Monday, February 16, 2009

Queen of the Casino

The casino ha been abuzz all morning. Even on off-days there were fifty to a hundred regulars who came in needing to get their fixt. It was Thanksgiving and naturally the casino was packed, but the hotel was full as well and the staff had to push their way through touching bodies to serve drinks, clean, and work security detail. There was quiet pandemonium now, too, as the crazy, self-titled First Lady of the casino had announced that one lucky member of the female sex would be picked, including staff members, and anointed Queen of the Casino. The person chosen would recieve a crown, one night's stay in the most exclusive suite in the hotel, four and a half million dollars in cash in a black douffle bag, and a limousine to escort them to the bank to deposit the money.

The wife of the owner, Mme First Lady loved to show off her yacht and spend small fortunes on antique jewelry. She could now be seen standing in the huge window of her eighth floor penthouse, looking out over the patrons and staff who moved about like ants in a tunnel, waving her arms in a crazed, joyous fashion as a waiter served her martinis by the pitcher. Her husband was a clean mobster. Known to be peaceful and moral in his underworld kingdom, she had to beg him until he finally agreed for her to buy her yacht when they reached three hundred million dollars in liquid assets. With glee, she began spending most of her time reclining in her yacht drinking champagne and sailing around Capri or the Darndanelles. She could now be seen descending down the winding stairs from her penthouse, crown in hand, to the hall with the elevator that would take her down to the main floor. She swept in and in moments she appeared in the main part of the casino, holding the crown high into the air at the ready to place it on someone's head. George Lavin, a regular, called his wife, who always bickered at him for wasting money at the casino, and told her to throw on her clothes and make her way down to the casino now-nearly yelling over the cell phone at her.

Mme.First Lady weaved and bobbed through the crowd humming a wild,sporadic sing-song chant as she went. She passed several people feigning to place it on their head. She was possessed and turned the corner by the blackjack table and weaved her way towards the door to the kitchens. She was no longer the crazy lady who was married to the owner-she was now a demi-god who held a crown and could bless any one of them. Stella Movedos, the manager of the cleaning staff, quickly pulled out her compact and fixed her face in the mirror in the bathroom by the kitchen as every member of the staff poured ito the kitchen area in anticipation. She had three kids at home, a car payment, and a mortgage. She was destined to win. Marcos had just been turned away after he auditioned to model for Yves Saint Laurent...maybe he could persuade Mme. First Lady... He could retire without ever really working.... George Lavin and his wife complained loudly that she was going to give it to an employee so she could take it right back....

Meanwhile, Mme. First Lady walked into the kitchen and headed straight for a corner niche, stepping right before a crouched down 5'7, 27 year-old Latino with raven blakc curls that fell beautifully down her back. Magdalene Modena had just started working at the casino as a maid three weeks before having just crossed over from Mexico. She came over on foot and when she arrived found sponsorship through her sister who stayed at home with her three kids while her husband worked as a machinist. She had helped her get this job. She had worked at the casino before she had her last child. Magdalena had three sisters and a brother back in Mexico all under 19 and her parents were both sick. Mme. First Lady hovered over her and she flet the crown lightly touch down on her head. She could barely comprehend what was happening, but the tears began to fall. 4.5 million dollars! What could she do with 4.5 million dollars? She had intended to send money back to Mexico out of every check, but now she could retire to Mexico legally...She envisioned a sleeck limousine, her mother and father and siblings awed at the sight of her dressed like a million dollars, arriving home in a stretch limo... She thought estatically of staying in that magnificent suite at the top of the hotel...sipping champagne... As she opened her eyes, her world full of hope and excitement, the crazy lady who owned the place having just set the crown down on her head, she could feel the heat from her coworker's eyes upon her, seething....

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