Dirge of the Chairs

January 28, 2012

The sound of it was the catalyst to it all. Her exhausted calls reached their ears and every tot came running in a hyperactive stampede. This wasn’t the daily cattle call of lunch or nap time. It was their very own Russian Roulette: Musical Chairs. Everyone knew the consequences of the loss. Practical social suicide along with the failure of watching the winner scarf down the Twinkie they earned as a prize. Not to mention the taunting received after the ordeal. No. No. NO. Anyone would have been better off taking a bullet to the head.

The lot of them stand frozen in time in wait for the bloodshed soon to come. The death march begins as the familiar dirge of the Chicken Dance plays. War ensues and all that is seen is the blur of light up sneakers and tiny hands. The dirge stops. All is quiet until the anguished cries tear through the silence and it is apparent who has gone first in this merciless battle for acceptance and Twinkies. An adult carefully takes the hand of little Sally Walker and they both walk off together as Sally sheds tears of pure defeat.

The war wages onward. Soon, the soldiers realize they dug their own graves because there can be one winner, and one winner only. The number of chairs and remaining time decreases, while casualties increase. Competition proves to be fierce when reduced to the final two. Glares are fired at one another like bullets. The excitement is enough to cause spontaneous combustion, but they contain themselves. This isn’t something to miss. The dirge blares and cheers ring around the room, serving as an anthem.

The Twinkie mercenaries engage in a venomous showdown until a dead air engulfs the room. Hushed voices hiss as the smoke clears. The winner triumphs and bathes in glory when the room erupts in screams of elation. The warfare is finally over. The time for the champion to collect his award is now. They follow the undefeated to the kitchen for their holy grail to find a horrid sight. Sprawled out across the floor, covered from head to foot in a white cream and golden crumbs; those beautiful, golden crumbs, sits little Sally Walker.

The sight was infuriating. The very last Twinkie in the box, the very Twinkie nearly every child had fought for with teeth and claws, heart and soul, pride and dignity, all gone in less than two minutes. It seems that along with the Twinkie, the color disappeared from their faces too. The winner of the battle, having nothing else to do, glared at little Sally in contempt. Little Sally, unaffected by the glare, fluttered her puppy dog eyes and uttered one simple sentence.

“I was hungry.”

The victor stares down at little Sally and softens his gaze.

“Alright, let’s go get something to eat then, but next time I won‘t be so easy on you.”

Little Sally just smiles in gratitude and joins the victor and the rest of the tots for lunch.

The author's comments:
Ah, the splendid horrors of musical chairs, I bet this brings back some great memories for all of you...

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