Lord Mariusz is the Traveler in Black and White – he was also the villain of The Princelings of the East.  We were set this exercise in our creative writing class just as I was publishing Traveler, so his story was uppermost in my mind.  When asked to write a piece with the ending “sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand” I wondered what it would be like to have an alternative ending.  This is it.

We held a sunset ceremony for Willow, which was sad but good in that weird kinda way.  I went back into my apartment and sat, looking at nothing, thinking of what we’d been through.  It seemed like fate had dealt Willow a bum hand. Lord Smallweed probably thought he held all the cards but I reckoned he was just a dirty sneak with ideas above his station, however powerful Vexstein was.  Prince Lupin of Buckmore puzzled me. He was mixed up with Smallweed yet he seemed a cut above them. We’d played it straight, but I guessed he didn’t trust me. Hardly surprising.  I’d wanted to play it cool, but maybe that wasn’t his type of game. Now I needed some sort of ace up my sleeve, but I was afraid it was only a deuce.  Whatever we’d started was going to carry on, with or without me and Willow.

But I had nothing left to play.  Pfft!  Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.

You can get The Traveler in Black and White for all types of eReader at Smashwords.  Use code NY74H at the checkout and get it half price during April.  Tell me which ending you prefer!

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Cool Hand Mariusz

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