I asked Sandrine if she’d school me in the finer points of hockey as the game progressed. I put it that way, but really I didn’t even know the rougher points. So, between hurling partisan abuse and having it hurled at her, she obliged.
“Not too much to it,” she’d started. “Two teams of six guys each. They get on the ice, skate, and try to beat the shit out of each other. If they happen to think of it they also try to put the puck in the other team’s net.”
We were definitely the outsiders here. Not only was Sandrine for the other team (and, I suppose, everyone thought I must be, too), but we were from south of the border.
Sandrine has a sharp wit, an impulsive mind (as evidenced by her dance with Keith), and a devilish knack for pushing peoples’ buttons. I doubt anyone in the room had been called a ‘canuck’ so much in a long while.
As the game progressed the two teams played to a standoff. Even I could tell it was an amazing defensive game. Sandrine explained to me that players were taken off the ice when they committed infractions, leading to a ‘power play.’ The other team would have one more man on the ice for the duration of the penalty. I remembered once seeing that movie Slapshot
with Paul Newman, and when she mentioned penalties an image came to mind of the three Hanson brothers, enforcers with their black and taped horn-rimmed glasses, all in the penalty box together.
The Stars got the first such advantage, but failed to capitalize. Later in the first period the Flames got their chance but also came up empty.
During the second period Sandrine explained to me about how hockey is an ‘off-side’ game. Forward passes of the puck are permitted. Before the 1930s that hadn’t been the case, and hockey had only allowed passes backward, like rugby.
As the teams skated up and down the ice during the last two periods, often coming close to scoring but never succeeding, she told me about being off-sides. How an attacking team had to advance the puck over the blue line before any of its players could enter the other team’s zone.
As the scoreless third period wound down the Stars got another power play, and Sandrine pointed out to me how the Flames, a player short, would use every opportunity to shoot the puck down to the other end of the rink to take time off the period. She explained how if a team did that and the puck crossed both the center line and the other team’s goal line untouched it was called ‘icing the puck.’ One of the skaters on the offensive team had to skate the length of the ice and touch the puck before the clock was stopped. An official would bring the puck back up the ice for a faceoff in the defending team’s zone. But precious seconds would have leaked off the clock.
Soon the Flames were back up to full strength. As the last seconds wound down, a Flames skater got a breakaway and raced down the right side of the ice toward the Stars’ goalie, the puck at the head of his stick. Another Flames player was ten feet behind him on the left side of the rink. The first player bore in on the goalie, the tender coming out from the net to reduce the shooter’s angle on the goal. The player shot and the puck was smothered in the goalie’s pads.
Seconds later, the period, and regulation time, ended with the score 0 to 0.
I was surprised by the reaction of the guys. I thought they’d be inconsolably disappointed. Didn’t a tie mean that there was no loser, and therefore no strip show? I expressed this to Sandrine.
“There aren’t any more ties in the NHL,” she explained. “They play a five minute extra period. Sudden death. If a team scores it’s over. That Flames forward really saved my bacon.”
“Didn’t you see him?”
“Yeah, it looked like he was way open and had a pretty good chance to score. A shame the goalie stopped his shot.”
Sandrine gave me a smack on the back of my head. “Watch, numb nuts,” she said and indicated the screen where a replay was up. “See the other guy on the left?”
“See how far the goalie is out of the crease?”
“Never mind, douchebag. Now see the other guy on the left?”
“Oh, yeah,” I said, the dawn finally breaking. “If he’d just passed the puck over to that guy he would have had an easy shot.”
“That’s right. And I’d be gettin’ ready to strip down and have Danielle tell me how to shake my bare ass. Close call. That guy’s gonna get his nuts chewed off in the locker room.”
“He wanted to be the hero?”
“Yeah, and they didn’t win because of him. Just one of the many downsides of testosterone. Man, if I ever did something that stupid in a game I’d just go home and smoke a shotgun.”
Everyone was using the break before the overtime period to get another beer, hit the head, or both. I went and got fresh beers for Sandrine and me. As I handed the sweating bottle to her I saw a devilish smile on her face and a naughty gleam in her eye.
“Oh, shit. What now?” I asked.
“I’m gonna take that last play as an omen. The Flames didn’t win it there, they’re not going to win it. I don’t think an innocent little strip is good enough for the payoff of a bet on a game this classic. Watch this.”
Sandrine took a long pull on her beer. Then she leaned on my shoulder to steady herself and rose to her feet.
“Hey, Danielle,” she said in a loud voice. Immediately, all conversation came to a halt. The telecast was in a commercial so the sound was muted. There wasn’t a sound to be heard. “We’re into OT. Wanna up the bet?”
Danielle was curled up against Keith on the other love seat. I’d noticed she’d been nursing her beer, probably still on only her second. She straightened and looked at Sandrine. I saw a hesitant expression pass across her face, but then she seemed to decide she didn’t want to look like a weenie.
“Okay. You just name it. I’ll go for it,” she said with as much confidence as she could muster. She had to know by now that Sandrine was capable of proposing just about anything.
I'd thought the silence was deep before, but now it was profound and eerie. Chips and bottles came to a stop halfway to someone’s mouth.
“Okay. Loser strips and dances. Then she sucks off every dick in the house. She does it any way the winner wants her to do it. Winner gets to humiliate the loser any way she wants.”
Even I’d not been ready for that one. There were a few murmured comments. “Shit.” “Hell, yes.”
Danielle’s face took on a stricken look, her eyes wide and staring. She started to speak a couple of times before meekly saying, “That’s, um, don’t you think that’s a little extreme, Sandrine?”
The hook was in Danielle’s mouth. Now Sandrine set it.
“Hey, all you fuckin’ canucks. You gettin’ a load of this chickenshit you’ve got on your side. She said she’d take whatever I came up with. Well, come on, girl. If I lose I’ll blow Keith first. I know he’s dying to get his cock in my mouth. If you pay attention you might even learn a trick or two to try out on the next guy you shack up with.”
I thought Danielle might give it one more try to reel Sandrine in, but the gibe about Keith set her off, as it had in the kitchen.
She started to jump up, and Keith restrained her. “I’ll take that bet, you fuckin’ slut. Loser sucks every cock. You’re not gonna wanna go to another Stars game in your life after I get through with you.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Sandrine said, laughing. “Flames are a bunch of limp dicks. So are their fans. If I lose I don’t think I’m gonna see a single hard dick. But, you know what? I don’t care what the bet is because I know I’m not going to lose. Go get your kneepads, cunt.”
I stood at that and encouraged Sandrine in the direction away from Danielle and into the kitchen.
Out in the living room I heard one of the guys speak up. Apparently, what was on his mind was the possibility that his cock might end up in his boss’s girlfriend’s mouth while the boss looked on.
“Hey, Keith,” he said. “Look, if Danielle loses…..”
Keith cut him off. “If that happens you paint this girl’s tonsils with my blessing. Danielle’s an adult and can make her own decisions. She’s a dumb, loudmouthed, act-before-she-speaks, let-anyone-push-my-buttons-and-lead-me-around-by-my-nose adult. But still an adult. What happens, happens. You’ll not get any grief from me.”
I wondered how that speech went down with Danielle. As much as they’d been snuggly during the game I couldn’t help but sense some distance between them. Keith washing his hands in that way couldn’t be good for their relationship, and maybe after today Keith and Danielle would be history, especially if Danielle lost and he had to watch her get used like that. I suppose a strip show wasn’t all that big a deal in the scheme of things. It seemed that just her act of accepting this latest risk might have really put Keith off. If he had to watch his lady get humiliated by Sandrine and her mouth get used as a cum dump by the guys he worked with, how would that impact their relationship? Would the episode end it?
In the kitchen, Sandrine hopped her ass up onto the counter surface.
“Man, this is a hoot!” Sandrine said. “It’s like having a couple of fingers up her nose. I can make her go anywhere I want. Did you see the look on the bitch’s face when I mentioned the blow-jobs? She looked like she had a hockey stick up her ass!”
I’d seen some crazy wagers, but this one topped them all. I tried to bring Sandrine back down to terra firma.
“Sandrine, you know the Flames just might win.”
“No, they won’t. I’m planning to watch Danielle choke on cock. I told you: they missed that chance at the end. That’s the omen. That’s how I know the Stars will end up winning.”
“Sandrine? An omen? Are you nuts? Did you check your horoscope to see who was going to win? ‘Aries - Don’t miss an opportunity! Jupiter is in the Seventh House so it’s a safe day to take a risk!’” I snapped my fingers in front of her face. “Hello? You might lose, Sandrine. Suck all those cocks? And Danielle has carte blanch to humiliate you any way she wants? No hockey game is worth that, Sandrine.”
“It’s not the hockey game, Michael. It’s the bitch who’s got her mouth bet on the Flames. That’s what’s important.”
We were at the end of the kitchen farthest from the refrigerator and the guys going back and forth to fetch fresh beers. Our conversation was soto voce. Most of the guys coming and going studiously avoided looking at Sandrine. Only one guy paused on his trip to the fridge. He stopped to ask Sandrine if she’d open her month and let him see, make sure it was big enough for his cock. Sandrine showed him a middle finger.
I got the sense that Sandrine was finally starting to reflect and think of this seriously and analytically. The adrenaline was becoming more dilute in her system, and Sandrine was starting to see that her actions had consequences she’d not thought of in the heat of the moment.
This was strange. I’d known Sandrine at work for five years. I found I could connect with her most of the time. We had occasion to talk from time to time about personal matters - one or the other of us starting or ending a relationship, maybe - and about business. In all those instances, I thought I was really clicking with Sandrine. Especially in the last few months before we left for Calgary, I’d found Sandrine willing to talk about personal matters, and I found a lot of traction. I could tell we were talking honestly and reaching each other. Now, though, in this situation, it was like she was covered in a thick and shiny layer of lacquer. I wasn’t getting that adhesion. I knew I wasn’t really connecting with her. She was on her own wavelength, hopped up on some combination of dislike for Danielle and partisanship to her team. It was probably ninety percent the former and ten percent the latter. The faith in her team was just the means to an end: humiliating Danielle. Was that really worth it to Sandrine, taking a risk like that?
“You see what I’m saying, Sandrine? Naked? Your mouth getting gangbanged in front of an audience?”
I knew right away my words had slid right off. Whatever reflection she had been engaged with was gone and she was back to acting on pure bravado.
“Not gonna happen, Michael. But your concern is sweet. And even if - hypothetically speaking, very hypothetically speaking - I lost what’s the worst? I have to suck a few dicks? I’ve sucked dick before.”
“A dozen of them? One after another? Naked in front of an audience?”
The impervious exterior was still in place.
“Michael, sweetie, you’re a dear to look after me, but it’s my mouth. Hey, what do you have to be worried about? You get a blow-job either way.”
“Sandrine, you know that’s not what I’m concerned.….”
Keith entered the kitchen then and strode up to us.
“You a little shitfaced, Sandrine?” Keith asked.
“Not at all,” Sandrine answered. She got a look on her face like she was probing deep inside herself. “A nice buzz, but definitely not shitfaced. Really, not even crocked. Your little pet is trying to weasel out, isn’t she?”
“No, as a matter of fact she’s not,” Keith said. “She’s right where you manipulated her to. Look, Sandrine, I don’t know where you got the idea that you and me are going to have some kind of roll in the sack, or relationship, or whatever, but it’s…..”
“I never thought that for one minute, Keith. Don’t flatter yourself.”
Keith stabbed her with a cold stare that went on and on. He was trying to come up with something that might explain what this crazy bitch was about. Finally, he let it drop with a “Fuck it!” Then he turned to me. “Michael, let’s keep these two apart until this is settled. Then we’re all going to talk and see how this is going to play out.” With that, Keith turned and headed back to the living room.
A few seconds later we followed him. The start of the overtime period had to be imminent by now.
The puck dropped, and the action started. It looked strange to see only four skaters per side rather than five. Sandrine and Danielle diligently ignored each other. This period was only five minutes long and the time sped by. The Stars got a power play opportunity in the middle of the period, but like earlier they couldn’t put the puck in the net even with the advantage. The period limped to a close with the score still 0 to 0.
When I looked at Sandrine I sensed that maybe the lacquer was thinning a little. She was casting her gaze about the room, occasionally letting it light on Danielle and Keith. I didn’t think it would do any good to push her. There was nothing that could be done about the reality of the bet now. It was her or Danielle, and the fact that Sandrine was maybe moving in her mind to the realization that it might very well be her, and beginning to feel the dread of what that meant, didn’t change the fact of the wager.
I asked Sandrine what happened now. She seemed to need a moment to come out of wherever she’d gone in her mind.
“Um, now it’s a shootout. Each team chooses three players. They each get a penalty shot. The puck starts on the red line and the guy skates forward toward the goal and tries to score. After all three have gone on both sides whichever team has the most scores wins the game.”
I thanked her for the information and she retreated back into herself.
The Stars were the home team and elected to go first. Their first skater approached the puck and got it moving with his stick, skating in a way that looked almost leisurely toward the Flames’ goal. The goaltender came out of what I now knew was the ‘crease.’ The skater continued to approach and at the last moment faked one way and went the other, and for the first time that game a puck hit the net.
Sandrine jumped up screaming in the otherwise silent room. “Oh, man! Did you see that? Deked him right out of his fucking jock strap! Beautiful! Just fucking beautiful!”
I thought she might start digging at Danielle, but she sat down without doing so. The Flames’ first player was just picking up the puck on his way to the net. Rather than trying to get very close, he took a shot from just inside the blue line, hoping to catch the goaltender off guard as he came out of the crease, but the goalie smothered the shot. Sandrine hooted.
The second shooters for each team took their turns and both were unsuccessful.
The third Stars shooter began to skate up the ice with the possibility of ending the game with a second Stars point. He tried the same sort of decoy that the first shooter had, but his shot went well wide.
Now the third and last Flames shooter started up the ice. I’d been sneaking peeks at Danielle since the Stars had scored. When each player started moving with the puck she lowered her head but kept her eyes open, the way a person does when they know news is coming and that it might be bad. Her hands were together, her fingers interlaced, and she had them up by her mouth. This time I saw her lips moving silently and her eyes definitely had some extra wetness. I realized she was soundlessly mouthing, “Please, please, please, please…..”
The last Flames shooter slapped the puck after covering about half the distance to the goal. The shot was low and right at the goaltender, who lowered his glove to catch the puck. Sandrine screamed and jumped up again. But it was premature. The puck had made its way under the glove and between the skates of the goal tender and was now trickling toward the net at much reduced speed.
Sound began building in the room. The goalie realized he didn’t have the puck and turned just in time to watch it slide into the goal. The sounds became screams and kept up for a long while. Sandrine resumed her seat with a “Fuck!” Danielle was sitting on her love seat. Her face was in her hands and she was breathing deeply.
When the room began to settle, I asked Sandrine, “So, now what?”
“The shootout continues starting back with the original skaters, but this time sudden death. They keep up like they were, and first time the puck goes in the net it’s over.”
“So, the Stars get to go first?”
“That’s why they elected to go first at the beginning of the shootout. If it goes to sudden death they have the advantage.” For the first time I heard a quaver in Sandrine’s voice.
Yeah, I think the lacquer had all worn off now, and this was finally real to Sandrine. It wasn’t just bravado and loud conversation and invective and theoretical opportunities to humiliate some woman she didn’t happen to like for no particularly good reason. Sandrine was finally face to face with the idea that one of them would soon be naked and shortly after have a long train of cocks using her mouth. Danielle hadn’t had that layer of protection, or at least had it much more briefly than Sandrine. Danielle had sooner, and more readily, been willing to face the truth of what losing meant. Who that loser would be was to be decided in mere seconds, and Sandrine was finally face to face with the reality that, meaningless omens notwithstanding, it was as likely to be her as Danielle.
Then I heard something I never would have expected.
Sandrine cleared her throat. “Um, hey, Danielle. I’m, uh, you know, maybe you were right before and this bet is pretty extreme.” Her voice was both shaky and timorous. “It’s still not settled. Still tied. Maybe, um, maybe we should just, you know, drop it? That okay with you?”
The room was silent, waiting on Danielle’s response.
She started to giggle, and then to laugh outright. “If you were a guy I’d say your balls were starting to sweat, honey.” Danielle’s voice was the exact opposite of Sandrine’s, strong and confident, and there was mockery on her face. Now that the room knew where she was going to take her response, the guys were more than ready to get behind Danielle. They weren’t loud, but it seemed that every one of them had some disdainful comment about Sandrine’s cold feet, and the ridicule, sarcasm, and jeering were non-stop.
It was the perfect reversal. Bold, fearless Sandrine, too ready to put it all on the line, was suddenly the timid one, cowed by the thought of the horrendous penalty that awaited her if she lost in the new few seconds. Danielle, who’d been manipulated into a wager she’d never have made were her rational mind working, was now the audacious one, ready to courageously seize an insane chance and see it through, win or lose.
Danielle gave Sandrine her unambiguous answer. “Sorry, pussy-kins, I’m good, but I understand how spineless Yankee Stars fans can be. If you’re backing out I guess you’re backing out, but you’re doing it on your own.”
Obviously, it was an answer Sandrine didn’t want to hear and hadn’t expected.
“Decide now, gutless pussy,” Danielle said.
“Oh, fuck,” Sandrine answered. The quaking tremor in her voice was now unmistakable. I was close enough to her that I could see what perhaps the others couldn’t: the slight trembling of her lower lip and chin. “Fuck you, Danielle. Yeah, I’m still in. The bet’s still on, and am I ever gonna love humiliating you.” But the poise and assurance had completely abandoned her voice.
“Okay. You heard her. We’re still on. Now let’s get this done and get you naked, quitter.”
Everyone settled. The teams had paused for only a brief time. A moment later the Stars’ shooter, the one who’d scored before, advanced to the puck. I glanced to the side and saw that Sandrine had her hands exactly the same way as Danielle, except she was bouncing them lightly against her lips. As the shooter crossed the blue line she put her head down and shut her eyes.
The shooter tried the same thing he had the first time, but the goaltender was better able to defend the effort and the shot went wide.
Sandrine looked up and I heard a whispered, “Fuck.” I wasn’t surprised to see the same extra moisture in her eyes I’d seen in Danielle’s. Yep, this was something tangible now.
The Flames skater was soon pushing the puck down the ice. I don’t know if was called a ‘double deke’ or what, but he tried the same move the Stars’ skater had, but doubled back to the original side. The Stars’ goaltender committed too far to the first decoy and the Flames’ shooter actually danced around him and took the puck right up to the crease before slapping it home. Then his stick and arms were in the air.
I’d thought the screaming was loud before. I was wrong. Now it was deafening, the roomful of Flames fans finally able to cut loose. It was over.
I looked at Sandrine. I now knew what stories meant when they said someone looked ‘stunned.’ Her features were frozen, eyes wide and staring, a couple fingers over her mouth. Her eyes rolled up in her head, she shut them, and a tear rolled down each cheek. Her lips formed the words, ‘Oh, my God.’
Long before the celebrating was over Keith looked at Sandrine and me and indicated with his thumb the hallway. Soon, he, I, Sandrine, and Danielle were in one of the bedrooms.
Danielle skipped into the room. Sandrine sat on the bed, her head down, her hands pressed together palm to palm between her drawn together knees. Danielle bent down in front of her laughing merrily.
“Hey, loser bitch, ready to suck some cock?” She had her beer with her and proceeded to illustrate on the bottle the task that was in Sandrine’s immediate future.
“Danielle, just…..” Keith started, but he didn’t want to use the words. “Now, first thing. This is my house. Nobody does anything in my house they don’t do willingly.”
“Hey, what the fuck!” Danielle protested. “We had a bet!”
This time the words wouldn’t stay behind Keith’s lips. “Danielle, just shut up and back off. Sandrine, if you want to walk out the door no one is going to say ‘boo’ to you. The stripping I don’t care about as long as there’s no touching. But you’re not paying off the rest of it unless I’m convinced you’re doing it willingly.”
Sandrine looked troubled. I knew the lacquer was now gone and she was down to her bare soul. I knew she desperately did not want to do this.
“Okay, Keith, you’re a sweetheart and I understand your concern.” Her voice again had that quaver to it. “But we made a fair bet. Shit. I’m the one who suggested upping it. I won’t do it happily, but if the words you need to hear are that I’m going to do it and I’m going to do it willingly and consensually then you just heard them. I’ll pay up.”
“Goddamn right you will,” Danielle interjected.
Keith put a hand up to Danielle signing, ‘Be silent!’
“Danielle? You really going to make her do this?” Keith asked.
“Hell, yeah! She’s the one…..”
“It’s okay, Keith,” Sandrine said. “She doesn’t have to make me. I opened my big mouth, and I’m ready to pay off.”
Danielle pounced on that one.
“Oh, you’re just getting started opening your mouth, bitch,” she said. Then she got the same mischievous look on her face that I’d seen on Sandrine’s in the kitchen. “She’s gonna strip. She’s not getting out of that. I just might let her out of the blow-jobs. But she’ll have to pay a price.”
Sandrine’s demeanor brightened at the idea that there might be some way out of the most humiliating part of the ordeal she faced. “What’s it going to cost me?” Sandrine asked. “You mean money? I don’t have much cash with me.”
Danielle laughed. “In your dreams. You think I’d let you off that easy? No, the price isn’t cash. Believe me, you don’t have enough of that anywhere to get me to drop this for just some money. It’d probably just be some of that boring, green American money, anyway.”
“So, what?” Sandrine asked.
Danielle laughed again. She was learning quickly how to milk this for all the misery she could heap on Sandrine.
“After you strip we’ll talk about it,” Danielle said. “But, hey, let’s get you naked, girl!” Danielle continued with great good humor in her voice. “You dance the first song and you’ll be in your birthday suit by the time it’s done. Then we’ll put on some music and I’ll let you know how to dance and when you’re done. Then, unless you want to pay up, you start sucking cocks until everyone who wants it has gotten off.”
“Yeah, I get it,” Sandrine said. “I’ll suck them one at a time. My mouth only. No fucking. Good enough?”
Danielle folded her arms thoughtfully. “Well, sure. That was the bet. But aren’t you forgetting. The bet was also that I get to humiliate you. Any way I want. You insisted as I recall.”
I felt I had to jump in. Sandrine had made a colossal mistake and I hoped to try to get her to the other side as easily as it could be done at this point.
“Hey, come on, Danielle,” I said. “You know how many guys are out there?”
Keith used the opportunity to try to use his weight to influence her. “Michael’s right, Babe. Can’t you ease up?”
“Twelve,” Danielle answered my question, “including you and Keith. You can make your own decisions about cashing in.”
“Thanks guys,” Sandrine said. “But it was my idea. Loser gets humiliated. She’s right. I’ll do whatever I have to so this is paid in full.” She sighed. “Okay, what are you going to do to me? What’s the humiliation?”
Danielle laughed again. “Oh, I know exactly how. But later. After you’re naked and done dancing. So, we’ll see.”
“Fuck!” Sandrine said. “Okay. If I’d won I’d have put you through a wringer. Agreed. You direct the show. I strip. I dance the way you tell me. I either buy my way out, or I suck every cock in the house. I’ll not only do it, but I’ll do it all exactly the way you say. But when it’s done it’s done, Danielle. No bullshit about me weaseling out.”
Danielle got a beatific smile on her face and put her palms to the ceiling. “That’s all there is too it.”
“Okay, Sandrine,” Keith said. “You’re doing this willingly?” Sandrine nodded her assent. “So let’s go get this settled.” With that he turned, opened the door, and headed for the living room. Danielle followed.
I was going or staying with Sandrine, and she was staying, at least for the moment. She leaned into me and rested her head on my shoulder. After a short time she straightened again and we looked at each other. She’d been shedding some tears and now she swiped with the back of her hand below each eye, blinking. She sniffed.
“Jesus Christ on a pogo stick! Michael, what the fuck have I gotten myself into?”
“I was trying to get you to ask yourself that question three hours ago.”
“Thanks. Really. I listened to the sounds you were making but didn’t hear a thing.”
“Yeah. Hey, listen, Sandrine. Danielle’s scored her points. Do the dance and then bail. Fuck the blow-jobs. Fuck whatever idiotic nonsense Danielle’s got in her head about how you’re going to buy your way out. Just dance, put your clothes on, and walk.”
She thought about that for a moment, but then shook her head.
“No, I can’t. Really, Michael. It’s some kind of alpha female thing. We’ve been sniffing each other’s crotches and snarling. And now she’s won. But if I honor it all at least…..I don’t know…..I can walk out of here with my head up. We’re back on equal footing.”
“Well, that’s inspiring. You gonna to sell the film rights to the Lifetime Channel?”
It was good to hear her laugh. It would be her last for a while.
She sat for a moment more, then exhaled and said, “Okay, let’s get this over with,” and rose.
I followed her into the living room. Author’s Note
This is the reimagining of an excellent story by Visioneer called Lucia Makes a Bet. Visioneer’s story is wonderfully written. His characters are distinct and believable, he has a great feel for writing dialogue, the plot is put together well, and the story is entertaining if you’re into the reluctance category.
So there was certainly no need to re-write such an excellently composed story. But I had an idea to take the story, the characters, and their dynamics and interactions in a different direct. Visioneer generously extended his permission for me to do so.
If you’ve not read Visioneer’s story you should (and if you are enjoying this story you will definitely enjoy Lucia Makes a Bet). Especially for writers, reading the two stories will give you an idea of how essentially the same plot and characters can be taken in very different directions and made into two stories with very different feels, character dynamics, and story lines.
I was attracted to Lucia Makes a Bet because I’ve written a series of similarly premised stories called Taking Chances. They are about people who for various reasons - sound or unsound, impulsive or considered - make a wager and how the result of that wager, win or lose, has consequences and impacts on their self-image, relationships, and other aspects of their real world existence. This reimagining of Lucia Makes a Bet takes that story in the same direction as those of Taking Chances.
I hope you enjoy the story. It is about 24K words in total length and will be submitted in six parts. The story is completed so you can be sure that a new section will appear every couple or three days until all parts are posted.
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than Lushstories.com
with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/reluctance/sandrines-bet-part-two.aspx">Sandrine's Bet - Part Two</a>