"The players take their seats, opposite each other, a table between them.
Black versus white.
Good versus evil. If you want to be melodramatic.
The game begins."

But, inevitably, the game must end.


3. A short interlude.

The moves are now more complex.

The players are getting nervous.

King to D7.


The whole of what was once Avenue E has now been taken over by the Spinney Centre, the three story shopping centre that attracts teen girls like light attracts moths. That's where I'm heading now.

I'm thinking. Hard.

A lot's been going on lately, and I don't mean that in the way that most teenage girls whine about their lives. I mean, a lot's been going on lately, around town.

The thing is, no one knows exactly what.

Disapeerances. Confusion. Panic.

All in the past week.

No one knows what's happening. Spinney Hill's never been exactly the nicest place to live, but it's never been as bad as, say, Preston Deanery. Now it looks like it's on it's way there.

There's been talk of murder.

Of course, there's no evidence, no one's found a body, but, well, when three business men, to supermarket cachiers, a teacher, a policemen and the Chairman of Hartford Law go missing without a trace, people are gonna start coming up with thoeries. Even if those theories involve aliens. Or Time travel. Or mutant flesh eating bugs that live in cheese.

These are but a few of the more sane stories floating around. You don't even want to hear the insane ones.

"Hey! You!"


Knight to D6.


The voice is harsh and clear, and, unfortunately, one I know all too well. I spin on my heel and, sure enough, tottering down the sidewalk in their 5inch stilletos is Elena Knight, the biggest slut in Spinney. Right behind is her usual sidkick, Queen Libson.


Queen to D5.


Oh great. Just great. Exactly what I need.

Elena and Queen are now feet away, close enough for me to see the triumphant smirk on LittleMissSlut's face. Bitch.

"So, Taaaaaassy", Elena twists my name into a well practised sneer. "What've you been up to?"

Like she cares. Without waiting for the rude hand gesture she knows is coming, she continues. God I hate her voice, all high and squeeky with a maddening, unctuous note.

"Guess who's just given me his phooooone nummmmbeeeeerrrr?" She drew the sentance out, as though every second she did so would increase her vindictive pleasure.

And anyway, why would I care which loser she'd bullied into giving her his number? Probably Ollie Pawn, or Jason Castle, or even -

"Daaaaaaanny Rookwood".




No way. No way could Danny, gorgeous Danny ever have a crush on her.

Great. Now life really sucks.

I turn my face away, so that Elena won't see the confusion and rejection in my eyes, and continue past them towards avenue E, where my best friend awaits me.

I hear Elena and Queen laughing behind me.

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