Short Story: Chinese Chess with Grandpa

The moment she touched it, she knew it was the wrong move. She pulled her hand back, but wrinkled fingers stopped her.

“You touched it. That means you have to move that piece,” Grandpa said.

“I changed my mind,” she said.

“You can change your move all you want in your mind, but once you touch the board, you have to follow through. That’s the rule,” he said.

With an unhappy grumble, she moved her Elephant defensively in front of her General.

Grandpa picked up his Chariot and moved it forward to capture her Horse in a move that also threatened her own Chariot. She moved her Chariot to capture his, only for his Cannon to jump over her Elephant to capture that too. She hurriedly pulled her Horse back across the river in preparation to defend her General.

Then he picked up his Horse.

Grandpa froze. She grinned. Now it was his turn to grimace.

“You can’t change your mind once you touch the board. That’s the rule,” she reminded him.

“I know. I’m just thinking about where to go. Once I choose a piece, I commit to it.”

He moved his Horse, and she happily captured his now vulnerable Cannon with her own Horse.

Phew. Crisis averted.

A few moves later, her General was cornered, and she admitted defeat.

“You’re improving,” Grandpa said as they lined their pieces up for a new game.

“I’ll be better than you one day,” she said.

“One day,” Grandpa said with a nod, “You start first.”

She considered her red pieces, thinking back to the previous games they had played together. Finally, she picked her piece.

“Are you sure?” Grandpa teased.

She straightened and imitated Granpa, “Once I choose a piece, I commit to it.”

He grinned and reached over to ruffle her hair. “Cheeky monkey. For that, I’m going to capture your General in five turns. Take that!”

Grandpa tried to seem threatening, but she had spent so many evenings losing so many games that she had no longer feared defeat. She grabbed her piece and copied him.

“Take that!”

~End~

Genre: family, slice of life

Posted on February 27, 2019, in Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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