Scruples and Other Moral Dilemmas

This is the first chapter of a novel I am writing, feedback please!

Chapter One: Scruples and Other Moral Dilemmas

“My turn, this question is for Randy. Your agent helped you get established when you were a struggling actor. Now a large agency wants to sign you. Do you dump your agent?”

Randy is a fairly handsome man and looks as if he could have possibly have been an actor. He looks up at Shelly and knows that if he doesn’t answer this question truthfully she is going to challenge him. He figures she wants him to answer yes and he notices that she is close to getting rid of her cards.

“No I wouldn’t.”

“Liar, I challenge.”

“Alright, let’s hear it.”

“When you were working for the car dealership, the one that gave you the first job after your wreck when no one else would, you immediately quit working there when Borden offered you your old job back. How loyal were to them? Not at all that I remember.”

“Yeah, but Borden offered me a lot more money, Annie and I wanted to get married and since she had a son I needed to earn more so I could support her and Ian.”

“You just proved my point dummy. I didn’t say you didn’t have a reason. I said that you would quit.”

“Okay everyone let’s vote on it.” Jack just wanted to get the game moving again. “1-2-3 vote!”

“And the winner is Shelly. Give Randy your answer card and let’s move on to Annie’s turn.” Jack is quite gregarious and is also handsome in a somewhat subtle manner.

“You accidentally damage a car in a parking lot. Do you leave a note with your name and phone number?” Annie has directed her question to Randy also.

“It depends on if there were any witnesses.”

“Unfortunately I believe you, it’s only illegal if you get caught, right?”

“Pretty much, so how did you think I would answer?”

“I figured you would say no, but you would have to admit it you got caught so I lose this one. It’s not that you have any morals though.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means you always think you are superior to everyone else.”

“Alright you guys cool it. If you are going to fight we should quit playing.”

“That’s just fine with me.” Annie gets up from the table and leaves the room.

“I told you that this game is a good way piss people off.” Shelly says to Jack as Randy gets up from the table also and walks to the bedroom where Annie went to. Shelly noticed that Randy’s bad leg was really bothering him from the way he was limping.

Annie and Shelly are both attractive blondes, Annie is taller slightly more slender and Shelly has a bit more of voluptuous body type; it is very easy to see the similarities they share as sisters. They are only three years apart in age, with Shelly being the oldest.  Annie is wearing a very short skirt and a skimpy top and Shelly is dressed in jeans and a tight fitting tee shirt, they are both quite attractive.

“I knew that Annie and Randy were having problems but I thought they could manage to play a civil card game. Obviously I was wrong.”

“This isn’t exactly a normal card game. I have seen lots of people get mad when they are accused of being a closet cheat or a thief. If you read the box it does call the game ‘a moral dilemma game’, you don’t think that might me a red flag or something?”

“Never mind the cards!” Jack yells down the hall that Randy and Annie disappeared down, “Get back in here and let’s party!” He looks at Shelly, “I am a little bummed though, I have the card that lets me make up my own question and I was looking forward to using it.”

“What question did you want to make up? It wasn’t one that would piss anyone off was it?”

“I hadn’t gotten that far, but they all seem to do that, I guess it is probably better that I didn’t get to use it now that you mention it.”

Randy walks back into the kitchen and he has a mirror in his hand, it has lines of cocaine on it and he hands to Jack.

“Here, have a line. Let’s get back to our party before I have to go to work.”

“Where’s my sister?” Shelly asks Randy after she snorted her line.

“She’s still in the bedroom but she said she was coming back out here.”

Shelly handed the mirror to Jack. “Here, take this. I’ll go get her.” She went back to the bedroom and left Randy and Jack at the kitchen table doing lines.

Annie was sitting on the bed crying.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, it’s just that Randy always thinks he is right about everything”

“That’s why we call him Mr. Perfect.” Shelly said referencing the nickname her and her sister call Randy, behind his back of course, because he really did think he was always right.

“I am getting tired of his selling coke to his friends and then him leaving me to entertain them when he goes to work. Then he gets mad because he says I flirt too much, but that’s what he and his friends want me to do. I don’t understand.” She starts to cry.

Shelly doesn’t like the way Annie flirts either but she does blame Randy for leaving Annie at the house after drinking and doing drugs all night and expecting nothing to happen. It seems to Shelly that Randy is setting Annie up to fail. Annie has always been insecure and needs to be reassured that she is cute and that is just what Randy’s friends are more than willing to do for her when Randy leaves them alone with  booze and the cocaine that he had become addicted to after the horrible car wreck he was in before he met Annie.

Three years before this Randy had just gotten out of the army and was on top of the world. He was good looking, single and had saved a lot of money and to top it off when he got back from Germany his friend Jack’s father had hired him on at one of the biggest corporations in the country. Everything was going his way.

One evening Randy was on his way home from an afternoon of skiing and boating at a popular hot spot in his brand new Alfa Romeo with his beautiful fiancé. All of a sudden a man in a pickup truck crossed over the center line and in an instant Randy’s fiancé was dead and one of Randy’s legs was wrapped around his body and broken in pieces. The driver of the pickup truck was drunk, had no insurance and barely had a scratch from the wreck.

One year later Shelly drove up to Fall Creek Reservoir with Annie and Annie’s two year old son Ian on a hot afternoon to go swimming with some friends of theirs. They ran into lots of people they hadn’t seen for a long time and one of them was a young man Shelly had met four years before when he was home on leave from the army and a mutual friend of theirs brought him to a party she had thrown for Halloween. He had hit on her but she was already dating another man, but she did remember what a gentleman he had been and if it had been another time and another place something different might have happened.

While driving home in the car that afternoon Annie told Shelly about a nice guy she had met at the lake, he was in a full body cast after having been in a horrible car wreck the year before and they were rebuilding his leg with pins and metal plates. She told Shelly that he had just gotten out of the army when he got in the car wreck that he was still recovering from.

Thus began the soon to be tumultuous relationship of Annie and Randy and within a year they were married and had a son of their own to add to the son Annie already had.

Back to the party, Annie and Shelly were talking in the bedroom after Randy and Annie had gotten in the fight while they were playing the game called “Scruples”.

“I know, but sometimes you do get a little carried away with your flirting, but usually Randy doesn’t mind. Why don’t you come back to the kitchen and party with Jack and I. Randy will be going to work in another half an hour and you won’t see him again until tomorrow.”

“You’re right. Let’s go back to the kitchen.”

Annie and Shelly join Randy and Jack at the kitchen table. Shelly notices that the guys have put the game away. Good thing she thought. Randy offers the mirror with a line of coke on it to Annie and she takes it and sits down at the table.

“I have to get ready to go to work, why don’t you guys stick around awhile and party with Annie.”

“No problem, thanks man!” Jack remarks.

Shelly was thinking that there hadn’t ever been any doubt that he was planning on staying there. She was about ready to go home but she didn’t want to leave Annie there by herself to party with Jack, too much temptation for her little sister. She had spent most of her life looking out for her little sister and she wasn’t about to stop on this night. She stayed until Jack went home and then went home as well; one less evening for Annie and Randy to fight about, and one less “screw up” for her sister. There were a lot of Scruples on the line but Shelly knew that the game they had played this evening was the last thing that needed to be considered.


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