Chess at the Kitchen Table
The cat nudged the white bishop up the board a few spaces, tapped the table with her paw, and look pointedly at Red. Her green eyes glimmered with smug satisfaction.
Red cut his eyes at her then went back to examining the chess board. Hosanna sat just out of arm’s reach to his left, next to the board and an empty plate that had recently held Red’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She looked at him for a moment longer, then dropped her gaze to lick a paw clean of a spot of jelly that had gotten on it.
“I hope you enjoyed the homemade plum jelly, cat, ’cause if you beat me again it’s gonna be a long time before you get another taste,” he said, then swapped the bishop with one of his knights. “Oh, and check.”
Hosanna craned her neck to better see the whole board. Suddenly, she cocked her head as if she had heard something outside, something dangerous.
Red sat up quickly, his hand reaching for the holstered gun hanging from his chair. Hosanna spun to face the door, her ears high, her tail twitching so hard it knocked the chess men across the table.
They remained that way for seconds that felt like minutes, the quiet closing in on them. Finally, Red sat down and glared at Hosanna.
“You did that on purpose.”
Hosanna made a sound halfway between a meow and a growl. It could have been a chuckle.
“Sore loser,” Red grumbled.
You may remember Red and “his” cat Hosanna from this story last month. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get to know them as they’ll probably show up here and again in my stories. I’m getting a better idea of who Red, Hosanna, and Red’s friend Royce are, what they do, and where they do it. It’s entirely possible they live in the same general vicinity as the late Big John and Chet, a place where magic is real and not often wielded by good-hearted people.
On another note, don’t try to teach your cat to play chess. They won’t spend a lot of time learning the finer points of the game. Cats have little patience for gambits and openings. They’re far more likely to simply walk off disdainfully or find some sneaky way of flipping the board. That’s just how they are: good, but prone to being big, fat cheaterfaces.
Get the prompt from Sarah’s group here.
(Photo Credit: RickJbrown on Pixabay)