The Right Hand Man


A smoky room. Mid-afternoon. The snap and rustle of cards. LARRY pauses. As usual.

A legendary player on the Cardiff scene, Larry is "the man with an ace in his hand". And young MATT is his right hand man. But Matt's apprenticeship isn't working out the way he wants. Desperate for acceptance, all he gets from the older man is "Tactics", "Strategy" and even "Keep away from women". So Matt, youthful patience at breaking point, decides to develop his own "tricks". Soon he's ready for The Big One down at Rhiwbina Sue's - a game at which he's destined to meet The Sicilian, an almost mythical figure.

And superconfident Matt is curiously unperturbed.

Matt begins well: winning all the games even before having to employ his special trick. But then Matt gets the first shock of the night when he realises that The Sicilian is not the podgy waiter he thought he was, but possibly the most dangerous and psychotic man in Cardiff. Instantly intimidated, Matt fumbles his trick - the one he's been practicing so diligently for weeks - and is exposed immediately.

Mayhem breaks out. It's quick, it's brutal. "They say the boy is your right hand man, Larry", says the gimlet-eyed Sicilian. "So that's what we take - the hand.."

But in this world of gamblers and con artists, who has what up their sleeve?

© Fantasy Ridge Productions