Rolling Lucky

Fiction by Peter DiChellis

Rolling Dice Peter DiChellis

Photo: Steve Johnson / Flickr

Detective Budd Aasen confronted his suspect, an ex-con named Duke Tibson, as Tibson slurped a glass of cheap vodka at a rickety table in a run-down bar in North Minneapolis.

“I know you’re the one who busted into that Uptown jewelry store last night,” Aasen told him. “I got eyewitnesses. Your fingerprints too. And security camera video showing everything. So let’s make this easy. Sign a confession and maybe you get a break.”

Tibson looked up from his vodka. “You owe me a break, Aasen. I was your best snitch once. And neither one of us always followed the rules.”

“I figured you’d say that.” The detective pulled open his jacket to reveal a handgun holstered on his right hip. He sat at the table. As he reached into the jacket pocket beside his holster, his hand brushed against the gun. He gave Tibson a cold stare, removed a pair of dice from the jacket pocket, and placed them on the table.

“What’s this?” Tibson asked.

“A deal. Maybe I do owe you. So pick one of these dice and roll it. Then I roll the other one. Highest number wins. You win, you walk away. I win, you sign a confession. But if you don’t roll, you go to jail right now.” The detective’s hand dropped to his hip and brushed against the gun again. “Eyewitnesses, fingerprints, security camera video. Understand?”

Tibson thought it over. “I’m lucky with dice. And there are guys in your jail I don’t want to bump into. Guys who know I snitched on them.”

Tibson picked up one of the dice and Aasen took the other. Tibson rolled.

“Five!” he crowed. “Still rolling lucky.”

Aasen blinked hard, shook his head, and squirmed around in his seat. “How can anyone roll lucky all the time? I’m only lucky if I roll left-handed.”

He positioned his right hand beside his gun again and rolled lefty.

“Six!” Tibson complained. “Okay, Aasen, I’ll sign a confession but I don’t want to serve my jail time with guys I snitched on.”


After Aasen arrested and jailed Tibson, the precinct lieutenant skimmed the detective’s paperwork.

“So there are no eyewitnesses, no fingerprints, and no security video. You lied to him about all that.” The lieutenant chuckled.  “Lucky you got a confession.”

“Lucky? I switched to trick dice from my left-hand pocket that only roll sixes.”

Peter DiChellis concocts sinister and sometimes comedic tales for anthologies, ezines, and magazines. He is a member of several mystery-writer organizations, including Friends of Mystery, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. For more, visit his Amazon author page or his blog about short mystery and crime fiction, A short walk down a dark street.

This article originally appeared in the June 28, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.