When a game of chess isn't just a game.
“Did you know that the eight of clubs represents instability?” Hansel’s fingers hovered over a pawn, debating whether or not to move it. He glanced at the sky; it was just after noon, sun tilting towards the west. “Represents internal strife and whatnot.”
“I didn’t.” His opponent was busy watching the board. His stubby beard itched as he waited, sweat trailing down his face. Hansel’s pawn moved forward. His turn.
“Did you also know,” Hansel said, leaning back with crossed arms, “that we know you didn’t report in as ordered, Terrance.” The creature opposite him hesitated, red eyes glancing up. Despite the human mask, a few creature-like qualities stood out. Like his bulk.
He made the park chairs look like chairs for preschoolers. A dirty hat was shoved over his straw-man hair, and even magic couldn’t hold off the bull-like smell. He snorted, fat fingers covering the top of a knight as he made his move. “I don’t know what you mean.”
Hansel’s eyebrows went up. “You do,” he stated. “Otherwise you wouldn’t be sweating so bad.”
“The sun,” he growled, motioning across the board. “Your turn.”
Hansel leaned forward, fingers hovering over the board again. “You’re on probation, big boy. Stomping down Times Square without a disguise raises questions. Questions we have to answer.” He considered an answering knight, but went for another pawn instead, gliding it forward. “We gave you an apartment and a mask on the agreement you’d report in every night, an agreement which you broke last night. Not only that,” he glanced up to meet the bull’s eyes, “we know where you went.”
Terrance hesitated. His eyes shot around the park, glaring at the kids playing nearby and the odd couple strolling past. His thoughts were getting more and more scrambled. He couldn’t think straight.
“Don’t worry,” Hansel’s voice cut through the scattered fog, “I’m alone. Nobody in the park is a Keeper.”
“Stupid,” he muttered, turning back to the game and pushing a pawn forward. “I could crush you.”
“You could,” Hansel sighed, placing his elbows on the table, “but you won’t. It’ll only get you in more trouble.” Black pawn captured white pawn. Terrance rumbled. Hansel smiled. “So how was The Dungeon? I hear it’s a nice shady bar. Meet any dragons?”
Terrance shook his head, hands grasping the edge of the table. He wanted to flee, or to smash, or to do something, but all he found the ability to do was talk. “Reminds me of home,” he grunted, looking down at the chess pieces. “So what?”
Hansel smiled, dangling the white pawn between his fingers. “So nothing. I’m giving you a chance to confess what you did, realize breaking the contract was a mistake, and come up with a reason why you won’t do it again.”
“Or I’ll have to call it in, which means you go to Trial and then Containment.”
Terrance’s eyes went wide as he froze. He found himself mumbling ‘no’ a bunch of times before hanging his head. “Fine. You win. I’ll...I won’t break it again.”
Hansel nodded, setting the pawn down. “Good. Less work for me.”
The big guy got up and left, lumbering off with head hanging and still in a bit of a mental fog. Hansel leaned over with a smile, knocking down the white queen with a flick.
Thankfully, Terrance wasn’t the brightest on the planet. Otherwise he might have noticed the playing card taped under his chair. Hansel pulled it from its hiding place, shaking it as he dug through his bag for the rest of his deck. Magical playing cards weren’t usually his thing, but he knew he’d need a little extra help and went to a friend.
Most Keepers had representational magic; what the item stands for is the magic that can be manipulated from it; for example, runes representing the future can be used to look into the future, Lilac can be used to put someone to sleep, Rose Quartz can be used on physical injuries, a chess game could be a literal weaving of a magic trap, etc.
Ah, there it was. Pulling out the deck, Hansel pulled off the rubber band containing the cards and slipped the eight of clubs back into place.
It was always a wonderful thing when a plan went smoothly.
The Short Stories
From time to time I have minor adventures, whims, or odd ideas that manage to be written down. Below you'll find all my little nonsensical adventures, anything from other-worldly to other-wordly.
Occasionally I get a wild hair and do something I can't particular categorize. So it gets classified as 'nonsense' and put into the corner for others to look at.
To shorten this introduction: I'm a Millennial Gemini Ravenclaw Firebending INTP-T that is somewhere in the range between Enneagram numbers 4-7 (It keeps changing and I keep forgetting which number I'm supposed to be). If that doesn't give you some kind of picture of how I operate then you'll just have to start Googling things.
All 30of30 Animal Bear Bubbles Chess Chess Game Cocky Cookies Detective Event Fantasy Fantasy Game Funny Grandma Halloween Haunting Hedge LevelUP Magic Magical Symbols Marwolaeth Mermaid Mermaid Song Mystery Mythology Noir Parody Phone Calls Plants Pupmkins Rabid Plants Redmoon Rocky Roses Satire Song Squirrel Symbolism Symbols True Love Underwater Valentines Story Vampire Zombies
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