a cure for the common block

Best Friends

Oxford rubbed the joints in his fingers noting that the pain was duller than usual, a welcomed relief for the haggard octogenarian. He patiently waited for his opponent to arrive for their weekly match, another welcomed relief to finally find someone who offered him a challenge. He closed his eyes for just a moment to rest when the voice of a young child piped out “Pick a hand”, he blinked a couple times to see a 9-year-old girl holding out two closed fists. He smirked and stroked his chin as he deduced in which hand Rochelle would have concealed the white pawn. He tapped her right hand and before she handed him his piece her ear-to-ear grin told him he had chosen poorly. When they first began playing the year before she had told him that her father taught her to play and gave her lessons until defeat after humiliating defeat broke him. She hadn’t mentioned him in a few weeks and Oxford thought to ask if everything was okay, but he was too busy figuring out if she was telegraphing her moves to trap him or if today’s victory would go to him? It was and it didn’t. #ShortShortStories #BestFriends


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