Mate in Two

Now to the shadow of the column … I was not, however, jealous. I awaited her move. She picked up the pawn and twirled it between her fingers. She rubbed her thumb on its padding temporarily: it had become a Spanish dancer, its red being seen and then disappearing. Her fingers undulated the pawn: like silent castanets they timed its vermiculations. Then it stopped: the Spanish dancer stamped her feet. God told her to stop dallying and move forward; froward, she ran, not walked, to the farthest place her ability took her.

It was her who also took me to the farthest place I have gone. I had never gone into a slum before. But that was where she lived. I had, thus, to chase her past men who seemed to have just freshly come out a prison and past a canal that reeked not only of death, but also of eternal damnation. I had to enter into her Ushered house: the only thing it didn't do was to fall.

I took her away from there. Her parents were only too happy to give their consent, but it was now my turn. I was a careful man. I didn't want to listen to any commands of a God that didn't even seem to exist to me. I had more faith in my human lords. I thus directed my man to cautiously move forward. I was neither confident nor assured in any of my choices: I was battling in a foreign land; the shadow of the column loomed over ours. It was nearly dark.

I held her hand.

Is this just a game?

It is all a game.

Her city was Troy. She did not want her other soldier to stay alone. She commanded him to fight an imaginary enemy alongside the one instructed by God. They stood, together.

There was no enemy confronting them. The judge could not celebrate Christmas, despite being in a sylvan land. Alongside the soldier who followed, there was no mirth. There was only interminable waiting: the enemy seemed too far away, and was more concerned with guarding the enemy's kingdom.

I lunged, with my queen, to the enemy king's fortress. The soldiers were immobilized, despite being near her. They were, in fact, too near. Such was the prowess of my queen, however, that she assassinated him even before he knew of it. But by then all our kingdoms had fallen, my Darling's and mine: darkness welcomed us in its maw, and light hid from what it saw.