Russell Drew
Chess: a game of one player and too many opinions
Thu Oct 19, 2017 23:45

"No, don't eat him. Erm, her? It?"

The small bishop, who had been trying and failing to hold its pointy hat out of Jaws' reach, seemed to give up, or at least neglect this struggle in favour of turning a blank marbled stare towards Russell.

Russell wasn't even sure whether stare was an appropriate word, since the carved chesspiece had a face but not exactly any recognizeable facial features, let alone real eyes to stare with. Still, he interpreted it as scolding and cringed appropriately, leaning back a little in his seat. "Sorry, uh, what... what pronouns do you use?"

The bishop's lack of a mouth resulted in a lack of an answer. Jaws, meanwhile, demonstrated his excessive mouth by vigorously chewing on the tip of its hat, leaving behind a thin row of scratched teeth-marks in the stone. The mouse lost interest in this soon enough. Just like the people in the shark movie of the same name, the bishop took advantage of Jaws' departure to begin cleaning itself up, wiping the slobber off its hat with stiff, scraping motions. The rigid line of pawns on the opposite end of the board wasn't so lucky. They held their line, but visibly trembled as the mouse wandered nearer.

Oh, dear.

With a quiet sigh, Russell leaned over to scoop up his mouse and set him back down on the table. Jaws would undoubtedly climb back onto the chessboard soon enough, but for now, the fifth-year could focus on his game against himself. He aimlessly fiddled with the ends of the bandana tied around his hair - for once, it wasn't knotted back in either a normal bun or a half-bun like Holland had shown him, but was rather looped in a sort of ponytail. He hadn't washed it today even though today was a Washing Day, because he'd had a headache when he woke up and turning on the water in the shower had echoed something awful so he had fled it before even touching the shampoo bottle. Not washing his hair regularly (ever) hadn't bothered him before, but now that he was trying to keep up a routine post-Holland fixing him, his hair just felt... kinda weird and slimy after three days of not washing it. But the bandana hid it. Hopefully.

He made it through three moves (white pawn making space for his poor nibbled-on bishop, black knight jumping over its own pawn blockade, bishop moving to challenge it) but then got stuck. Russell thought he'd seen an opening for the knight to get behind a white rook on a diagonal square, but the knight reared its horse and then refused to jump. "Um, I need you over there?" Never very good at giving directions to anyone, including not-entirely-inanimate objects, his order came out sounding like a question, and Russell couldn't say he was surprised when the knight skipped over in a different direction entirely. Rubbing the back of his neck, the Californian sighed again. "Okay. Sure. That's fine too, I guess. I can work with this," he muttered.

Alas at this point Jaws returned to the board, and the knight, taking its role too seriously, drew its sword. "Oh, come on!" Russell grabbed Jaws out of the way just in time as the sword came down... Well, okay, across. Across was the word for it. The knight literally flung the sword, as if aiming to impale Jaws; the small marble sword in turn landing on the table, slid off, and bumped into someone's foot. Realizing that he was no longer alone in this corner of the Rec Center, Russell blushed and stammered out an apology. "S-sorry, I didn't know that, erm, that the chess pieces were so... murderous."

    • Room for one more? - Nolan Ramsey, Thu Oct 26 23:37
      The thing was that sometimes, if you wore a prosthesis every day, your leg stump got really tired of it, and you had to not do that for a day or two to give it a break. And Nolan had been wearing his ... more
      • Absolutely, just take my place! - Russell, Sat Oct 28 01:25
        Russell’s gaze went from the shoe, up almost to its owner’s face but not quite, as his eyes then spun immediately back down again to the hole beside where a matching (or mismatching; he was hardly... more
        • Where’s the fun in that? - Nolan, Sat Oct 28 23:48
          Wearing sunglasses inside was weird, Nolan decided, as the other student fumbled through the conversation. Nolan was pretty sure his name was Russell. He wasn’t bad with names. The chess set didn’t... more
          • .....This is fun? - Russell, Wed Nov 1 21:34
            At the other boy’s insistence that magical chess pieces were helpful, Russell almost wanted to roll his eyes, but that seemed rude (not to mention absolutely pointless) (and a bit painful, since... more
            • For me, anyway - Nolan, Fri Nov 3 15:27
              Nolan really didn’t see how chess pieces who didn’t do anything could be more helpful than chess pieces who knew the game and could give advice. Although he supposed if your chess set hated you they... more
              • I guess that means we balance out - Russell , Mon Nov 6 00:14
                The other student looked like he was going to burst out laughing at his pitiful explanation, and Russell could feel his face flushing with heat. He ducked his head, tucking some hair back behind his... more
                • Balance is key - Nolan, Mon Nov 6 17:15
                  One of Russell’s knights just seemed to give up on life. Him and the horse he rode in on gave up at the same time, which Nolan thought was pretty lousy behavior for chess pieces. Could the school not ... more
                  • I'm not an expert on it - Russell , Fri Nov 10 22:34
                    Russell felt almost proud of himself for almost two seconds. He had managed to explain himself and justify his disability label… label ling ... Well, the label, and the act of labelling himself.... more
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