Ben slowly made his way through miles of road that weaved in and out of mountain caresses. After crossing into Montana, he was yearning for a nap and knew of a casino that was only a few miles past the border. He loved to gamble and was relieved when he started seeing the billboards for the SILVER DOLLAR CASINO. Turning up the music, he opened his window while he sang along with Bruce Springsteen, when finally, there it was. He turned into the parking lot and found a dark spot where he could take his nap. Inside the Scamp, he closed his eyes and drifted off for several hours, his memories of Harry and the incredible experience they had shared.
When he woke, it was early in the morning. Glancing at the front of the casino, he could see the 24-hour sign, and decided to spend a little time at the machines.
He walked into a large, dim room that was illuminated by the lights of hundreds of machines where Ben’s ears welcomed the sound of bells ringing with each winning spin, and his heart began pounding with excitement. He cashed in some dollars for quarters and began the hunt for the perfect game. He had a theory that a machine near the entrance of a casino would pay off to entice entering patrons to try their luck. Taking a seat and setting the game for its maximum bet, he began playing, his body tense and his insides racing. The first game took his quarters, the second did the same, but the third did something else. He froze, looking at the screen and glanced around to see if any players were near, then stared again at his four aces. He pushed the button to stand and heard the deafening sound of his machine’s bells.
He put his cup under the spout and watched two hundred and fifty dollars in coins drop. “Nice going, Mister.” A passing customer looked at him with envy. Ben ignored him. It was bad luck for people to watch him play. The last of the coins fell and he looked at his cups, all three of them. He found the lady behind the jail bars and cashed in two of his cups, before looking for coffee. It was now three-thirty. One more win, he thought. He spotted a new machine and began dropping quarters. Once again, his body reacted to the excitement he was feeling, but the machine wasn’t paying off so he moved a few seats down where he found some small winners. He felt like the machine was heating up so stayed with it.
Ben’s cup was nearly empty when it hit. There it was, a straight flush worth fifteen hundred dollars! He stared in disbelief, and then called an attendant for help. He had to calm himself. His hands were wet, and he felt himself shuddering. The bells were loud, where was his help?
Finally, the man came and opened the back of the machine to reset the lights, bells, and screen. “Come with me,” he grumbled. Ben followed him to a counter at the far end of the room, and a cashier smiled from behind the bars.
“You’re a lucky man, Mister.” She counted out his bills, all fifteen of them, and wished him more good luck.
Feeling exhausted from the excitement, Ben needed to relax. He went to the bar for a drink, and a few moments to gather himself before resuming his journey.
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