Killing Words

Submitted for Contest #34 in response to: Write a story about a family game night.... view prompt

9 comments

It's Sunday, and I hate my wife. It's an odd thing to say since I proposed and married her, but I hate her with every bone in my body. We're playing Scrabble for Sunday Night Game Night, which she thinks will improve our relationship, but it only makes me hate her more. She always wins. Every single time we play Scrabble, or Scatergories or anything else with words, she wins. She just sits there, sipping her tea and making words. She's an author for god's sake. Of course, she would be able to make words from the letters KSRQATT. Nonetheless, I play the word START first with the T on the star and the S on the double letter square. And I get 6 measly points for it. 


As I pick out my new letters CNQEAIG, my wife already has a word. How is it possible to find a word so quickly? I just put mine down, how did she already figure out a word to play? She plays the word REALITY, almost using all of her letters and getting her 11 points. Now, she's winning. Already. At least she didn't use them all and get the 50 bonus points. Our dog, Jellybean, starts to make some noise and she gets up to see what's wrong. 


I take this as an opportunity to quickly switch out my Q for another letter. Swiftly, I grab another letter, H. And now I can make a word, CHEATING. I place all seven of my letters down, with my stolen H on the double word score and score 28 points, plus an extra 50 for using all of my tiles. There is no way she will be able to get a higher score. My wife sits back down and asks if I cheated. I say no, but how did she know?


Maybe it's because I try to cheat almost every time we play Scrabble and she picked up on it. That must be it. Or she has eyes everywhere in this house. Truthfully, the latter seems more likely. She plays the word WARMER for 15 points. She didn't pass me and I'm still in the lead, almost quadrupling her score. I feel the already hot room heat up as she draws her five new tiles. 


After staring at rack forever, I find a word. I play SWEAT off the E in WARMER and gain 16 points. I grab my new letters as a bead of sweat drips down my brow. I look up at my wife staring at her rack, clearly upset. Now, my rack reads KOXOKHC. How in the world am I supposed to even make a word out of that? How? My wife surely could. Maybe I should ask her for help. Except I can't. I'm winning. I cannot let her make a word for me that will help her win. I need to beat her at last once. Or I could just kill her. That way I would never have to play - or lose - against her.


With a dejected look on her face, my wife regretfully plays the three-letter word FAN. And she only gets 6 points. I am still winning. She gets up to turn on the air conditioning as she sweats profusely. As she gets up and I stare at my letters I realize something. The words are coming true. Every word that is played happens in real life. I cheated when I played the word CHEATING. I started to sweat when SWEAT was played. The room got warmer when WARMER was played. My wife went to turn on the air conditioning when she played FAN. Okay, maybe that doesn't count. She might've just thought to turn it on since she played to the word. 

nevertheless, I think that this game of Scrabble is magical or something. 


Maybe if I play a murderous word I could kill her. I stare at my letters and realize I can make the word SHOCK. Since she's at the air conditioning unit, I could give her a shock. I hurriedly place my letters down to give the shock while she's still in place. I get 15 points and a satisfying feeling when I hear her yelp in pain. Now I'm sure. Every word that is played on this board will happen in the real world. 


I pick out TQIC from the bag and now I have TQICOXK. What word could I play to kill her? My rack is full of letters that will not be of use to me. I look over at my wife just to see her sipping her tea while she places her letters. BANG. 11 points. As soon as she places the G, that is exactly what I hear. The AC unit exploded. 


Watching my wife drink her tea gives me an idea. Off of the C in CHEATING, I play TOXIC. If my suspicions are correct, her tea should be poisoned and deadly. Killing her on the spot. But, she puts her cup down. I peer inside, and it's done. There is no tea left to become toxic. I failed. It was the perfect opportunity to get rid of my wife once and for all. I would never have to see her again. But I miscalculated how much tea she had in the damn pink glitter cup of hers. At least I got 30 points for it. If I don't manage to kill her, at least I will have won our game of Scrabble. 


I grab my new letters to give me a rack of HQESCAK. My wife looks at me dead in the eyes and plays her word. For 18 points, CAUTION. What would that do? How can CAUTION become something that happens? Maybe it's a warning? I look around waiting to see what would happen with the word CAUTION, but nothing happens. And it is my turn to play.


HQESCAK. HQESCAK. What word am I supposed to make out of HQESCAK? She could have. Definitely. But I can't let her win. I have to kill her. And then it hits me. A dangerous word. The most dangerous. It kills thousands, no millions, of people every year. Gleaming, I look at my wife as I place my letters down. SHAKE. 26 points. The ground begins to shake vigorously and I know I won. There is no way she will survive an earthquake. My wife has got to be the person I know who panics the most. At any little thing, she will freak out. Maybe it's all the crime, horror and mystery novels she writes that makes her like that. 


But she looks completely calm. Too calm. She looks down at her letters and up to look me in my eyes. The smirk on her face and the glint in her eyes tells me that she knows something I don't. Just as I am about to ask, she plays her four-letter word on the K of SHOCK. K. I. L. L. Before I can even register the word in my mind, a portion of the ceiling falls on top of me. I reach out to my wife hoping she will try to help me, but she just sits there, smiling. As my vision goes dark, I see her stand and wave goodbye. She opens her mouth and I can barely hear the words she says. But I hear them. 


"I hate you, too."


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9 comments

Peace Nakiyemba
00:43 Apr 01, 2020

Ah.. I just love Scrabble. Add a little magic and you get yourself a beautiful story. I loved it. It had the right amount of humour. Didn't think he seriously hated his wife till the end. And it's silly but my story had the same theme, a married couple playing Scrabble. Keep writing!

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Lauren Oertel
19:00 Apr 02, 2020

My story was also told through a couple's Scrabble game! Very different ending though. ;) I'll check out yours next, Peace. And nice work, Triniti!

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Scott Smock
22:25 Mar 31, 2020

As the innocent word lover drank in this tit for tat he had to admit; cheaters never prosper.

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Taylor Crosby
02:16 Apr 03, 2020

Very creative take on the prompt! Love this concept! Hmm, I wonder if anyone who I play Scrabble with hates me...? I guess I have to be careful now. This was great! Thanks for the fun story!

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Diana Black
20:30 Apr 03, 2020

Thank you for reading it! Just be careful when playing with someone who might have a grudge...

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Louise Lague
22:04 Apr 01, 2020

So clever!!! An imaginative idea. Think it would benefit from genuine hatred explained closer to the top. I thought he hated her because she was winning. Or often winning.

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Diana Black
20:28 Apr 03, 2020

Thank you for the feedback!

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12:41 Mar 31, 2020

This would be a very competitive game of Scrabble.

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Diana Black
20:36 Mar 31, 2020

It's basically me when I play against my brothers :)

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