Main image
3rd February
posted by amber

Overdrawn at the Organ Bank

The first time I owed a large sum to Wildcard, I sold a kidney and was paid an amazing amount of money, and got a trip to Turkey in the process. The payment was large enough to set me up in business again.

I’ve been playing poker since I was 19, and I had a 10 year stretch with stellar profits. Perhaps I fell into the fallacy of thinking that skill plays a larger part than it does. Luck has an influence, naturally, but I discovered – too late – that when I played at a Wildcard Casino, cheating entered the equation. Cheating on the part of the house.

After I sold the kidney, I went back to Wildcard, because few other casinos would allow me through the door. Over the years, I’d gone from being a young phenom courted by many casinos, to being suspected of some kind of scam because my run of success had gone on too long. Finally I ended up on the list of unwelcome visitors.

I was convinced that I could get back to my habit of winning, but instead I blew through that money in two weeks. Mr. Card took me into his office again. Joking, I said, “Well, I can’t give you my remaining kidney.”

“I understand that. Have you considered donating skin?”

I never even knew a person could donate skin, but apparently you can. And I did.

It took me longer to recover from that than from the kidney, and I didn’t get as much money. But I had a small flurry of winning, so it was several months before I had to give up one of my lungs. After that, more skin, some bone marrow, some stem cells and a third of my liver.

I’ve been working on a new strategy for the game, one that I know will turn things around for me, but the losses I took in the development stage have brought me to Mr. Card’s office again. Last time I was here, he told me that hand transplants are becoming more common, but I don’t want to give up one of my hands. Instead, I’m going to offer him another third of my liver.

They say it grows back. And I’m taking a gamble that it will. I am a gambler, after all.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.

Leave a Reply