• Ace of Spades
    By R.C.A.Dawson

    The People of the Old West had a legend about that card, how it had started endless years of uncertainty and death. In 1870 there were a string of murders in a town in California, all connected by that card, an ace of spades. The killer was never found and was never caught. One day the murders stopped, that day was in the year of 1941 the year World War II started.
    Soon the people forgot about these murders like most people do over time. New generations were being born as old ones died. After the war had ended time passed, then the killing started up again, nobody knew if it was the same man or if it was a son or daughter, all they knew was he was back.
    Eyewitnesses all say they saw a shadow duck behind a building or into a crowded marketplace and vanish just as fast it appeared. This continued on for many years, the people lived in fear for they never knew when he would come for them. They decided after much deliberation to call him “The Grim Spade.” Or as he was better known as “The Ace of Spades” for his trademark he left with his dead victims.
    In 2007 SWAT forces finally cornered him and shot him dead. When brought into the medical coroners office it was discovered that he was indeed almost 130 years old, and as fit as a man of 25. Before an autopsy could begin a falcon flew in and snatched the coroner’s scalpel and flew up to a ledge, suddenly without notice the man jumped up and killed the coroner with his own two hands (after which he laid his trademark card on him) and escaped.
    The murders again suddenly stopped, and have stayed that way for 20 years. On the day of July 4th, 2027 he returned to wreak his terror on the world again. Who was this man? What was he planning? No one knew, all they could find on him was that his name was Tony from an old obituary that fit his description from when it all began…157 years ago…

    Chapter 1
    The Town of Jumber 1870.

    There lived a man named Tony, he was the classic cowboy type, quick with a revolver, a ladies man, and one of the best poker players around, but he wasn’t a cowboy at all! In fact, he was the sheriff’s son. “Hey Horace! Are you and the guys ready to play some poker?” Tony said with a grin that he was renowned for. “C’mon Tony, you take all of our money every week! You honestly expect us to play some poker?” Horace replied. “How about if I promise to take it easy on you? C’mon, get the guys together.” “Fine, but this time I’m dealer.” “Ha, you know I never like being the dealer Horace, deal.” Tony replied.
    They started their games in the parlor of the old saloon. Along with Tony was Horace, the shop owner, Mick, Tony’s friend from when they went to school, Doug one of the shadier people in town, and the town doctor Dr. Winifry. As they started Tony was as usual winning every hand with his patented poker face. Then Tony had the best hand you could get, a royal flush in spades.
    He goes all in unable to hide his enthusiasm. Most of the others agree except Mick who folded. Horace had a full house of aces and kings, Winifry had a straight of an ace of hearts, king of clubs, and the rest were diamonds. Doug showed his hand of a 4 of kind in 6’s with an ace of spades kicker. When Tony showed his hand everyone got dead quiet real quickly. “Wait…Tony and Doug both have Ace of Spades, how is that possible?” said Mick to break the silence. “We can’t…” Tony said with a grave tone then continued, “Who was the dealer? I believe it was you Horace?” “Yeah, but I fanned the cards out before I dealed out the cards, there was only one Ace of Spades.” “So? It’s obvious Tony cheated” said Doug with straight face that a nun couldn’t break. “What!? I didn’t cheat!” “Don’t give us that, you have been winning all night, then you suddenly have a royal flush all in spades?”
    Horace suddenly said “Ok, one of you two cheated but because I’m a nice guy so how about you two just put your money back in and we can redo this hand and we will check to make sure neither of you two cheat.” “AS HELL I WILL!” Doug shouted, through his cards down and ran out of the salon. “God, I wonder what got into him?” Mick said sheepishly