"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.


2. One sided conversation

42 minutes into the game and the peices are everywhere.

Time for drastic action.

King to B2.


I am sprinting along the pavement at full speed, hoping no hot boys are looking my way because I barely had time to drag a comb through my hair and grab a granola before mum quite kliterally threw me out of the house. I throw myself round a corner, feeling the crummy, second hand watch on my wrist ticking close to 8:30. It would be so typical if, on my first day of the job, I was late. Mrs P would totally sack me.

I rake my eyes along the row of identical houses. Mrs Harriet Puckle live at Number 2, Avenue B and, as her new gardener, I ought to know where that is.

Aha. Got it. B2 is a small, square, compact semi, just like all the other houses on Avenue B. And, unsuprisingly, it's owner is tapping her foot in the front garden.

"Miss King. You're late." Mrs P says when I arrive, sweaty and panting a minute later. "I need this watered, pruned and weeded by ten o'clock. Off you go". And, without further ado, she trots off down the road, and I am left in the middle of the front lawn, with some garden shears and a watering can.


Pawn to B3.


It is about ten to ten, and all I have achieved is sunburn and a temper, when I sense somebody watching me and look up from Mrs Puckle's dying Petunias.

Standing, grinning down at me is Mrs Ps halfwit neighbour, Oliver Pawn.

Ollie Pawn is street famous for two reasons. First of all, his name. Oh come on, you know why. And secondly, he is the only person at Spinney Grammer School ever to have scored less than 50 on an IQ test. No joke.

I think that says it all.

"Watcha dooin?" Ollie asks.

Now, normally, I would have given him the finger, but with Ollie Pawn, you have to make some allowances.



"'Cause the garden has weeds in."


Is this a one sided conversation or what?? I am thinking it is over and turning away when Ollie opens his mouth again.

"Watcha dooin later?"

What? SInce when has OPawn taken an interest in girls?

"Going shopping and then to my Grans for dinner".

"Where's she live?"

"Number 5, Avenue G."

Why am I telling him this? Oliver Pawn is wierd. Seriously, seriously, wierd.

"Oh. Wanna go shopping with me?"

I stare at him for a second to see if he's joking. Apparently not. Well, in that case, no. No way. Nuh-uh. Is he actually asking me out? Ew.

"Erm, sorry Ollie, but I said I'd meet my friend."

And after that, I couldn't face another word of conversation. I hopped over the gate, and walked as fast as I could without flat out running down the road. I dodn't bother to  wait for Mrs P. I just had to get away from Oliver.

"Tass, wait."

Are you kidding? Oliver Pawn had seriously not not just followed me down the road.

"What?" Okay so maybe I said that a little sharper than intended, but quite frankly he creeps me out, and Leonardo's hot chocolate is half price if you get there before 10:30.

"Just be careful, alright?"

Once upon a happier time, his words would have confused me. I mean they still do- why would he care? - but I do at least know the meaning behind them.

"Yeah, sure. You too."

And then I walk off down the road, pondering his words and what they mean.

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