James stared at his trembling scarred right hand as he again recalled that night in his mind. He had just come out of the club, whistling because he had earned his first 1000-dollar gig. Then, steps from his car, a hard push landed him on the ground. As he crawled to search for his glasses, he heard a sickening crack followed by an unapologetic “oops.”
James lifted his head just in time to catch a glimpse of Marvin-the-loan-shark’s grinning face. “You owe me money, son.” Marvin said and administered the first blow to James’s face. James fell back and as more blows followed, he hugged his knees to protect his vital organs.
Just before his consciousness slipped, Marvin pulled him to his opened car door. “I see you like to play the keys, let’s see how you like to play without your hands.”
James couldn’t recall anything after that, except darkness and waking up in the hospital two days later with bandaged hands. That was when he admitted to himself, “I have a gambling problem.”
I am participating in Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writer, where we write a piece between 100 and 150 words (more or less 25 words) in length inspired by the photo prompt above.