Furious Fiction – June 2020

The brief of the AWC Furious Fiction—June 2020 short story competition was as follows:

  • Your story’s first and last words must begin with J.
  • Your story must include a game being played.
  • Your story must include the phrase MISS/MISSED THE BOAT.


Mind Games

Just as I started to feel better about myself and transformation, my anxiety came to the table and wanted to play the game again.

This never-ending game of Chess between me: my self-love, worth and constantly evolving “new self” versus my anxiety: my constantly left-behind “old self” (OS).

This time, the game between us would be about my choice to try online dating again.

My OS would always choose black, perfectly representing itself – it was dark, put itself last and always liked to drag itself out.

Usually, our games would drag out, but I wasn’t interested today, I was sure of my decision.

My first move would be pawn to e4 and telling my OS, “This would be good for us, we can meet new people, maybe even a boyfriend.”

Predictably, my OS would move her pawn to e5, “we’ve tried online dating many times before and nothing has ever worked out, what makes you think trying, yet again, is going to be any different?”

“Because we’re older, wiser, more confident and our expectations are a bit more realistic now.” I responded, while moving my king-side bishop to c4.

“But we’re 30 now, everyone we went to school with is already married or engaged with a kid or two. I think it’s safe to say we’ve missed the boat.” My OS condescendingly stated, moving her queen-side knight to c6…big mistake.

“I don’t think so, many people find love later in life, maybe we’re just one of those people.” I said, not giving my OS the satisfaction of getting angry, while moving my queen to h5.

“I don’t think we are.” She simply stated, while moving her pawn one step forward, away from her queen, I don’t think she noticed my own queen moving in for the attack.

“Well, there’s only one way to find out, by trying!” I asserted, moving my queen diagonally to f7.

“Checkmate! I’m doing this.”

I got up and walked away from the table, happy with my victory, but I know my OS will come back to play, just like she always does with every aspect of my life. But for now, I’ll happily leave her sitting in her own joylessness, while I embark on my new journey.


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