The Three of Summers

Big Sky Guy glanced around the table at the other players, at the pot, at his hand again; five Princes- Winters, Springs, Tweens, Autumns and Highs. If his luck held, it would be his best ever.

Two of them left in the game for The Prize, M’Lady Forgot and himself. The Prize! It would make him a player, put him up among the gods. The others watched in their own ways: the dapper Duke of Stars, eyes sympathetic ; The Heavy Hitter, stolid and unimaginative as his name; Mr. Girl, leaning forward, shifting his shoulders just so to display his breasts better; Shade, silent, sphinx-like, her eyes missing nothing.

The last card. All in, there was nothing else for it. She did the same.

He looked at the card. The three of Summers. But, five Princes! M’Lady showed an Imperial Flush, Imperator, Queen-Consort, Prince, Dapifer, Seneschal, Fool.

The Prize was hers, shining blue, whorled with cloud, tiny lights showing on the dark half. “What will you do with it?” he asked.

“Oh,” she said, “Something interesting.”

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