Review: “On The Clock In Vegas,” a Short Story by Brian Bergquist

by Jason Varrone

Rating: 4 STARS

Genre: Thriller

Type of Story: Short Story

Summary: Professional gambler Benny Delgano is in Las Vegas to compete in a high stakes fantasy football tournament for one-hundred-thousand dollars, only to run into a demented criminal from his past with revenge on his mind. Forced into colluding with Tommy the Wolf at the fantasy football draft in order to spare his friend’s life, Benny finds out the stakes were higher than he originally thought. A short story about fantasy football, crime and friendship, On the Clock in Vegas will grip you from the beginning to its fast paced ending.

Review: The opening sentence of Brian Bergquist’s “On The Clock In Vegas” gets the action rolling:

My pick was coming up and when I made it, I was afraid Mikey would soon be dead.

And like that, the story is off to the races. Brian’s story was a fast-paced affair that didn’t disappoint. It tells the story of Benny Delgano, a professional gambler who left some unfinished business back in New York. Targeted by Tommy, his old nemesis, Benny gets caught in a high-stakes game of sports and blackmail.

Short stories need to be “tight,” meaning no words are wasted, no background is added that doesn’t add to the plot, and the tension is constantly built. Brian’s story does all of that well, and I enjoyed it immensely. It isn’t a story you will carry with you a week later, but it was told well and a thrill to read.

The opening sentence, as evidenced above, and the whole opening sequence, set the stage nicely for the story that follows. The story then moves back in time to provide the back story, but it flowed well and made me anticipate the point where it caught up to “real time” to find out what happens. The narrative doesn’t disappoint, and Brian keeps the story rolling until the end, which has a nice twist.

I’ll admit to being a football junkie, and I played many a season of fantasy football, so this story was up my alley. A reader not at all versed in fantasy football “speak” may at times be confused, but Brian does do a nice job of filling in the details necessary for a layperson to understand. It’s the story that matters, folks, and it’s a winner.

My only complaint is with the dialogue, and this is a complaint I have voiced often in prior reviews. It is something that many writers struggle with, myself included. At times the dialogue seemed unnatural. This was not the case throughout, but occasionally I read a passage of dialogue that didn’t roll well.

This was a fun ride of a story, and I hope Brian sends more! Pick up a copy of this story.

Available at: Amazon

Author Site: Website

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