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RTA, Ch. 10: Mwin Finds the Trail

road trip to alberta 10.3

With Mwin and his candy red caddy on my tail, it’s a flash decision to take Atlantic to the water and not find the 710 ramp. Fewer lights and the Long Beach Patrol cars are going to keep us safe, not wall to wall traffic.

I mean, I hope.

What I can’t figure out, though is how Mwin found me! Has he been behind us the whole time? If so, why didn’t he grab me at the park?

Am I just this unlucky? Not entirely, anyway: I change to the left lane after nearly losing my right mirror to a Sturges Air truck. Fuckers can’t park.

Now, there’s 50,000 dollars (well less but I can explain later) under my seat that he and Soh Ju want.

I might as well come clean as to how I got it. And why it’s only fifty thousand.

First off, I’m not greedy. It was enough to be invited into the game, just to get approved! I’m not a bad poker player, no matter what the shitregs at the Endboss and the chatpros on the stream say. I’ve read Super System and subscribe to CardPlayer Lifestyle. I follow Jonathan Little. I watch Brad and Andrew and Jaman.

So I know a lot about poker and it’s no real surprise I was good enough to be accepted by the group. It was the first “in” of many. And eventually, you know, you’re doing what they are doing. Getting pieces of the rake, bringing in new players. Running a few set ups.

But the black box changed everything. And when the Chinese arrived…

WHOA. “Hang on, Grandma!”

The car in front of me has stopped and I see an opportunity to shake Mwin. I can see his face, furious. He looks like some wild bald red eagle. I rip it left into the turn lane for Claiborne but instead of veering off or stopping for traffic I floor it past more vans on my right and pull in ahead.

Mwin is way behind me now. This isn’t some coincidence like before. He’s on his phone, probably reporting to Soh Juh and his goon squad now.

And now here’s a light on Carson.

“Sorry, Grandma!”

Don’t be shocked. After all, I am an L.A. driver.

We breeze through, only one bro has to run back onto the sidewalk. Hey, is that the Cheesus Christ Food Truck? Some papery wrapped foodstuff smacks itself off the windshield.

There’s nothing like a road trip to get to know your surroundings.

So, like I was saying, when the Chinese players came in, the game, the attitude, everything changed. At first I was out, or asked to play in the small game.  Things were tense, and they even had some fake security guys with empty guns. Still, Soh Juh had thought all this was going to be easy, that they wouldn’t even need any enhancements to win.

Not so fast, it turned out. The Chinese were far tougher at cards and they had this way of doing business that was, well, smart. They made you buy insurance and do wacky sky high flips and prop bets and stupid red black games until you were broke.

Soh Juh was losing, and Soh Ju never lost. That’s when I was back in, and that’s when we started using The Box.

Hang on, is that my phone? Who calls anymore? No it can’t be –

I put it against my ear, looking around for police reflexively. (You can speed but you can’t talk on the phone, right?)

“Mwin. Don’t you think it’s a little weird calling me in the middle of chasing me?”

“Stop the car,” I hear him croak. Shiver. My confidence, riding so high five beats ago, is gone.

It was all fake. Mwin is going catch up to me and…

It turns out, you want lights in the car chase. Atlantic is not working. You need opportunities to get away.

I try to respond but nothing comes out. We pass Lola’s – didn’t I eat there after the stream?

There it is, here: now’s my chance. Bixby or maybe 37th. It’s a yellow light ahead. Mwin is several cars behind.

“Pretty dumb,” he continues. It sounds more like pree dumpb in his mysterious accent. “Pretty dumb to come Scherer, dipshit!  That’s where I lift, dipshit. And I’ve been thinking about you all day, dipshit.”

Ugh. What is wrong with this guy?

“One more light Grandma!”

The light in already red and I’m just starting to floor it.

Time slows as I see cars converging from my right and left.

The break and the day is bright.

There’s a gym at the park? You gotta know your neighborhood.

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