Pawns This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I knew I would never forget the pattern of that pillowcase. It was then that I had irealized what my life had become. That flowery, comforting design repeated over and over again on a scrap of linen showed me what I longed to be.

I looked up from the pile of trash that lay in front of me, then kicked it aside. The scrap of cloth fluttered down the road, then disappeared. The long, cobbled street was as empty as a street in a dead city should be. No noise but the crisp, rattling sound of dry leaves tumbling across my path shook the silence. My feet stumbled and tripped on the cobblestones, as if I were being tripped up by life itself, yet the roughness of my journey did not bother me.

The echoing of my shoes broke my thought, as I realized where my legs had brought me. The square opened up to me as I walked out of the alley, and there was the chess-board. Next to the board he sat, as I knew he would be, waiting as he did his whole life for an opponent to approach. Sitting, contemplating his next move in the game, the old man sat stone-still, and my touch was the chisel that would mold him. I slowly reached out a long, bony finger and tapped the man on the shoulder, once.

"Was just tryin' to figgur out my first move, don't rush me now," the man spoke as he abruptly came to life.

"I won't," and I sat down opposite him.

The game began, but my mind was not on the trivial positioning of black and white figures on a checkered board. As I moved pieces back and forth, up and down, they formed a dance, a slow, broken, and disturbing dance. My vision blurred, and a scene formed before me. What I saw seemed familiar, as if a dream from long ago. It was a boy of the age when he was not quite a man, but no longer a child. Bustling around him on the schoolbus were children, laughing and shouting to one another, almost raucously, but this boy sat alone, silent. He lifted a long, bony finger slowly upwards, and on the foggy window of the moving bus, he slowly drew a heart.

The pillowcase drifted, draped across my vision once more. The swirling green pattern, repeated over and over again, gave me a feeling of solidarity. The cloth whipped away from me suddenly, and there sat the old man. His voice rasped out painfully, "Check - Mate," as he slowly lifted a long, bony finger, and lifted a player. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Winters_Willow said...
Jul. 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm
I really like this piece. It doesn't seem to really have a plot, but it's really good!! :)
 
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