Sunday, September 25, 2016

Story Cubes 19: End Game (fiction)

"Rules! You can't move your rook diagonally!" he said.

"Oh right," I said, and instead moved the chess piece one measly square forward. "I'm more of a bridge player, actually." It was a fib. I hate playing games.

The old man looked up at me. "Bridge? Bleh!" he spat (not literally). "Checkmate!"

I wasn't sure if it really was checkmate, but his queen was threatening my king, so I let him have his victory. "Well played!" I said. As a volunteer at the nursing home, I didn't think it was my place to be disagreeable.

He waved his hand at me, as if to say it was nothing. "You need to shine your apple," he said.

I couldn't help noticing his pointy Adam's apple bobbing as he said it, and I suppressed a giggle. I had only a vague idea of what he meant, but I said, "Yep!"

I didn't like to think of him locked up in there, no family visitors, spending his days staring out of the window -- through the keyhole, so to speak. Not being able to sleep at night -- so the nurses said -- and watching for shooting stars.

"I'll see you next week," I said.

"If I'm here," he said.

"Come on, why wouldn't you be?"

"Checkmate", he said. Then he put his hand on top of his rook and moved it across the board -- diagonally.


(The bold-faced words are interpreted from the images on Rory's Story Cubes)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Word of the Day: Festinate

festinate [FESS-tih-nate] (adjective, verb) [TWITO, page 53]

To move or act at high speed; hasty

"Advise the duke, where you are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift and intelligent betwixt us."
--William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act III, scene 7

My mom has a dusty old upright player piano in her basement. I took a few piano lessons as a kid and used to practice on it. But I never liked playing the piano. I always preferred to insert a piano roll and let the thing play itself. It wasn't electric, though; I had to do some festinate pumping of the foot pedals to make it make it play "Melancholy Baby" or some other tin pan alley hit at the proper speed.