The ten second game

Submitted into Contest #74 in response to: Write a story that takes place across ten seconds.... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction Happy Holiday

 Write a story that takes place across ten seconds.

Our room was nicely decorated. Golden and black balloons were almost everywhere. Streamers were hanging in the hallway. Fairy lights were around the tables. Fireworks were ready in the garage. The dining table was all set. Mom's new dinner set looked amazing. The tiny cups for tea and the big plates for mom’s famous strawberry cheesecake flapjacks. Everyone was in a rush. Dad was trying to hang a big 2021 balloon from the ceiling and my sister was bringing the warm tea. Mom was running frantically to the dining room from the kitchen. My brothers were setting up the fireworks. It seemed that I and grandpa were the only ones who were not doing something new year related. 

 I racked my brain. 

“There has to be away,” I thought

This was one of the toughest matches I had ever played. My queen was stuck and my king was close to checkmate. Most of my pawns and bishops were killed and the rooks were sitting ducks. The only way I could save my king was to let the queen die. But this was no way to lose and one of my new year’s resolutions was to beat grandpa at chess. There are several hobbies to choose from but I find chess the best and most fascinating. I loved the way that some of my friends would get absorbed in it. Their playing sessions would sometimes extend into late nights. Sometimes, when there was a power-failure or load-shedding, they would continue their game in candlelight. I learned the finer points and strategies of the game by watching them play. But grandpa, he was a good player in chess. He would get out of a difficult situation in minutes. Once he gave me a checkmate in five minutes. I have won several chess competitions but I could never beat grandpa.  

“Come on it’s your turn,” my brother said. He would always sit beside me but helped grandpa in chess.

Finally, I moved my bishop forward. Now grandpa seemed to be in a difficult situation. I moved my rook to c4 and that was a big mistake. I waited for grandpa, hoping that he wouldn’t notice. 

“Ten seconds left!” Mom shouted from the kitchen.

Everything happened so slowly. Grandpa moved his bishop. 

“He didn’t kill my queen,” I thought

“What?’ My brother said “The queen”

“Yes, yes I know,” Grandpa said with a grin on his face.

I knew something was wrong. I wasn’t going to lose. And then all of a sudden my brother started the countdown.

“8!” He shouted.

I moved my last bishop to c8. 

Then I understood what grandpa meant to do. He killed my queen and my rook.

“Oh come on!” I said 

Grandpa laughed.


I tried to finish the game as fast as I could because the battlefield was almost empty. I move my pawn to c6 and grandpa moved his to a4. 


"Hurry up!" dad said 

I moved my knight to f3 so I could finally kill the pawn which was annoying me. Then grandpa gave me a check from his rook. And then, my last knight was killed.


I tried to get my pawns to protect the king but...

"Checkmate!" Grandpa said 

"What, no!"

"Don't worry, you have a whole year for your resolutions." My brother said.

2 and 1

We heard fireworks and the three of us ran outside. They looked beautiful amongst the stars. Packed within the firework was the blackest of black powders awaiting a spark to release the brightest rainbow hues the world has ever seen - now that's what I call magical.

January 02, 2021 03:55

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