The Fallen Ship Chapter 3
Chapter 3 - The Gamble
As the struggles and reality of life continued on for Ethan McGuire, desperate for money, love and the truth, he had nothing left to lose. It occured to him that gambling may be the only way to earn some money and for the misery to leave.
Growing up, he treasured playing with numbers. Ethan found it absolutely fascinating and bewitching. How one number can turn into another with such simple procedures. Although he didn't attend school, as Mary and James couldn't afford it, Ethan taught himself with the old textbooks lying around. James often referred Ethan as his 'little mathematician or genius'.
"Two fives! I'm winning." A strong masculine booming voice splattered. His voice echoed through the luxurious, yet crowded casino. Drunk maniacs, poor lowlifes or rich blackmarketers. Ethan glanced down at his cards and a smirk crossed his lost yet happy face. He slapped his cards onto the green casino table and laughed. The table filled with instant groans and moans as Ethan collected money from each of them.
He was greeted with all sorts of comments accusing him of cheating, but he didn't care, not a bit. It wasn't his fault that these idiots were dumb. He stood up and left the disappointed yet angry table with a bottle of beer.
"Hey you, watch it!" A furious and loud voice bellowed with hunger as Ethan pushed past spilling beer onto the man's handsome, white suit. His face turned from an immediate purple to a pale white. One of the many business dressed men behind him rushed for a napkin and cleaned the spillage off. Only, it got attracted to water and expanded, making it even more noticeable.
The man grounded his teeth as though he was about to pounce on Ethan like anun untamed and hungry lion. His fists clenched tightly as his knuckles turned white. The fierce look on his cold and cruel face widened. Two men instantly grabbed onto either side of Ethan, he tried breaking free but he was nothing compared to the boulky and muscular guards.
"Walk!" A guard with a particularly large nose enraged as the leader continued, the crowd seemed to make way for the posse, staring curiously but also with fear. They didn't dare to even think about ending up like Ethan, who had stopped struggling to break free. It would only make the guards tighten their strong grip around his arm.
Right now, obeying may be the only way to survive...
His arms stung with anger, the more he tried to resist, the harder the ropes dug into his body. His arms and legs were tied to the chair that he sat on. The ropes burned each time he tried to free himself. Shredding his skin, humongous and deep cuts sliced his skin. The blood poured and soaked through his clothing. Calling out was no use either, his mouth was tightly ducktaped. A sudden streak of pain cutted through his head, it ached furiously, the back of his head developed a bruise, where he was hit, to make him unconscious.
His surrounding occured to him as a blur, his eyes felt stiff and sharp with pain.
"He's a genius. But now he just thinks we're terrorists or hell blackmarketers, after what you did to him!" An accusing voice shrieked. Ethan could hear untamed footsteps trumbling outside the door. The footsteps were heavy and filled with disappointment, hostility and annoyance.
"Father, how was I to know or to blame? He ruined my suit, I was meeting my dear Stella. I don't have X-ray vision to see all the geniuses around me, like you do. Plus, he was gambling and has a hell of an attitude. He may be smart but smart people often have their own schedule. He, I tell you, is not faithful and certainly not to be trusted. We shall just let him go!" The same bellowing man that Ethan spilled beer on pleaded. His voice was more calming, but somewhere, he was the one with attitude, not Ethan. Hearing this, Ethan couldn't help but snicker a little. The man himself was a spoiled brat, rich and dumb.
The door knobs turned, although Ethan wasn't sure if it did, but he heard a croaking sound and sensed that he wasn't alone.
And he was right. A guard trampled towards Ethan and freed himself, although the slashing cuts still stung, he felt much more free sitting on the chair. But he kept in mind, that one of those guys could tie him up whenever and wherever.
"Please allow me to beg for your forgiveness, my son, Ryan Carlisle lost his manners over a suit. You must understand that he is an A grade perfectionist and he has, I must admit, he has being very spoilt by me over the last couple o' years. His mother passed and you must see that he is all I got left. I'm an old businessman, success means nothing compared to Ryan and family, I've already lost my wife over business and don't need to lose my son too, so I give him huge amounts of my earnings. I owe him a lot. I am so sorry for the way he handled things." Mr Carlisle apologised and explained. Ethan understood how he felt to have lost everything towards money, it was understandable that he was protecting Ryan.
Ethan didn't know what to say, he was speechless, so he went by with body movement, the international language. He gave a slight nod.
"I understand Mr Carlisle." Ethan replied, awkwardness filled the air as well as tension.
"Please call me Andrew. We're uh, very informal." Andrew muttered slowly as though he was battling between whether to tell Ethan something or not.
"Well, then, Andrew it is. Is there something else you need to tell me? If not, would you excuse me, I must get going. Suppose to work my shift at the local groceries today." Ethan mumbled forcing a slight grin, he looked around, it appeared as though he was trying to find something.
"If you're looking for your bag, it's outside, we have it!" Andrew spoke, his voice suddenly turning harder. His blue eyes filled with coldness. Andrew took a step closer as Ethan shuffled backwards.
"What do you want! I know you're up to something! Just tell me." Ethan sputtered accusingly, his adrenaline to get out of this place kicked in. Andrew kept coming closer until the point where Ethan was backed into a corner. But Andrew kept pushing and pushing. Ethan's cuts grazed on the wall hollowing with pain.
"What do I want? I want you to help me and make money for me." Andrew growled, his face was wild, with threats and also as though he could burst into laughter any second.
"Well the answer's no! I may be poor but I'm not poor enough or shameless enough to work for you rich and strategetical idiots." Ethan yelled back trying to escape, but to his surprise Andrew had a tight and strong grip around his arms. He approached closer until Ethan could smell the cigarettes that Andrew had being smoking.
"Listen son, I don't usually ask twice or give second chances, but I know you and your situation. I know you're desperate for the truth of the ship and I know you're even more desperate for money. You're a smart kid and I think that you know you have special talents. If you work for me, I'm basically paying you for me to help you embrace these talents. I know you're a smart boy, mathematician or genius." Andrew persuaded, the offer was brilliant to Ethan, but he was cautious.
"What's in it for you? I know you're not nice enough to help me, there's gotta be something you want from me." Ethan snarled, his eyes full of accusation and fierce. Andrew's smile soon turned into a laugh.
"You're a smart child, know what you want. And you're right there is always a reason behind our every move. I need you to predict a number, this is your strenght right? If you get it right, it's worth billions, and I am giving you 10% of the money, that is if you get it right. If you don't, I'll still pay you for your effort. But I'm sure you won't get it wrong, right? And if you get it right, I can send you to Oxford in England for a degree in mathematics, I'm also willing to help you find the truth." Andrew offered. The more he talked, the more intrigued Ethan seemed. The offer was like a black hole, sucking Ethan in. He closed his eyes, this was a big risk. But Andrew was right, this was his strength and he needs to prove it to the world. Although it felt wrong, he knew this was a way to make money. At least it would ensure an amount no matter what happened. He was blinded and it almost seemed too good to be true.
"Fine. Deal!" Ethan spoke reluctantly, Andrew beamed.
"That' my good boy. Well less talking, more working!" He approved handing Ethan a booklet of numbers. At first it seemed overwhelming but as Andrew explained on, it started to click and pictures formed in his head.
~ 2 months later ~
After months of hard work, determination and courage, Ethan was positive about his work. Although many times he wished to give up as Ryan and Andrew continously yelled at him. This was the day, the day that he would find out how about the number. Only Ryan and his father were to hear the good news first hand. Sweat drops dripped down Ethan's cheeks, his hands glowed with sweat and the his stomach churned. Outside, Andrew paced back and forth waiting for the hour to strike.
"It's out!" Andrew's voice screamed. Everyone raced towards the door to hear the results.
"Oh my god!"
... to be continued in chapter 4...
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