One on One with Death

Ch. 4

Death looked at Steve like he'd reached his intellectual peek at six years old. "Candy Land? Really?"

Steve. "You rushed me. I'm not good under pressure."

"Your challenge is accepted," Death said. "But would you mind opening a window? Your carpet really stinks."

After opening the window, turning on a fan, and spraying some more Lysol, Steve retrieved the Candy Land game out of his bedroom closet. He'd been crushed to see the other games on his shelf that he'd forgotten, namely Monopoly and Scrabble. As a huge crossword puzzle enthusiast and recreational writer, Scrabble was his game. And with Monopoly, win or lose, he would live at least 37 more hours just playing the game.

He cleared off the top of his weathered folding table and set up the board. Steve achieved "Colossal Moron" status by saying, "I get to be the red gingerbread man! What color do you want?"

"Shut up, dumbass. Let's get this over with."

Steve stared Death in the eyes as they both slowly lowered themselves into their chairs. In Steve's mind he could hear the whistling theme from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. He glared at Death and said, "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

Death bounced the blue gingerbread man off Steve's forehead. "That's Dirty Harry, stupid. And stop whistling."

"Sorry, I was caught up in the moment."

Steve meticulously shuffled the game cards and offered Death the cut. Death bounced the yellow gingerbread man off his forehead. He placed the cards next to the board. The red and green gingerbread men were positioned at the Start. And Steve prepared to play Candy Land for his life.

"Do you wanna do rock, paper, scissors to see who goes first?" Steve asked.

Death looked around the table for something else to throw. "Just go."

Steve drew a card, hoping for a single orange so he could take the Rainbow Trail and skip about a quarter of the board. He looked at the card. A single green, one space past what he wanted.

Death drew his card. Single orange.

"Crap." Steve realized that his luck and skill were on an equal plane. He drew another card. Single red, he moved his piece one space forward.

Death drew another card, double purple. He moved 13 spaces.

The game went on like that for 15 minutes. By the time Steve had reached Peanut Acres, Death was only one draw away from winning. Steve drew a double red, which ate up a good chunk of board. He closed his eyes and prayed for a miracle.

"Looks, like you'll be coming with me, Mr. Jefferies," Death said, gloating, and drew a card.

Steve's prayers were answered as Death drew a candy cane card that sent him all the way back to the Peppermint Forest. "Ha, ha, ha," he laughed. He jumped up and broke into a pathetic white guy happy dance.

After about a minute, Death said, "I'll refurnish your apartment if you stop."

Steve sat back down and noticed that Death's left eye was twitching violently. With a wave of the Death's hand, all new furniture materialized in the trash and vomit laden apartment. He sat down and took his turn. He was crushed to see the gingerbread man card, which basically started the game over.

Death looked at his watch again. "Look, I can't deal with this any more. I'll concede defeat. You win."

Steve could tell that Death was agitated. He hoped it wasn't stupid when he said, "I'm having a good time, I think we should finish the game."

Death's face paled. "Please, just let me out of this game. I can't take it anymore. This game is made for 3 year olds for a reason. My brain is turning to mush. And to top it all off, you're an idiot." He stood and walked out of the apartment.

Steve jumped up. "I beat Death!" The white guy happy dance commenced again all around the living room until Steve stepped in the vomit.

"Crap, now I gotta clean that up."