It’s like every move I make, he moves, you know, like he’s trying to, I dunno, match me or something, like I can’t even have a thought without him finding a way to criticise or pull it to pieces or tell me I’m wrong, somehow, and no matter how much I try to plan things out or think before I speak, that light, that light comes on behind his eyes as soon as I open my mouth and I know, I just know he already has an answer, already has a laugh brewing ready to spill over me like blood, and I hate him so much that it makes my heart hurt, knowing that if Mum was still here he wouldn’t dare talk to me like this but it’s just us, just me and him, locked in this stalemate with no way out, so it’s up to me to make one, whatever way I can. Right?
I decided today to try something different and write my entire story – or, well, nearly! – all in one sentence. It’s not a new idea, but it’s not something I’ve ever really tried before. I also wanted to take a non-obvious look at the prompt (we were given a big hint over on Flash! Friday not to use the word ‘chess’, so I tried to get away from that completely while still using the ideas of mind-games, strategy and being outfoxed by a superior player). I’m not sure why I got the ‘voice’ I did; I imagine it as a teenager, whether boy or girl is up to you, but maybe it was the mention of Bobby Fischer’s age (15) which did it. I don’t know. I’m unhappy with the finished product, as always, but maybe it will please the judges this week (though I’m not holding my breath!); perhaps I’ll even try to write a second piece, also something I’ve never done before.
Anyway, all I know is: it’s practically the weekend, and so it’s time to slow down a bit and do a little stretching. Lord knows, I need a break! Whether I’ll get one or not, now – that’s the question. My wish for you all is that you have a peaceful and happy end to your week, wherein you do much reading and imagining and happifying of your brain, and I’ll see y’all here tomorrow for a book review. Godspeed, lieblings.
So, yeah. I did write a second story this week. You wanna read it? Well, okay then.
Ah, yes. There it is. The tilting head. The flashing smile, hints of dimple, and the oh-so-casual brushing away of the single golden lock trailing across her forehead. The tiny sigh, the puckered lip, and the thousand-yard stare that fixes, cajoles and accuses all in one.
I do not yield.
For little do you know I fenced in college, darling, and before that I was undisputed checkers champion from grades one through four, inclusive. I was unseated on a technicality when my time to fall eventually came, but I took it gracefully. Ish.
I know about strategy.
So I make my final move, place the winning piece, lay down the unmovable law, but therein lies my fatal mistake. I forget about the power play.
My wife scoops in, sweeping up the enemy – who pauses in her wailing to shoot me a triumphant look – and I wonder why I’m the only one who worries that we’re raising a new Machiavelli.