Red Cubes by
(40 Stories)

Prompted By Dice

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The red cubes glow like fox eyes.

I am rushing to squeeze another post into the Dice prompt before the window closes.   I am the newbie, excited to play with my newfound toy.  I do not claim to grasp the site vibe.  By way of backword, when Suzy, having been told by a mutual friend that I have an interest in Dice, first invited me to join, I received her invite in the dark of the East Coast night.  Like winter closing in.  Wind banging on the windows.  Me hunkered in for hibernation.  But my fingers sprang into action, and I concocted the following brief entry as my application for admission:


The red cubes glow like fox eyes.  They will be good or bad when they roll to a stop.  Or they might carry over the side of the table, into a player at the far end.  Unfortunate when a die bounces off a player at the far end and lands back onto the table, being a 7.  Which counts. Dealers sweep away my chips even though with a little luck, an iota of luck, the die would not have returned to the table, would have been lost in the décolletage of the player at the far end, or simply disappeared into the surrounding darkness, giving me a reprieve from the death they dealt.

Profile photo of jonathancanter jonathancanter
Here is what I said about myself on the back page of my 2020 humor/drama/politico novel "The Debutante (and the Bomb Factory)" (edited here, for clarity):

"Jonathan Canter Is a retIred attorney; widower; devoted father and grandfather (sounds like my obit); lifelong resident of Greater Boston; graduate of Harvard College (where he was an editor of The Harvard Lampoon); fan of waves and wolves; sporadic writer of dry and sometimes dark humor (see "Lucky Leonardo" (Sourcebooks, 2004), funny to the edge of tears); gamesman (see "A Crapshooter’s Companion"(2019), existential thriller and life manual); and part-time student of various ephemeral things."

The Deb and Lucky are available on Amazon. The Crapshooter is available by request to the author in exchange for a dinner invitation.

Tags: Craps
Characterizations: right on!, well written


  1. Suzy says:

    Jon, I’m so glad you decided to publish this little vignette here. I just love the idea of red cubes glowing like fox eyes! Not that I’ve ever seen a fox’s eyes. But I can imagine. It is a perfect addition to our collection of dice stories.

  2. I tend towards minimalism whenever I can get away with it, hence I introduced the option of the 100-word RetroFlash. The idea is to not simply impart information in exactly 100 words but to deliver it in such a way that it evokes a knowing nod, a sudden smile, or perhaps makes the reader’s eyes widen a bit. You did it all in 113 words. I LOVE this story…welcome to Retrospect, Jonathan!

    (For more on the RetroFlash, click here. You can also search stories using “RetroFlash” or “100 words.”)

  3. Thank you Barbara. Thank you Suzy. As to the fox’s eyes, I have seen their glow from inside the shrubs around my house; very eerie and intense; I think they pick up the illumination from the streetlight and shine it back.

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    Those of us living in climates with seasons like true WINTER (I’m in Chicago) can truly appreciate the cold night that bid your fingers into action (warms the fingers) to write Red Dice. Loved the part about the die being lost in the décolletage of the player at the far end. Not sure what that means for craps but it made me laugh.

  5. Great to meet you Jonathan! You’ve managed to turn this humble two-paragraph vignette into a life-and-death matter, even while hibernating in the darkness of a ‘back east’ winter. Loved it! Thanks!

  6. Betsy Pfau says:

    Whew! You didn’t roll snake eyes or seven with that one. Glad you came out of hibernation and shared this one with us. The die lost in the décolletage of the lady at the far end of the table! What an image…

  7. Great Jon!
    When will we hear about the dame with the décolletage at the far end of the table?

  8. Suggested title: “Edgar Allen Poe at the Casino.” Kind of a coda to his famous story, “The Pit and the Frenulum.” (The latter being sometimes found adjacent to the decolletage.)

  9. Sometimes snake eyes (one dot showing on each die) can be very good. Not on the come out roll if you bet the pass line (in which case you lose), but certainly as a hopping one time bet—$5 on aces (an alternate pet name) pays $150 if it hits (that’s 30-1, a nice pile of chips) (of course the true odds are 35 to 1, ie, only 1 of the 36 possible dice results is 1 and 1, which is called the house advantage, and explains how the house affords those giant gambling palaces).
    7 can sometimes be good too, but that requires taking the advance class.

  10. As to the die in the décolletage, the house might have to obtain a search warrant to recover its property; my guess is that the player takes home a souvenir.

  11. But I am glad you liked the image, and the surrounding vignette.

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