Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Pawn

Written listening to Debussy's L'Isle Joyeuse.

Molly cradled the chess piece in her hand as if it were a newborn baby. She couldn't remember the last time she played. She wasn't actually playing now. There was no board and no other crafted wooden soldiers. She imagined how the little pawn might have survived the gridded war without promotion and without a king. Then her pawn became a serf drafted into some archaic kingdom's ancient war for causes now forgotten. How had he survived? Had it been by cowardice or bravery. Molly was nothing if not romantic so of course the little man had fought bravely; a mouse against a lion. His king was saved, but where was his king? Where was his world?

Thinking she might actually play a game, Molly surveyed the room considering where the board might be. The room was darker than she realized. The sun had been setting as she was sitting lost in wonder. The gray atmosphere of the room was gloomy and sterile. The only misplaced items in the room were the chess piece and herself. The room was hers at one time in a life that now felt like a dream. The paint was different, the posters and shelves had been taken off the walls. The bed had been promoted some time ago to a queen. But there were still ghostly after images in the things that could not be so easily changed; the shape of the room, the positions of the two windows that looked out on a darkening backyard landscape that had once been her childhood universe, and the taste of the air itself. It had the musty smell of the old house that it was, but there was something else to it. Some ineffable fragrance that had always existed here. It was the only thing in the room now that warmed her heart. She felt as lonely as the pawn. Her kingdom too had fallen.


No comments:

Post a Comment