Today’s Monday Moment was written on Sept. 24 of last year. I know I said if I hadn’t written any for the week, I’d just have to force myself to write something on Sunday or Monday, but I’m making an exception (yes, already). Between the little break my husband insisted I take from writing, my sister’s wedding prep over the weekend, and doing extra end-of-year work for my job, I feel like it’s not just laziness that left me with nothing to post this week. And in fact, I did write something in the last 7 days that I could use, but it was handwritten, and I don’t have time to type it right now. So for today, enjoy this odd chess game:
I stare down at the board and determine my first move. Moving a piece forward, I look up at Amy.
She smiles sweetly at me. “Is it my turn?”
She looks down at the board and thinks for a moment. “I think you don’t want to make that opening move.”
“Why not?” I ask with amusement.
“It’s obvious. It’s the same move everyone makes. And it will start you off at a disadvantage.”
I muse over my only move so far, but only for a few seconds. “I took my finger off the piece. My move is over, but thanks for trying to help.”
She shrugs. “Okay then.” She moves her own piece, far away from mine. There is no danger here.
I think a little longer about my next move. What will she say if I move this one there? Or if I move this other one? Is it too early to take one of her pieces? I’m pretty sure she’s safe for now. I move a piece and gesture for her to take her turn.
She gives me a small smile, but says nothing this time. Instead, she moves another one of her pieces.
I wonder why she’s acting this way. The game is meant to be won, isn’t it? If she thinks I’m playing badly, why doesn’t she just let me continue so that she can win sooner?
I look down and see that she has moved her piece right in the path of one of mine. I could take her piece. I would be foolish not to, right? I think through the next possible moves, if I were to take her piece. Could she take mine right after? I don’t see how, so I take her piece.
“Well, that’s unfortunate,” she says. She seems genuine in her disappointment, but still cheerful.
After a while, the game has drawn on longer than I would have expected. It’s not that we’re taking an awful long time on our turns. But somehow, she’s no longer moving her pieces in my path very often. And she’s not taking advantage of most of the times when she could take my pieces.
I decide to take a break and stand up to stretch my legs. She’s oblivious to my action, as she is so deeply contemplating her next move. When I step over to sit back down, I notice something odd on the floor. It looks like sawdust.
I stoop over to see what it is, and suddenly she snaps her head up.
“What are you doing?”
“What’s that on the floor by your foot?” I ask her, moving closer.
“Don’t do that! Why would you come snooping around my personal space? Get back to your side.”
My eyes widen in shock over her sudden outburst, but I return to my seat.
“That should be against the rules,” she says in a huff. “In fact, maybe it is. I think you should really forfeit this game, because you’ve broken the rules.”
“I didn’t break any rules! Investigating an odd substance on the floor isn’t against any chess rules!”
“Not chess rules. Rules of life.” She crosses her arms over her chest. “You’re probably going to go to jail.”
Prompt used: You have a chess match that means much more with the antagonist of your story. (Name of antagonist changed to avoid spoilers.)