life and death in 64

Life and death in sixty four squares by

‘So, how about a game, a fight to the death then?’ says Edward.

‘I’m up for that.’ Valentina’s eyes narrow. ‘I’m so up for that, I thought you’d never ask.’ Angry, purple-hued dusk displaces daylight and rain machine guns the window in the sweat of mid-summer heat. Lightning arcs crackle in the clouds and strike to earth, thunderclaps pile jagged into the noise.

‘Feel that raw power, awesome, I love it.’ Edward grins, wide-eyed, breathless, runs his hands through his greying hair. ‘Turns me on.’

‘Remember, my darling,’ says Valentina, ‘might isn’t everything. Are you certain you want to do this?’

‘Yeah, I’m sure. Damn right I am. Bring it on at last.’ He punches the air.

‘Okay, but this will be the very last time. Do you hear?’

‘Fine by me.’ He snorts, frowns, hunches up and leans forward. She settles, smiles at him, flicks her auburn tresses aside. Lightning explodes with perfect timing as warfare begins. Forward, backwards, sideways, diagonals, straight lines, bodies cast aside as the armies lock. Danger oozes everywhere as dusk becomes night and the storm grows and clamps down.

Hours later, in the early dawn under a cool, calm blue sky, Valentina strolls from the now hushed and deserted battlefield with a wave of a jewelled hand, queen of a realm she no longer desires. The king has been vanquished, the detritus of the night’s struggle spread across the polished parquet floor.

The house is silent as she locks the front door. A taxi drops her at the railway station. Alone on the platform, she sips coffee, eats a croissant, tilts back her head, smiles and soaks in the growing warmth of the sun, her feet resting on bags packed and ready over a week ago.





Roger was born in London but has lived in the North East of England for over 40 years. He retired in 2012 from the NHS after a portfolio career of odd occupations. Now, getting on a bit, he writes bits of flash fiction, short stories and the occasional poem and has had the good fortune to have pieces being published online. About seven years ago, he acquired an allotment, grows fruit and veg and wishes he had done it years ago.




Image by Kajetan Kołodziejski from Pixabay


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