I dropped the cards to the table when the jack in my hand stabbed his spade-scepter into the tip of my finger. I sucked at the blood that appeared at the point of strike.
“Must we use your Poking Poker Cards?” I asked George.
George ran a hand through his mop of red hair and grinned. His eyes scanned the shelves behind me. “I’m sure I’ve got a pair of gloves around here somewhere.”
“Oh, I saw the hot-hand gloves earlier. No, thanks. I’ll take my chances with the jacks.”
George sucked on his pipe and iridescent bubbles blew high into the air.
“What you got, Bro?” He said to the apparition sitting between us.
Fred waved a misty hand through the cards set in front of him and frowned. “I don’t know why you two insist on dealing me in every time.”
I picked up Fred’s cards. He had three kings. The King of Hearts started making kissy faces at me.
“It’s because you always win, my friend. Even when I know your cards.” I winked at him. “Besides. I like having you here. Seems like old times.”
Fred smiled and touched my hair. It was a cool breeze against my cheek.
“I could always whip you at poker, Donea.” Fred agreed.
Small licks to my palm made me squeal and I slammed Fred’s cards face down.
George laughed so hard, his pipe went flying to the floor. I punched him square in the shoulder.
“Ow. What was that for?”
“You put that snogging spell on the King of Hearts again, didn’t you?”
“Well, at least its antics let me keep an eye on the little bugger,” George said.
“Umm, I believe that’s called cheating?”
We laid our cards face up, turning over the two blind cards we always played with to make things fair for Fred. I had a pair of jacks. George looked pretty smug with his three aces, until he spied the two queens that paired with Fred’s kings.
“Fred wins again,” he said.
I smiled at my dear friends as he waved his hazy hands about in victory.
“As he should.”
:) Happy Wednesday, everyone!