The Siege

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“I can’t take another step.”

“I know.  I’m tired too.”

“You don’t understand. I really can’t take another step.”

“What do you mean can’t? You have to. You can’t give up now that we are so close to the end.”

“Take a close look at where you are asking me to step.”

“I see a lot of empty space. Just take a step.”

“It is not about the space. It is about the rules. I can’t take another step.”

“You mean I win?”

“No, it’s a draw.”

“That’s not fair.”

“Look, listen, the king has no safe square to move to. And he is not under attack. It is called a stalemate. It is a draw.”

“Ok, if you can’t move, then pass your turn. I will move and make the next step and turn the deadlock into a deadmate.”

“Look, there is no deadlock, there is no deadmate. It is called a stalemate and it is a draw.”

“Explain to me why it is a draw.”

“Look, the king has nowhere to go and he is in no danger. So he stays where he is.”

“Then let me move.”

“It is my move and the king doesn’t want to move.”

“Then let him move one of his other soldiers”.

“Are you blind? You killed all my soldiers.”

“A king with no army and he has the gall to demand a peace treaty?”

“I am not asking for a peace treaty. It is a technical draw.”

“But you said chess is just like life. Explain this draw to me.”

“Ok, the king is safe in his castle and he doesn’t want to come out. You can’t break into the castle. So it is a draw.”

I thought I had finally convinced him when he got up and walked towards the fridge. My relief was short lived as he came back half a minute later and sat down with a bag of chips and a bottle of coke.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I am laying siege to your king’s castle. I am going to stay here till he runs out of resources and has to make a move.”

“Look, I said chess is like life, I didn’t say it is like game of thrones. You can’t lay a siege.”

“Then make a move.”

“The rules don’t allow it.”

“Why not? I see lot of space.”

“How hard is it to understand that everything in chess is not like life?”

“I don’t care, make a move.”

I saw him grab another handful of chips and stuff it into his mouth. I have seen battlefields covered with blood and sweat and broken weapons. He was going to cover this one with chips and ketchup and spit.

“Just hold your king and move it damn it.”

I grabbed the king.

“Yes now that you touched a piece, you have to movie it. That is also a rule. I know it, you told me.”

I grabbed the king and really moved it. Further than he had ever moved in his entire military career.

He grabbed his forehead and said “What the hell are you doing? I am bleeding” and wiped the cut on his temple with the tissue.

“Sorry, I was aiming for your mouth to break the siege.”

Post Script

The above short story was written as part of a session at Write Club on  19th September, 2015. The session was hosted by Nikita and the theme of the session was “Dialogue Writing”.

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2 thoughts on “The Siege”

  1. Until I read the postscript, I was thinking this was a piece you wrote in the run up to your session, and without revealing specifics in case you plan to post such a piece, I was viewing certain characters with marked skepticism. 🙂

    As always, well written. 🙂

    What it lacks is a foreword, by, I don't know, a famous person, wouldn't you say? 😀

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