Queens are Wild

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

Three more pawns fall while Margeaux is subjected to an overwhelming glimpse at the future. She learns her 1984 prom date Danny died in the 2001 World Trade Center attacks.

Chapter 7 (v.1) - Bishops, Rooks, Queens and Towers

Submitted: May 24, 2012

Reads: 116

Comments: 5

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Submitted: May 24, 2012

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Year(s): Classified
Place: Kingsbury, Nevada
Tommy Sorrentino was a heck of a wrestler at 142 pounds, but he knew it would be hard to pull off a takedown in zero gravity. His other forte was complaining -- and this was the perfect opportunity to do a lot of that. He rapid-fire cursed so much that he was more likely to say motherfucker between words than take a breath.
“These mother-fucking twats better mother-fucking let me the fuck out of this mother-fucking place before I mother-fucking rip this mother-fucking swim cap off. I don’t care anymore. I’ll mother-fucking explode my brains all over Room F -- got that, mother-fucking Ventana?!” the bespectacled Sorrentino shouted as he jammed his hairy, monkey-like thumb on button K again and again. There was no response from the detention master, which, of course, prompted a new vicious cycle of curses.
Sorrentino had good reason to be cracking up. Unlike some of the other pawns, he had jumped forward three squares already -- from black to white, again to black and then to white again. He knew chess well. He sensed he was dangling out there like a fish head in front of a shark, and there was plenty of chum in the water. The swim cap gnawed at his itchy, hairy head and mocked him. “Go ahead, take the mother-fucking thing off. End it already!” he could hear it say.
And yet, Tommy couldn’t bring himself to do it. He thought Ventana sounded a little too believable when he said his brain would explode if he ripped off the cap. He was still giving the detention master the benefit of the doubt.
But when the black bishop appeared above him from out of nowhere -- veiled face, puffed-up black hat and a string of black beads in his right hand -- Tommy only had time to scream one motherfucker before the beads encircled his neck, imploded his brain and put him out of his mother-fucking misery.
--
Jim Sherman had ridden the wave of energy forward from white Room E three times, felt the zero-gravity effect switch off suddenly and got dumped into a fast-rising pool of water. He was now sobbing and bobbing in the dark -- with water bubbling up to his double chin. He couldn’t swim, so the life vest Ventana issued him was the only thing keeping him afloat. Lightning snaked above him, exposing the parapet of the black castle looming hundreds of feet above him. The dreaded moat Ventana had hinted at earlier had flooded the black nothingness so fast Jim barely had time to piss his pants before he was nearly submerged.
“Help!” was all Sherman could muster in between gasps as the water lapped over his mouth. His sword/phone was long gone, lost in the scramble against the fast-rising water. It wouldn’t have helped in this ominous scenario anyway.
“Help!” Jim yelled again as he splashed and flailed.
Then a bolt of lightning zapped the surface of the moat like a spitball smacking into a Venetian blind -- and Sherman’s brain got rooked.
--
Scott LaFrance, left to rot in the blackness of Room D since the whole nightmare began, was not comfortable in passive mode. He liked to take control, surge to the front and set the pace when he ran the 1,600-meter race in track. He also liked to be the first one to make the girls laugh in a classroom or social setting.
But on this particular Saturday morning, LaFrance was stuck in neutral, chafing in his vest and swim cap. He was tired of tumbling in zero gravity and had flung his sword/phone away in frustration.
When the veiled black queen finally arrived to reap the grim LaFrance, she opened a door from what seemed like a mile in front of him and let a tiny ray of light strike his black eyes. A second later, she stood in front of him and skewered him between the eyes, her long, thin blade dividing his head like the line of demarcation on a two-paneled chalk board. His brain lobes -- left and right -- both sizzled quietly.
--
At 10:44 a.m., Margeaux Quigley felt a massive surge of energy behind her and finally blasted forward into the blackness. As she did, she looked straight ahead at what appeared to be a movie screen and observed images of herself. She saw Danny Capobianco dancing with her at what looked like the senior prom. She had her black hair in an elegant up-do and wore a gorgeous red evening gown with a high sexy, slit up the left leg -- a dress that likely didn’t meet her mother’s approval. She moved nimbly in long, fancy red heels as Danny, wearing a black tux and red cumber bun to match her, twirled her around and dipped her. Then they kissed and smiled at each other.
Soon the images began to shuffle before her eyes much faster. She saw herself scoring a goal for Stanford University and being mobbed by teammates on a soccer pitch. She watched herself walking across a huge stage dressed in cap and gown and then accepting a diploma. She observed herself wearing a navy blue power suit and addressing the jury in a courtroom. And finally, she was speaking at a podium in front of supporters with signs.
That’s when Margeaux blasted forward again -- into a white room. She could hear Danny’s voice, but the images on the screen were too pale against the whiteness all around her.
Seconds later, she surged forward into the black and there he was -- Danny Capobianco on the movie screen as clear as day. He looked more handsome and much older -- early 30s perhaps. He wore a sharp, dark gray business suit and snazzy red tie. He was talking on a small cordless phone and sitting at a desk in an office building. There was another building visible in the window behind him. Margeaux’s stomach churned with pangs of love and tremors of fear as she watched him.
The camera moved backward, away from Capobianco and out a different window. The movie seemed so real as the camera raced back and upward to reveal two skyscrapers -- the World Trade Center in New York City. Margeaux had seen the towers before in person when her mother had taken her and Michael on a Big Apple summer vacation a few years ago. They saw a musical called the “The Fantastiks” and took a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty. The twin skyscrapers watched over them like two concerned parents as they traveled to and from Ellis Island that day in 1981.
The camera suddenly stopped moving as it loomed above the skyscrapers and Margeaux watched in horror as a jet plane came out of nowhere and smashed into the very tower where Danny Capobianco had just been talking on the phone. Fire balls and debris exploded against the clear blue sky.
“Oh my God no!” Margeaux screamed. “Danny! What is happening? Is this real? Ventana? Talk to me!”
There was no response. Then another jet slammed into the second tower. Margeaux burst into tears as the movie screen seemed to shift into fast forward mode. One tower fell. The other tower -- the one with Danny inside it -- also crumbled into dust. Death and destruction everywhere. Margeaux shook her head and sobbed as she watched the images flash before her eyes. She wanted to peel the swim cap off and die, but Ventana interrupted her agony. His face appeared on her smart phone.
“Margeaux, look at me please,” he said.
She did and the movie screen went dark, matching the blackness all around her. The only light in the room now came from Ventana’s face on the little blue screen.
“About Danny,” he said with a serious expression on his face and a surprisingly sensitive tone. “He was supposed to reach our destination, too. We didn’t realize until moments ago that that would be impossible.”
“Really? Will you stop talking to me like I know what the hell is going on and level with me for a change?” Margeaux pleaded.
“Danny Capobianco died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in the year 2001,” Ventana told her in the softest tone he could muster. “His original person could not make the journey beyond that year so neither could any other version of him survive.”
“Thanks, what is this, ‘Buck Rogers and the 25th Century now?’” Margeaux said bitterly as she tearfully punched the letter B on her smart phone again and again to no avail. It remained stuck on Ventana’s square-jawed face. “I show up for Saturday detention, you kidnap me to the future and kill off all my classmates for good measure. Thanks.”
Ventana let Margeaux have the last word this time. Her blue screen went dark and she surged forward again into white bewilderment.


© Copyright 2018 Jack Chaucer. All rights reserved.

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