The Chess Game
“This year we’re having a different Christmas,” my grandmother said as she moved her pawn to the side, capturing mine.
“Why did you do that?” I asked.
She pushed her glasses up and raised her eyebrows. “I had to, didn’t I?”
“You could have ignored it.” I sulked.
She chuckled. “And let you capture mine?”
“Why not? I’m only nine. Most of my friends can’t even play chess.”
“You’ll never learn if I let you win all the time. Anyway, it’s only a pawn.”
She was right, but I didn’t like being little. The grown-ups were all smarter than I was, and it really annoyed me.
“Come on, Tom, it’s your turn.”
I moved my knight. “So what’s new about this Christmas?” My grandmother always came up with great ideas for games and outings.
She showed me a picture of green fields and snow-covered hills. “I’m renting a cottage right here, for the weekend.”
My jaw dropped. It was in the middle of nowhere. “Are we all going?”
She moved her queen. “Of course! It’s Christmas. There’s a real log fire and plenty of hiking trails, and board games to play in the evenings!”
My parents would never agree to staying at such an isolated place. They were always working or going out with friends.
“What’s wrong?” she asked. “Don’t you like the idea?”
It would be nice to spend a few days alone with my parents and grandmother. That hadn’t happened in ages. “I think it’s a great idea, Granny!” I said as I captured her pawn with my knight.
“Pay attention!” she said as she captured my knight with her queen.
I sighed hoping she’d be as good at convincing my parents to stay at the cottage as she was at playing chess.
This piece of flash fiction was written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Join in or read other entries here!
Ice cold mountain stoops,
Peering down at autumn leaves,
For spring to dress them once more
With flowers and leaves galore.
As I already told you, I’m terrible at following rules, so not only have I written a tanka, now I’m going to tell you all about the picture!
I was here, for a freezing week, a few days ago. It’s a cold, but beautiful part of the north of Spain, where my mother and her family originally came from. There is a skiing resort nearby (see photo below), but I just visit for the scenery!
Lonely house by shore
Wrapped in ice-cold sea and snow.
Warm wood glows inside.
This photograph was taken by my friend and colleague Thor Walum, retired English teacher and lover of Spain and photography, who lives in a beautiful, tiny island in the north of Norway, which I was lucky enough to visit some years ago.
The light and colours I saw in Norway, were spectacular. I’ve never seen such fabulous colours anywhere else I’ve visited.
Thor took this photo at the end of November, during the dark months, when there are only a few hours of partial daylight, from the bus on his way into town on the island of Hinnøya. It used to be an old sea house, used by fishermen, but it has been refurbished recently, preserving its original shape of a hundred years ago.
This is the same view, earlier in the year, with more daylight and less snow!
You can check out some more of Thor’s fabulous photos here on Facebook,
This year is my fourth AtoZ Challenge. My theme this year is poetry once again. I’ll be writing a haiku a day, but I’m also adding a new hobby to the posts, photography. I will post one of my photos, or a donated photo, every day to accompany my haiku.
This April, I’ll also be sharing my poems and joining another group of poets at National Poetry Writing Month, organised since 2003 by Maureen Thorsonn. Write 30 poems in 30 days. I’m in! What about you?