At the table were crusty men seemingly made of dust and tumbleweed. Allister imagined that their eyes had long ago gotten used to the poor lighting of the saloon and wondered how they would survive should they ever stumble back outside again. To some degree, these characters are what drove him to like gambling. Their seemingly never-ending game. It would surprise no one if these dust and tumbleweed men had carved a system of tunnels that led from saloon to saloon, for whenever you would hear of a high stakes game of poker, you would find these men already sitting at the table. These men answered to names like Dagger and Skull and Wild Bill and Sanchez.
On the occasion I mention, Allister had taken the place of a particularly inebriated man who excused himself to the saloon floor and remained unconscious for the rest of the night. Allister immediately decided to go all in. This was the form which Allister had always gambled. When the cards were called to question, Allister came up short. A man with a particular dark patch over his eye claimed the pot in the middle and made note that Allister was broke.
Allister had never taken well to being referred to as broken and, although this came in a completely different context, he reacted to it just as negatively. He simply pointed to his wife at the end of the bar and offered her into the wager. This was not for prostitution nor for servitude, but simply for the game. These addendums were most seriously attached to Allister's wager. And when these men promised, though they were a most dirty lot, Allister trusted them.
Once, more the cards did not fall in his favor. He offered his son, who was standing next to his wife and he lost once more. He looked at his daughter and of course, as the rules of this story seem to go, added her to the same fate with the same results.
There was raucous laughter and pounding of fists from everyone saving Allister. He simply bowed his head and smirked ever so slightly. He stood up, dusted off the dust of the game that most certainly came of the dusty shedding of the gamblers themselves, waved an unnoticed goodbye to his family, and walked out into the sunlight of the street to laugh his raucous laugh in private. You see, Allister had been playing a different game. And, in it, he had won. For he had no wife. He had no children. But the man lying passed out most certainly did.