The Chess Game

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Part one of two.

 

Matt walked towards the park, but one thing bothered him. He just couldn't put a finger on it. Sure, he was the chess prodigy that the world had looked for, hoped for, and found. He had conquered vast areas of China, Japan, and the entire United States. Hell, he even had his own line of chess boards, made of the "finest materials in the world," a load of BS in his opinion. But Matt still was uneasy about today. With this feeling heavily weighing in his head, he meandered towards the local park.

Matt turned his head towards the din of an approaching siren, with the car attached to it pushing itself faster and faster. It's going to that old cafe, Matt thought to himself absentmindedly. I hope no one has been hurt. No one's been hurt since the whole crazy "men in suits" event. Now THAT had been a fiasco and a field day for the reporters.

And when he turned back to the park, he saw the old man.

It wasn't the appearance of the man or the man's black suit that made Matt uneasy. It was the chess board that was laid out in front of him, and the old, wooden chair that sat perfectly still despite the cool, strong autumn breeze. "Please, Matt, sit down," the old man said. So Matt sat, the chair creaking under his weight. Matt looked around, feeling rather awkward.

"Would you like to play some chess?" the old man asked, beginning to make his first move before Matt even responded. "If you do continue to play after this move, you've made sort of a silent pact with me, like a friendly agreement," the old man whispered the last part, almost so Matt missed it. "Of what kind?" responded Matt. "If you win," the old man continued, "you can finally be happy, for you are the best. You have then beaten everyone there is to beat, no more challengers. Now if I win, I take your life. Sound fair enough?"

Matt almost choked on his sandwich he had been slowly consuming when he heard the last part. But, he thought to himself, what point is there in living if you are always bugged by the one person you were never good enough to beat. And besides, what point is there to living if you're that unhappy. Anyways, what do I have to fear from a feeble, decripid old man? So Matt moved his left-most pawn up two spaces and let the game take him in.

Midway into the game, Matt saw. Matt saw the game for what it really was. This was partially because he was down five pawns, one knight, and one bishop. The old man had lost three pawns. Matt looked down at the pieces and saw himself. Or, for that matter, parts of himself. The old man moved his queen and took Matt's left leg. And Matt finally saw what the old man meant if he actually lost. He looked into the eyes of the old man and saw himself consumed by fire, consumed by anger, consumed by the desire to finally win.

Matt began to scream, but no one heard. They were alone.

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