Red 7 – A Casino Short Story
It’s 4:30 P.M. I come in through the back door of the hotel. Once there, I go straight to the men’s changing room where I take off my clothes and put on my uniform: black pants, a white long sleeve shirt and black vest with silver buttons. And the final touch: a silver-coloured bow with a magnet right in the middle of my shirt collar. I don’t even look at myself in the mirror, I know everything fits me perfectly. Besides, I am not worried about how I look; the ones that belong to my kind never care about that. After all, we are not conceited beings…unlike humans.
I leave the room and walk straight to the hotel hall which takes me to the inner entrance where I work from 5 pm to midnight. The name: Paradise Place.
It really tries to honour its name; long carpets with patterns of yellow and reddish clouds cover the long floor. On the other hand, the walls and the decorations of the place are a mix of Rococo style, golden chandeliers, and imitations of Renaissance paintings with statues of cherubs…and angels.
Well, at least the concept of angels that humans have… about us.
Yes. I said to us: angels. Actual angels. The “real deal”. When you say “there are angels among us”, it turns out you are quite right. We help humans, we work for God…
But things don’t always work the way you might think. First of all, we don’t have wings. We don’t need them. Secondly, we cannot help humans randomly; we must follow the orders of the Archangels. And as a matter of fact, that’s why I’m working at Paradise Place. I wouldn’t be here if I had the choice.
Paradise Place is filled with gambling machines, just like the other casinos. And just like the other casino employees, I check in by scanning my ID card. The computer gives me a green light as confirmation of my most recent human identity, a lowly casino worker.
And sometimes I wonder what’s the point of me being in this dark place.
I’ll explain: we angels are required to change our physical appearance, according to the task in hand. But we don’t get to decide, the orders come from On High. In my case, I was obliged to look strikingly attractive, someone who simply cannot go unnoticed – I have thick, wavy golden hair. Yes, I know, an angel with blond hair; clichéd right? I also have a handsome face, light skin, a wide back, an athletic body, and a deep, manly voice. And last but not least: heterochromatic eyes. One blue, the other one, grey.
As a matter of fact, once I am at the casino tables and working my magic on the cards, my looks start to have an effect on certain female colleagues.
“Good, evening, Abby.”
“Would you like something to drink before we start?”
Abby always asks me the same question. And I always give her the same answer.
“A glass of water would be nice,” I say as I shrug my shoulders.
She smiles, with sparkling eyes.
“Okay, I’ll be right back!” She says as she turns and runs on her high, silvered heels.
“I’d like a glass of cranberry juice.” mumbles Ben, my co-worker bitterly, “but of course, she never asks me.”
“Well, maybe you could just ask her for it,” I say to him, trying to be neutral. But I know Abby well enough; she’d never date a fat guy with droopy eyes like him. But he’d never stop eating the way he does, so that’s not fair for her either.
That’s one of the biggest problems with many humans nowadays: they all want to get something good, but without making any effort at all. And if they ever want to get something, they’ll usually try to get it in an easy, shady and underhanded way.
That’s one of the main reasons that casinos exist: to attract people who want to get rich fast without any sort of effort.
In a nutshell, casinos are the very embodiment of the fact that the human race cannot rid itself of the Seven Deadly Sins:
Laziness and Greed are for the people who come here for the easy money.
Gluttony for the people who stuff themselves at the casino’s buffet.
Pride happens when people believe they are better gamblers than the others just because they are having a little bit of luck.
Anger and Envy appear when that luck disappears.
And of course, Lust depends on waitresses like Abby; with their colourful leotards that have little pink wings stamped on them and their tight stockings.
…… Lust is the sin I understand the least. I guess that happens because as a real angel, I’m asexual. That’s right: nothing down there.
I can get to know Abby and the rest of the humans because of my incredible powers of perception. And I am about to use them.
…… Abby gives me the glass of water and some minutes later, the place is full of people ready to gamble. I am in front of my working area: the roulette wheel. I’m set. Ready to accomplish my daily mission.
Oh, right, I haven’t talked about that.
…… Allow me to explain: From time to time, some humans come to the casino in order to win money that they really need: they have a family member who needs an expensive operation or maybe they need to save their house from being repossessed by the bank. Basically, they are good, noble people who need a miracle and that’s exactly what I can make happen.
They usually enter the place without knowing where to go, but I attract them with my angelic powers and “convince them” to play at my roulette wheel. During the game, I analyze their future intentions, what they will decide to do with the income from a big win, and in the end, I decide if they win… or not.
Sounds cold? Let me tell you something: people change their minds all the time; even if they were aiming with all their hearts to do something good “if they only had the money…”, once they actually get the money in their hands, many of them end up breaking their promises.
And that’s why I’m here; I judge their intentions and decide if they win or lose. I only make it happen if the person really deserves it if they are not under the sway of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Sometimes they regret they didn’t keep the promises they made while they were building their bankroll, but they always do that when it’s too late.
Fair or unfair? Who knows? I didn’t make the rules. After all, I am not God, you know.