Nick flipped open his briefcase, and poured $1,000,000 in cash onto the roulette table. “Black,” he said softly.

The dealer nodded. “You’re covered, sir,” he replied.

Custom-tailored three piece suit, trim athletic build, Nick positioned himself calmly, like a man who regularly placed million dollar bets in his personal and professional life. But on the inside…

“Oh, dear God,” Nick whispered. “Please let me win this one last bet. Please let it be black.”

The auditors were due at Nick’s office the next day. A huge sum of money was missing from Nick’s account at work. This bet was his last desperate chance to make up the funds, avoid being caught.

“The bets are down,” the dealer called, and spun the roulette wheel.

“Oh, Lord,” Nick quietly prayed. “You know how deeply sorry I am. You know that the money I put on this table is the last I’ll ever, ever steal. Please, dear sweet Jesus, let me win this one last bet, and I’ll pay back all the money I’ve ever taken. And I swear, from now on I’ll be a good father, a loving husband, and a loyal employee. Just please, please let me win this one last bet. Please let it be black.”

The dealer dropped the tiny silver ball into the wheel, where it danced gracefully around the long circular edge.

“I’ll do charity work,” Nick added. “Well, I don’t know that many charities, but I’m sure there are some good ones in our neighborhood. And what about church? There are probably several excellent churches around. I might even become a deacon, or an altar-man, or one of those things.”

The tiny ball bounced. A black number, a red number, a black number, a black number, a red number, black, red, black…Perspiration collected on Nick’s thin moustache. “Oh please, God, black, black black,” he pleaded softly. “Just let it be black, black, black.”

The wheel slowly stopped, and the ball came to rest. Nick shut his eyes tight, feeling only the beat of his own throbbing veins, as he…