Competition Seven Highly Commended: SCRABBLE (14) by

At the beginning of play the words came easily. I played BEER (12). You were able to turn it into BEERS by adding an S whilst forming YES (21) on a double word score. A great opening. INQUIRY (39) is answered with MUSIC (18). SAME (12). SIBLING (12). ONE (3). DITTO (14). A rapid succession of words.

So far, an equal match. Then TIME (13) is played, and you pass. I play RELATION (10). Getting an extra (50) for using all my letters. Astounding statisticians worldwide, you make an identical play for a total of (62). Soon RELATION becomes RELATIONSHIP (34).

YEARS (16). LATER (4). Somehow, we’re still playing. Barely. The letters are running out, the words drying up and are shorter than ever. We play what we can to fill the spaces. HOPE (9) does the best it can. First comes an HOUR (6) then comes a LIFETIME (28). By this point you’ve begun to overtake me. You’re on (180) and I (176). But who’s keeping score really?

EYES (7). OPEN (12). I was an icy blue and you a fiery red. A double letter versus a triple word. You were always the better. You settled when you could have scored so much higher; went easy on me to begin with, allowed me to think I had a chance.

I play LOVE (7). You pass in silence. I do likewise. This goes on until you find the courage to retrieve some new letters. You play NO (2).

Soon I am alone with the board, the words we played and the remnants of those left unsaid. I can’t see how it could have gone differently; we made the best plays we could with what we had. Determined from the very beginning, there was never going to be a winner here.





Daniel Guy Baldwin is a writer currently living in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, a Philosophy graduate from Keele University and trying his best to write meaningful fiction with varying degrees of success.





Photo by Piotr Łaskawski on Unsplash



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