Will It Last?

I guess luck hinges on the smallest of coincidences. And you never even see it coming. I didn't anyway. I was just glad the long wait was over and tugging myself into the backseat of the taxi I barked out:

'Take me to a hotel. Anyone will do. But make sure it's got a room available.'

'Lady, this must be your lucky day. At this time of year ain't a hotel in Vegas that's full up.'

'Well, get me there quickly then. And if you're good, you can come and pick me up again tomorrow morning.'

I certainly had no intention of staying here more than one night. If the truth be told, I was only here at all, because the damn plane developed a fault and we had to come down for maintenance. I guess you could say I was on a lucky streak this trip. Not only had I not signed up a single artist, but the guy I'd brought along for some fun slunk off with someone funnier and to cap it all the airline had lost my luggage a couple of days ago and my insurance certificate was inside.

The taxi driver pulled up. The bell-boy ran up to take the bag I didn't have so he quickly turned to the limousine pulling up behind.

'Welcome to the Alladin hotel, Madam. May I wish you a happy stay. How many nights will you be staying.'

The guy was sweet and trying hard to please, so I put on my best manners before replying:

'I'm afraid, I'll be leaving tomorrow. Urgent business to attend to back home.'

'No problem, Madam. Here's your key, and here's your Alladin Hotel lucky lantern chip. We're celebrating our tenth birthday this week, and every guest gets one of these chips for free. You can use it in any of the casinos in town, and if you so wish, you can buy up to a hundred more at a reduced rate. So may I wish you good luck, Madam.'

'Sure you may, kid! I need it.' I didn't actually say the 'kid'. I was still being on my best behaviour. My fingertips were starting to tingle. I hadn't intended going anywhere near a casino that night, but with a free chip, well what was there to lose. I decided to head out straight away. Like that, if my luck was out, I'd still be in my bed good and early. Most of the casinos were still pretty dead but there was music coming out of a fairly classy place a little further up the street and a billboard was announcing a talent contest for that evening. Now that would be luck, I smiled to myself as I pushed my way through the doors.

A small crowd but motley was gathered around the bar paying little attention to what was happening on stage, where a young woman was strumming away in a fairly competent fashion. Pity she spoiled it a few minutes later by opening her mouth. I took a wander through the joint. As yet, nopne of the games were opened. I fingered my Alladin chip. Would it really be my lucky charm. Returning to the bar I ordered myself a stiff drink and settled down by the side of the stage. Next up was an acrobatic duet; quite good, but none the kind of act that was going to roll in the crowds. My mind went back a few years to Tommy's final tour. He had the world at his feet, that kid did; the world at his feet and the money to show for it. And 10% of that money was for me. He was my last...

I was quickly brought back to reality by the sound of a good strong voice coming from the stage. Now this was something different. Not much to look at, he knew how to sing. I cheered him like the blazes when he finished and he was kind enough to do an encore. My cheering had caught the eye of the small group by the bar and a cowboy type sidled up to give me the once over. Not a bad looking guy either. This was beginning to get too exciting: a new act and a new boyfriend both in one night. The guy offered me another drink.

'Look Mister, I'd love nothing more than to spend some time with you, but first I've got to get that guy that's just come off stage.'

'Come on, lady. He ain't no good for you. He's just a kid. Now if you're really looking for something good, then you want someone with a bit a maturity.'

'Listen, I love you honey, and I'll be back right away. But I just gotta get to see that kid.'

I ran off just hoping I'd done enough to keep him there until I got back. I found the kid round by the stage exit, having a quick smoke.

'You should keep off those things, if you want to carry on singing like you do. Got any engagements coming up, cause if you haven't, I might be able to help.'

'You one of those impresanio guys?'

'Guess, you could call me that. But it's impresario, not impresanio.'

'Well, I was never one for spelling and the like. Anyway, what sort of engagements were you thinking of.'

'The big time. That's what I got. You ever heard of Tommy Lee Jones. Sang in just about every joint in these parts. One of the best artistes ever seen. He was one of mine. You want end up like him, you just join me. Interested?'

He was but I didn't want to push things. Didn't have to. He was so young, he'd agree to anything. I made arrangements to see him the next morning. I'd give him my irch and famous spiel and get him to sign up. It'd be child's play. I hurried back inside hoping Mr. Charming was still waiting for me. He'd gone back to the bar, but gave me a wave and a smile as he saw me come. I fingered the chip again. A new signing in the bag and a man waiting for me when I got back: double luck. And I still had one wish left, so I prayed that this time the luck might last a little longer than before.

1 comments:

I only just got it right at the end...

Very clever, subtle enough to not ruin it until you get there, I like this one.

My only trip to Vegas was a one night thing much the same as many of the stories on here so far!

30 April 2009 at 17:57  

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