Swamped Chapter 15 Page 7

You stop for a moment and think about how the rest of Squib Squad would react if they heard you turned down a challenge.

Yeah, you can already hear the mocking laughter. You’re not facing that later. You’ll play her game.

But you intend to play it your way.

“Deal a hand,” you say confidently.

“I don’t think we got beyond the basic rules last time we played,” Lisa says, dealing out the cards, then dropping one face down. “So let’s stick to them, just to save time. We’ll just add one extra rule for speed.”

“What’s that?”

She puts a card down beside her.

“If you pass, you lay aside one of your cards. Next bet you lose, you’ve got to hand that card over as well as the others. So passing has a cost, which means the game can’t drag on even if nobody’s willing to bet. Of course, if you end up laying your entire stash aside, you’ll have to make a bet next turn no matter what.”

“Works for me.”

“Good. Consider that play my first pass,” she says, smirking. She draws a card and puts it aside without even looking at it, though she puts it down so you can see it’s a Five of Stones. “So it’s your turn now.”

“I haven’t even picked out my card yet.”

“I know. It’s called taking a handicap. You get a free turn, and a free card. So make your choice, and then tell me your bet.”

You look over your cards. Nine of Wings, Ten of Leaves, Six of Wings, Nine of Blades, Six of Blades, Nine of Stones, Scholar of Wings.

Which one will you lay down?

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let’s play scholar of wings and show off how much we know about paul mccartney


Lots of nines, in a normal game, that’s an advantage, but you can’t worry about advantages when playing Lisa black.

It also helps to have the 6’s of matching suit, the design on these cards give the 6 and 9’s similar fonts. You won’t trick Lisa with that – but she might think you would try.

But what is most interesting is the scholar of wings. That was Tom Third’s card – well not his card really, but you can’t think of a better card to represent him. Pick the scholar of wings.

It forgoes your advantage, but it’s appropriate for your match. A subtle hint of your respect for Tom might be enough to convince her to help you after the game. Of course she might take it as a cheater just trying to use Tom’s memory.

Don’t set it down alone though. “Shuffle” your hand around and Place all of the cards down in a stack but in the same order you drew them (The order you listed them, DF). You’ve still technically put the scholar down – but that’s just the kind of seedy move someone would play if they’re trying to slip in extra cards or if they’re confident in the luck of their draw, and have planned out their bets. Either way, you use her preconceptions against her.

Author’s Note:

Cards were randomly selected again. Yes, I really did draw three nines for this. Don’t remember the actual suits, though.