The Degenerate Gambler.

The degenerate gambler's down to his last twenty bucks. Vegas can be so unforgiving; but the local casino can be a motherfucker.

The hotrod went down in the second hand; the house in the upscale neighborhood fell in the fourth. The degenerate gambler walked home, but then remembered it now belongs to the Indians. No, not the Indians who own the joint, but the sleazy high rollers in the back. They took him for all he had.

The degenerate gambler called his wife from a payphone; she wondered why he didn't just use his cell phone.

"I fucked up ... again." That was all she heard. The degenerate gambler only heard the click of the phone. But, she didn't hang up on him. She never hung up on him. That was the sound of the Indians claiming their prize.

Twenty bucks. That's what they left the degenerate gambler. Not even enough for a bottle of Jack; he'd have to settle for Jack's oft-overlooked red-headed stepchild.

That went down easier than expected. The degenerate gambler figured he'd need the sauce to help him cope, but he didn't figure to be this with-it. The degenerate gambler knew he'd have to face his oppressors sooner or later, though. He felt around his pant-waist for his piece. One thing they could never take from him.

The degenerate gambler arrived at his old home as the sun peeked over the cloud-covered horizon. The Indians would still be in there, no doubt. When a night of rape and sodomy with your opponent's wife is in the pot, you don't leave without getting your money's worth.

The degenerate gambler entered his old home to the sound of violent grunting and only violent grunting. The degenerate gambler's wife lost her will to scream after the fourth hour. The children sat huddled on the floor in the corner of the living room, in a desperate embrace with each other, until they saw their father and flew to his legs.

"Not now, kids. Go outside."

The degenerate gambler's children fled the scene, running two houses down, cowering behind a neighbor's fence. The degenerate gambler retrieved his handgun from his pants and silently walked down the hallway to the sound.

Without a word, the penetrator fell to the ground with one final grunt. Two more faced a similar fate before the other three pulled their cannons. Three bullets clipped the degenerate's appendages, but nothing lethal. A shot between the eyes. Their fourth bullet took out the degenerate gambler's right knee. From the ground, one more round, this time into the jaw.

And there was one. One little Indian boy. Left all alone. Couldn't have been more than 16, couldn't have had less than half a clip.

And the degenerate gambler had none.