Something About Chess
I wrote this flash fiction piece years ago; I don’t think it’ll ever get published at this point, so I’m sharing it with everyone on here instead… I hope you enjoy it.
Something About Chess
The shutter snaps as I move my bishop forward. I look up, and smile at him through the lens. “Your move.” He puts the camera down, and looks at the board.
“What did you move?” he asks.
I’m proud of his lack of attention to the game. He’s smarter than me, but I’m winning. All I have to do is put on some lingerie, take a swig of beer for confidence, let him take photos, and I have the edge I need to beat him at chess. I’ll undoubtedly gloat for days. I point to my bishop. He stares at the board, considering his options.
Here is why I think we’ll be together forever. Bear with me - I know that’s a hideously sappy thing to say, and I almost hate myself for it, but hear me out. It’s not because of the romance or because of the love. It’s not because he’s my soulmate or he’s the one, or any of that bullshit. There are probably plenty of “ones” that I could have adventures with forever and be happy. It’s because, when I suggested that he could take some photos of me wearing my best black lacy corset and panties, and sky-high black heels, his response was, “Yes, please, and can we play chess while we do it?” I don’t think I could ever be with someone whose response would be something like, “Hot, babe. Fuck.” or something equally ineloquent.
“Yes, please, and can we play chess while we do it?” sounds just like “I love you,” if you’re in the right frame of mind. That night, we both were.
The thing is, I’m okay at chess; not great, but perfectly functional. I can think about three moves ahead at any given time. My problem is that I’m not very aggressive, so I’ll rarely actually take pieces unless it’s tactical. His way of playing is hard for me to anticipate - this is why he beats me sometimes (most times, if we’re being honest). He doesn’t play with logic, he doesn’t seem to calculate his risks. It’s just if he can take a piece, he will. I consistently don’t see it coming, because I’ve seen the move three moves ago, and written it off as, “Who would ever do that?” Then, he does, and it throws me off every single time.
It’s so nice to be thrown off sometimes.
He moves without paying proper attention; his distraction will be his downfall. I take his queen. He realizes in that moment that he’s fucked. He doesn’t look too upset about it. Then again, I never look too upset either, when I know I’m going to be fucked. He gives a slight nod, and I move him into checkmate.
“Well played,” he says, a smile in his voice. “Re-match?”
I’m thrilled to play again, thrilled to be with someone who plays chess. I set my pieces up again, and he does the same. Then, he takes off his pants, and he looks too beautiful in his obnoxiously orange striped boxer briefs that I lose my focus a little bit. Uh oh, I think. The battle begins, and I don’t know if I can hold out this time.
In the end, he wins the game, making it even. I don’t know if I won mine due to my smarts, my near-nudity distraction techniques, or his drunkenness. All I know is that with that look in his eye, and the bed just behind us, I have never been so happy to settle for a tie.