Daily Prompt: The Perfect Game
You’re set to play poker (or Scrabble or something else . . .) with a group of four. Write a story set during this game. Or, describe the ideal match: the players, the relationships — and the hidden rivalries.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us COMPETITION.
“She’s done it again,” Anne hissed to Mandy. They exchanged eyebrows as Steffy blissfully arranged her letters in the lower left hand corner of the scrabble board, nowhere near the game in play, so she could use a red triple word square.
“That’s not allowed!” Zoe shut her scrabble dictionary with a snap. “Not allowed. You have to connect your word to the others.” Although Zoe wagged her head and pursed her lips to prove her point, Steffy continued taking fresh letters out of the bag, a tremulous smile tugging gently at the corners of her mouth.
“She’ll still lose,” Mandy whispered to Zoe. “Don’t make a fuss.”
“Hmmf.” But Zoe went ahead with her multiple letter, high-scoring coup. “All the same. There are rules.”
“I’m thinking,” said Steffy.
“The sky will fall,” hissed Zoe.
“I’m thinking of having Botox.”
Mandy stopped mid-turn, her hand poised gannet-beaked above the board. “BoTOX,” she repeated, “The ‘tox’ stands for ‘toxic’. That’s poison to you and me.”
“There’s a woman across the road, three doors down, who does it,” Steffy continued, humming contentedly as she added more letters to her private game in the corner.
“It’s Mandy’s turn,” said Zoe loudly. But Mandy was spellbound, listening to Steffy.
“She does fillers and ‘peels’ too. What’s a peel?”
“They take off your old skin. I think it’s painful.” Mandy’s gannet plummeted. A neat a three-letter splat just where Anne was planning to go.
“Aw,” said Anne. “Bummer.”
“Stephanie, I’m not giving you a score until it’s your turn. And then only if you join your word to the others.”
“Why, Steffy?” Steffy patted Mandy’s beaked hand with her own freckled claw.
“Jeff says I’m not the woman he married. I want to change that.”
“Of course you’re not. That was ten years ago. AND he’s sixteen years younger than us.”
“You lucky devil” added Anne.
“I warned you at the time” said Zoe.
“It costs,” said Mandy. “And it doesn’t last. You need to keep doing it every three months.”
“Steffy’s got the money. Come to that, we’ve all got the money.” Mandy topped up their iced tea.
“Wealthy Widow Women.” Anne took every opportunity to remind them of her own special name for their gang, even though it had only been vaguely funny in the first place, and Steffy wasn’t and hadn’t been a widow for the last ten years.
“It’s your turn, Anne.” Zoe sipped her tea like it was poison. “This is warm, Mandy. Cold things must be cold. Put mine back in the fridge.” It was Mandy’s apartment, so she didn’t mind, but Zoe would have acted the same at her own place round the corner. They just did her bidding. It was easier. Except for Steffy, of course.
Anne added an ‘s’ to Zoe’s word, which led to an argument about the score.
“B…O…T…O…X…” Steffy placed her letters over another triple word square.
“That’s a proper noun! And a trade name! You can’t do that.” Zoe swept the letters off the board.
“This is meant to be a friendly game” protested Anne, “So we don’t need rules.”
“Don’t need rules? Don’t need rules?”
“Tell you what,” said Mandy, tipping the board so that all the letters slid into a heap, “What d’you say we take a little walk across the road to the Botox lady and find out a bit more?”
Steffy opened her purse and took out her lipstick, and Anne grabbed her walker.
“I’m game!” she said.
Only Zoe frowned her disapproval. “Perfect,” she said, “Just perfect.” But she was gathering up her things all the same.