Day 103: “Blackjack” — Episode 1

“What in the world is that smell?”

Charlie opened his eyes and saw his legs buried in a mound of trash. The rest of his body fared slightly better, resting on the rest of the pile for the better part of the night. After a moment, Charlie realized he was contained along with the rest of the garbage inside a standard city dumpster somewhere in one of hundreds of alleyways in the city.

Looking up at the night sky, Charlie failed to access whether it was closer to dusk or dawn. A strange pain in his back prevented him from raising his torso easily to peek outside the dumpster. Failing to locate his keys, wallet, and phone in the pockets of his disheveled dark gray suit, Charlie discovered a single business card.

“Karen Shin,” he muttered to himself, bewildered. “Blackjack Enterprises?”

Fighting through the stench and avoiding putrid puddles whenever possible, Charlie eventually crawled out of the dumpster, hitting the pavement with a resound thud. More strange pains appeared, slowing down his joints and further tensing his back.

“Was I left for dead?” Charlie thought to himself, curious yet cautious about who might have inflicted these pains and discarded him in such an unceremonious fashion. “I’m not safe out here. I need to get home?”

Walking out to the street, Charlie failed to recognize any bus stops or signs that would guide him in the right direction. Without his phone or wallet, calling a ride-share or taxicab would be more of a challenge than usual.

Out of the corner of his eye, Charlie spotted a lone woman listening to music on her phone. Her dark, hooded clothing and lack of eye contact implied she was not looking to be bothered, but Charlie’s situation called for a more assertive approach.

“Excuse me,” Charlie asked with a tinge of hesitation. “I don’t mean to trouble you, but may I use your phone?”

The woman looked up. She cracks a wry smile upon her pale face.

“It’ll cost ya,” the woman smirked.

Click here for Episode 2 →

— Lee

Like what you read? Give Lee Ngo a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.