Hal and Gerome were wagering on card games and all sorts of things for years. After a while, what seemed like a friendship, turned into a game, only. What was a game turned into an obligatory ritual. And as Gerome’s eyes grew darker, it appeared that The Syndicate was controlling Gerome, and Hal was deeply in debt beyond belief.

      The numbers were not a game. The numbers were high. So one night, Jerome picked a bet. He said, “Here is $10,000.00. Turn it into a million in 72 hours and you can keep the million. Fail to turn it into a million and we will torture you here in your home. No one will hear you scream.”

        So Gerome drove Hal out to the desert fifty miles from his city, Las Vegas. He dropped him off with a duffel bag and laughed, saying, “Count it”. The bag had $9000.00 with a note: “Taxi to nowhere- $1000.00…  hahahah. Good luck, Loser!”

          Hal decided to walk towards town. He walked to the highway and hitchhiked with his black duffel back. Hal was a stout man, 5’10½”, shaved head, dark and 260lbs. A red rig carrying cars stopped. “Need a lift?”, the driver said. “Yeah,” said Hal. “I’ll give you $500 if you don’t stop said Hal.

      “I’ll be taking your whole bag, too…”, said the driver. “That’s easier,” smiled Hal as he took a pen and began to write a note. “What’s that??”, asked the driver. “Your SUICIDE note!”, said Hal, sticking the pen in the man’s eye into his brain at the same time as saying, “suicide”.

       Hal drove the truck to Digg’s overlook. He took the trucker’s keys and took off all 4 vehicles, taking a Range Rover for himself, parking it away from the cliff. Then he put the semi truck in neutral with the dead driver and putting his back against a mustang he parked sideways 2′ from the rig trailer, he leg-pressed the rig into rolling. Then he jumped up and pushed and pushed and pushed. And the rig went down into the 300ft. canyon below.

      Hal screamed, “I am as good as dead!!!”, and he laughed and laughed. He drove into the next town. There would be no running from The Syndicate. So Hal sighed and went to his favorite Chinese restaurant. “I might as well enjoy this one thing I love,” he thought. Ten miles from Vegas, he parked outside the restaurant. He was suprised he wasn’t followed. He found a GPS chip in the bag, but decided to leave it. Changing anything would only make it worse.

       Hal brought the bag in and ordered up General Tso’s chicken and rice with a bottle of Tsing Tsao, ice cold. The owner’s daughter, Mia came out smiling. “Hello, Mr. Winchester! General Tso’s again, hey?” Hal looked up and smiled. “Yes, Mei Mia”. Mia asked, so how is your day?”

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Next: “Shovels and Cyanide”

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