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   Chapter 3 No.3

Board James By AaronDennis Characters: 5427

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02


She went to the counter next to the space where the fridge belonged. As she and Sharon milled over the documents, the image of a white fridge laden with goofy drawings accosted Allen. He chewed his thumbnail for a second. Then, Sharon chastised him. He pulled his finger from his mouth.

There were five of us, right? Wasn't there a girl? I remember two boys with hats. What were their names? An oppressive mood overtook him with the speed and ferocity of lightning.

"And this is a great time to buy, " Gabby said, but Allen was drifting in an out.

He walked from the kitchen—Sharon leering at his withdrawn behavior—and stopped by the stairs. He placed his hands on the railing, gripping the wood tightly. He then recalled images of a bedroom laden with video game posters, but it wasn't his room; he didn't have pictures of monster films like the room in his flashback.

"It was that boy's room, the one who made those board games…board games…."

"Allen, " Sharon yelled. "Come sign!"

"O-okay, honey, " he replied, jogging back into the kitchen.

Once everything was in order, they walked Gabby back out to her Prius. She thanked them, waved, and hugged Sharon before shaking Allen's hand. "I think you two will be very happy here."

"Yeah, me, too, " he said.

"What the Hell's wrong with you?" Sharon snipped as soon as the realtor drove out of sight.

"Yeah, I don't know, honey; I guess I have a lot on my mind."

"Well…we did just buy a house."

"Yeah, we did, didn't we, " he chuckled. "Wow, " he grinned, turning back to gaze at his new home, yet something was different.

The gusts of wind were colder, more leaves swirled about, and then he noticed the neighbor staring at them. She was a heavy set, scowling, old woman with gray, unkempt hair. She held her pink robe tightly to her figure, glaring at the newly weds.

The two waved at her, but she remained hard-looking, granite faced. "What's her problem, " Sharon asked.

"I don't know…let's get settled in."

"Yeah."

Chapter Three

"Let's play something else, " Mike said.

"Candy Land, " Bootsy asked, eagerly.

"No!" the others yelled in unison.

With Ghost Blitz stowed atop a plethora of other games, everyone started shuffling through boxes. There were numerous games in the basement; from wall-to-wall, they were stacked. Many of them were the classics; Monopoly, Connect Four, Hero's Quest, but there were some obscured ones as well.

Mike wanted to play Cross Fire, but Bootsy didn't want to twiddle his thumbs, waiting for a turn. James replied that he hadn't been invited to play anyway. Bootsy pouted, got up, and made for the door.

"Gee willickers, James, if ya' want me to leave, just

say so."

"Can't leave, " James said, gravely. He wore another, monster frown, and he slowly shook his head from side-to-side; his stare unblinking. "Gotta' stay until the game's finished."

"But we ain't picked a game yet, " Bootsy complained, stomping his foot.

"It's all a game, bro, " Mike said. He patted Bootsy's shoulder when the young man sat back down. "You remember, don't you?"

"Well…if we're gonna' play somethin', " Bootsy mused. "How about another game with cards?"

He then picked up a box for Mystery Rummy, case number 3; Jekyll and Hide. It was a small, brown box with the picture of a magnifying lens over the words case number 3. Beneath the lens were two halves of a face; one half of Jekyll, and one half of Hide.

"No, " James shouted and knocked the box from his friend's hand. "I don't like Jekyll and Hide."

"Why, what's wrong with 'em?"

"He has eyeballs for testicles, " James answered.

"Yeah, " Mike agreed. "And he wears his underwear backwards."

As James nodded, Bootsy said, "So? I wear my underwear backwards!"

"What, " Mike was shocked.

"Why would you do that?" James yelled.

"I don't have to pull 'em off to take a shit that way, " Bootsy elucidated.

They all spent a moment ripping on each other about their weird habits. Mike was called a cheater, and when he denied it, Bootsy reached into Mike's back pocket and pulled out a handful of Ghost Blitz cards. In return, Mike pointed out that Bootsy sucked his own dick, to which Bootsy responded by reminding them he no longer had a dick because James was a psychopath.

"That's true, I guess, " Mike said. "No one else locks his friends in the basement and forces them to play made up games at knife point."

"I didn't do that, " James argued. "You guys always exaggerate! I just want to play a game. Don't you guys like playing games? What else would you be doing? Sucking your dick, " he asked Bootsy.

"Don't got one anymore!"

"And you, " James said to Mike.

"Let's just fuckin' play this Rummy game."

"Fine, " James acquiesced. He cracked open the box, which unfolded like a book. Inside the left cover was a picture of Robert Louis Stevenson, and the text explained how the writer had never been healthy, had gotten his start by writing Treasure Island, and then that he wrote The Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide. The other side of the box held a manual and two sets of cards. James started reading the manual. "Welcome to the world of Mystery Rummy games. This is the third game in the series. It goes on to explain the basic goal, which is to score one hundred points. You score points by melds of Evidence cards, and playing Gavel cards that have points."

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