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"Games night" by Bonnie Meekums

I laid it out very carefully this time. I didn’t want to lose any pieces, just in case everyone turned up. Last time, there was only me and Benny, and Benny started eating the board. Before he could devour the fungus or goose, I snatched them from him. I told him he was welcome to the stone, knowing he wouldn’t want it.

‘I can’t abide stones in my tummy,’ he said, slinking off with a corner of the board and a pair of trousers. I’m pretty sure I saw some crumbs fall out of the pocket as he threw them over his shoulder, eating a whole sponge cake I’d inadvertently left on the side.

Anyway, Benny didn’t turn up. This time it was Georgette and her pal Maisy. I’d never met Maisy and she got a bit uppity when she didn’t understand the rules I’d carefully typed out in font size 6. I can’t be responsible for other people’s myopia so I told her she’d get the hang of it eventually. I lied. It’s a bloody impossible game if you play it right.

I pounced on the goose because I knew, being pescatarian, I wouldn’t eat it, and besides, it’s frisky and needs a firm hand, but it can run around the board. Admittedly it tends to knock into the other pieces, squash the fungus, trip over the stone – and the poor fireflies don’t stand a chance. But all’s fair in love and games.

I threw a six straight away.

A word from the author: I am based in Greater Manchester, where I write all sorts of things from shopping lists and emails to textbooks through novels and memoirs. But I absolutely love the flash form. It helps me feel contained, having a small space to play in. This quirky piece was originally drafted in a hermit crab flash fiction workshop run by Jude Higgins (@judewriter), to whom I am eternally grateful.


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