had it from the get go, Tito. That money’s mine.” Johnny reached his hand over the table, hoping for five twenties for easier spending.

“Ok, Johnny,” Tito said. “Right on. I said I a got a bill on me, so,” he reached into his back pocket and asked, “Want the gas or electric?”

14 thoughts on “No U-Turns

    • Thanks! It was a bit subtle, the whole “bill” thing. And trying to get there, I almost forgot I was trying not to write with the letter U.


    • Don’t feel stupid. A bill is slang for $100, so when Tito said he had a bill, Johnny was thinking $100 and not the electric bill or the gas bill. It was an attempt at a play on words and writing a story without using the letter U.


  1. Clever and well done. “Tranq” twigged it for me. Mr Franklin, after a pause, whispered it in my ear.

    On a small side note, your slang for $100 got me to remembering some terms for currency and bills in some of the places I’ve been – thanks.


    • The twist did rely on the subtle use of the slang.
      I’m glad I brought up some good memories for you. The colloquialisms of travel are my favorite part of the experience.


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