Word Count: 725
Bless him. That ginger kid could’ve really shot himself in the foot then. I'd watched the whole thing just out of sight where the ginger kid couldn't see me and decide to properly accuse any of us.
Rayn really is a good actor though; I was almost fooled by the fake tears. Once the kid had scarpered, he wiped them away and went back to counting the winnings out to split between us and Phil.
"I almost feel bad for the kid," Rayn said, handing over half the winnings to Phil. It was a steep fee, but at least here we knew we didn't have to worry about getting caught.
"Don't. You come in a casino expecting to lose, they lost, that's just how it works," I said, putting the rest in my bag.
"He's right, kiddo," Phil smiled, "you're more than welcome to get a real job if this isn't the life for you," he added, amusement sparking in his eyes. I laughed. We all knew Rayn wouldn't last a day in a regular job. He'd tried, I had to give him that. A couple years ago, he'd declared loudly at three in the morning, standing on my stomach and off his tits on coke, that he was sick of scamming people and that he was going to get a real job. I'd just rolled over and let him fall on his butt, agreeing with him. The next morning, it turned out he'd actually remembered and worse, meant every word of it.
That same day, he went off, found a cheap diner, got a cash in hand job and started work. He made it til the end of his shift, and then decided it wasn't worth the effort, because someone yelled at him.
Rayn pouted, knowing exactly what was going through our minds. "Fuck you, Cancer," he sulked.
"But not Phil?"
"Phil's nice to me."
"I'm nice to you," I protested.
"No you're not. You're mean. You're a mean old meanie pants and you hate me."
I rolled my eyes, hiding a smile. He was in a mood and would be until he was bribed with either waffles or drugs. Or both. He attached himself to Phil like a koala bear and stuck his tongue out at me.
"Aren't you a bit old for this, Rayn?" he asked as the twenty two year old demanded he be carried back to the motel like this.
"Nope," he said, turning his big brown puppy eyes on Phil.
"Just do what he says, we'll both have hell to pay if you don't," I told him.
"Jesus Christ," Phil cursed, deciding not to humiliate himself by going out through the casino.
I was leaving Rayn at the motel for the night. He didn't like the drug dealing so much. He much preferred the bit where he got to take them.
As I was getting ready to go, he was flicking through the channels on the crappy little TV that looked like it had been sitting there for a good ten years or so, getting annoyed that he couldn't get any good programs on. He left it on the news, in the end, and I had to pause when they mentioned the CDC like they had in that news story we'd seen in the IHOP. This was a few days later mind, so it was like an update story to let people know what was going on.
"... a few isolated contractions of the leaked virus, which have resulted in deaths. So far this is very rare, and limited to the Atlanta area, but the CDC wants people to be aware that the virus has flu-like symptoms, including a fever, dizziness, fatigue, hallucinations, and vomiting. If you are worried about the small outbreak, you can call the hotline number on screen for details. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have contracted the virus, please go to your nearest hospital for a blood test."
"Just as well we're in another state," Rayn said, his eyebrows disappearing up into his hairline.
"Oh, c'mon. We all know it won't come to anything. Just like bird flu never actually did anything," I said, confident, at the time, that I was right.
"True. Well, have a good night out there. Don't pick any fights with ginger dweebs," he laughed.