Orbit Short Fiction

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Pushing Luck

by Elliott James

Publication Date—Oct 15, 2013

This is the third in a series of short stories by debut author Elliott James. The first of his novels, Charming, will be out in September 2013. Trying to make money off the grid, John Charming discovers an underground poker tournament where the hors d’oeuvres are made of human flesh and the players are gambling with much more than their money. All bets are off.


It had been over a decade since I last saw Jamie Belmont, and in that time she had apparently grown a male prostitute. He was attached to her hip, sprouting dark, well-groomed hair and pretty enough that he would have looked feminine if not for all of the gym muscle. His clothes were skintight, expensive, and faux-casual, probably made by some designer with a name like Rutger Hauer. I decided to surgically remove him.

“Why, Jamie Belmont,” I said in my best Colonel Sanders impression. “As I live and breathe.” We and close to a hundred other people were standing in the reception hall of Russell Sidney’s Atlanta mansion, milling about between two large spiraling staircases and the wraparound balconies they led to. Maybe only fifty people if you didn’t count the high-class hookers or the suspiciously large and rough-looking men who were standing behind buffet tables and beneath serving trays. The latter looked like apes who had been shaved and crammed into red tuxedos.

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