Pseudopod 196: The Hand You’re Dealt

The Hand You’re Dealt

by Frank Oreto

“Find yourself a nurse,” he remembered his mother saying as they prepared for her act. “They always have jobs and they like to take care of men.” It was good advice but even Sharon’s patience had an end. Danny thought he had almost reached it. He borrowed the three hundred from her. Told her he was done gambling.

“Does that include poker?” she’d asked.

It was a good question. Danny didn’t think of poker as gambling. He learned to cold read rubes in his mother’s mentalist act. His card-sharp father taught him to make the cards dance – when the man was sober enough to hold a deck.

Poker wasn’t gambling. When you gambled you might lose. Danny knew all about losing. He was down twelve grand to Rod Renshaw due to a string of sporting misjudgments that climaxed when the Steelers had the bad grace to win the Super Bowl but lose the point spread. That was gambling.

About the Author

Frank Oreto

Frank Oreto is a writer of weird fiction living in the wilds of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His strange tales have appeared or are upcoming in InDarkness Delight: Fear the Future, Flame Tree Press’s Beyond the Veil and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. But the first story he ever sold was to Pseudopod. And the second story he ever sold was to Pseudopod. And for those early encouragements he is forever grateful.

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About the Narrator

Jesse Livingston

Jesse’s work has been featured on Pseudopod and The Drabblecast. All of his music, as well as his first novel A THOUSAND LIFETIMES IN AN HOUR, can be found at

Find more by Jesse Livingston