"You're not looking so hot, John."
I remember Jude was on a roll; a roll unlike I had ever seen. Almost all of the poker chips had gravitated toward his side of the table, and there were no signs of his luck running out. This was quite unusual, considering Bart was the card shark, but he was one of the first to lose out to Jude that night.
"Don't be so sure of yourself Jude; a man's luck can't hold out forever."
"You would be surprised."
Surprised? I was bewildered; was dumbfounded; was in utter and total disbelief. Round after round I watched my cards betray me, and witnessed my compatriot's smile increase with each passing win. It did not matter what I was holding, or what my outcome would be; somehow Jude's poker hand would always find a way to beat my own.
"You're one lucky devil tonight, Jude! I have never seen such an unbelievable winning streak."
"Neither have I!" Matthew chimed in, shaking his head and rubbing his eyes, hoping to dispel the illusion of such sly trickery. When he noticed he was still in the reality of losing the poker game moments ago, he poured himself another drink of bourbon to subdue his despair; Matthew was not a poor sport by any means, but no one takes delight in losing to such extreme degrees of good fortune.
All of the other men had retired for the evening once their money ran out, otherwise they would have agreed and remarked with similar statements of baffled amazement.
"He said my luck was bound to change, but I did not expect this!"
Jude was contemplating to himself, but his concentration returned to his confused inquirer. "Tell me, Matthew, in all of your years of banking, have you ever come across the name of Flueric?"
"Hmm, Flueric..." He swirled his glass of bourbon and gulped down the remainder of his beverage, then concluded, "sorry, can't say I have Jude. Is he one of your fellow acting buddies or something?"
"Now that you mention it, I forgot to ask him about his occupation. Anyway, he is certainly no friend of mine; an acquaintance at most."
"Why bring him up now?" I was curious what this individual had to do with me pitifully losing tens of thousands to Jude.
He recounted to us his tale of being introduced to Mr. Flueric, and the story went on uninterrupted; both Matthew and myself were quite intent to understand the source of Jude's phenomenal change of fortune.