Queens are Wild

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Margeaux realizes she and the boys are literally pawns and the game they're playing is way above their heads.

Chapter 5 (v.1) - This Chess Board is Not Flat

Submitted: May 21, 2012

Reads: 116

Comments: 1

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Submitted: May 21, 2012

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Year(s): Classified
Place: Kingsbury, Nevada
“Miss Quigley and all the rest of you, please put on your swim caps and vests now so we can get started with this program,” Mr. Ventana’s face commanded on the little blue video screen Margeaux held in her left palm. She was amazed at how clear and light the device was, but she tried to maintain her focus. She sensed in her gut that Ventana was going to do something horribly wrong to them, but the seven boys didn’t seem fazed at all. They were going along with the program every step of the way and even seemed to be enjoying it.
Is it just me? Am I paranoid? I’m sure as hell not an alcoholic, as Danny Capobianco pointed out. Then again, I definitely could use a stiff drink to calm my nerves right now.
“Fine,” Margeaux said, setting the device on the floor, putting her hair in a bun and reluctantly donning the strange orange swim cap and matching vest. “But if I ever get out of here, I will call the police on your ass, Mr. Ventana.”
Saying that made her feel slightly better, but Ventana simply ignored her and continued on.
He’s so infuriating!
“Good,” was all he said when he saw that she had put on the cap and vest. He checked in on the seven boys as well and made sure all eight of his captives were in compliance. Margeaux wondered what room Ventana was in.
“Now everyone punch the letter associated with your room,” Ventana ordered with a blank expression on his face as Margeaux picked up the device again and held it in her right palm this time.
Again, Margeaux felt the urge to challenge him, but this time she decided against it. She already had made a fool of herself in front of Danny and the others. And now she was actually curious to see what would happen next. This was quickly turning into the strangest Saturday of her short life. Little did she know, the most bizarre events hadn’t even happened yet. She pressed the C button.
As soon as all eight students had hit their assigned buttons, Margeaux’s room began to vibrate like there was a minor earthquake shaking the building. She gripped her mobile device tightly and looked around the room. The distant trees outside the window stood still, she observed, but the room was definitely shaking.
Then the vibrations grew much stronger and the chalkboard in front of her began to disappear into a fog! Seconds later, the fog turned bright and Margeaux’s body seemed to float upward into white nothingness -- no walls, ceiling, windows, trees, chalkboard or floor. She felt light as a feather and twirled in what appeared to be a zero-gravity void. The vibrations still sounded strong, but now she could not feel them with any part of her body.
“What the …?” she thought.
Margeaux allowed herself to turn upside down, perform a few swim strokes and tumble around. It actually felt free and liberating. She almost forgot she was a captive for a moment.
Then Ventana’s face reappeared on her little black gadget with the blue screen. She gazed back at him with a very different expression on her face -- a bit of whimsy. He observed that change in her and gave her a pleasant smile for the first time. Suddenly, Ventana didn’t look like a domineering brute.
“Now you know why I waited to give you an explanation, Miss Quigley,” he said. “This is not so easy to explain.”
“No, I can see that,” Margeaux said with a slight grin as she rolled in zero gravity. “Are you turning us into astronauts or something?
“Not exactly,” Ventana said as the rumbling in Margeaux’s white room quieted down to more of a steady hum.
“Any other information would be greatly appreciated,” Margeaux prodded him, but this time with a softer tone.
“Now that we’ve reached a comfortable cruising position, so to speak, I will tell you that we are about to engage you in a special game of chess,” Ventana told the divided-up gang of eight on their futuristic gizmos. “That is why half of you are in white rooms and half of you are in black rooms.”
Margeaux hit the B button on her tiny keyboard and, sure enough, Danny grinned at her wearing his orange swim cap and vest, illuminated only by his little screen’s image of her, against a black backdrop.
“What a pretty flashlight you are,” Danny said, still cocky and charming as ever despite the most bizarre detention in the history of education.
“What the hell is going on, Danny?” she asked him.
“No clue, but it ain’t boring at least -- I mean this zero-gravity shit is amazing,” he said.
Ventana’s face reappeared on Margeaux’s screen -- apparently he had the ability to override their interactions -- and he asked them, “Are you all familiar with chess?”
“Yes,” Margeaux said, though she hadn’t played in a few years. She used to beat her younger brother Michael all the time and he would fling the pieces around in frustration.
“Very good,” Ventana said, getting affirmative replies from the entire group.
“You will move forward as situations present themselves,” he continued cryptically, “and attack when appropriate.”
“Excuse me?” Margeaux asked in disbelief.
“Your smart phone doubles as a sword while your vest acts as armor during an attack or as a life preserver in the event you encounter a rook surrounded by a moat,” Ventana explained. “Also, your swim cap will keep your brains from exploding, so never, I repeat never, take it off. Understood?”
What the fuck?!! Margeaux’s brief oasis of calm was over and her heart raced again. Ventana kept a perfect poker face as he, too, donned his swim cap and vest on the little blue screen. Is this guy some kind of sick-fuck male stewardess giving us safety instructions before the flight to hell?
“No, definitely not understood!” Margeaux shouted at the jar head on her “smart phone???”
Ventana ignored her again.
I crave the chance to kill this guy, Margeaux fumed in her swim-capped brain.
“The world is not flat, the universe is not flat and neither is this chess board,” Ventana droned on. “Opportunities to move, attack or be attacked will come from all sides, above, below and diagonally. Be alert at all times and do your best. Some of you may not see much action at first or for quite some time -- that is the nature of the game -- but stay ready and good luck. We appreciate your participation. This game should last approximately 52 minutes for those who have watches, though it may seem much less for some and much more for others.”
Why does it feel like he’s looking right at me when he says “much more?” Margeaux thought, then glanced at her slim burgundy-colored wrist watch and noted the time was 10:27 a.m.
“Am I going to have to fight somebody? Is that what you’re telling me asshole?” she yelled at Ventana’s face, but his image disappeared without a response and Margeaux trembled as she struggled to right herself in the white zero-gravity nothingness. She clutched the little phone in her right hand and wished it had 9-1-1 buttons.
It doubles as a sword?!! What the hell is he talking about? None of this makes any sense whatsoever. Margeaux whipped the device around like she was preparing to duel, but it felt so light and she could see no blade at all. Probably because Ventana’s lying again. He wants us to think we’ve got a weapon in our hand when we’ve actually got squat!
Margeaux felt like a sucker with zero control. This must be what it’s like for Mrs. Pina when she’s trying to teach us. At least she gets a paycheck. I’m getting kidnapped for free!
Then another thought occurred to Margeaux as she pictured her brother Michael hurling chess pieces across the dining room table.
“Chess, he says, and there are exactly eight of us,” Margeaux scoffed out loud to no one in particular. “We’re literally a bunch of fucking pawns!”


© Copyright 2018 Jack Chaucer. All rights reserved.

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