Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How Johnny Moonlight ended his life

I am going to explain to you the forfeit rule of three-sided chess. This is if you have two players on a three sided board. Set up the pieces as if for three players. If only two are playing, then either one of the players could move a piece from the impartial or playerless side when it is their turn, provided that that player forfeits or sacrifices one of his own pieces.

I open my eyes. It's three a.m. and I am Johnny Moonlight again, waking up to a conversation about my own death. Someone says, "There'll be no surprises if it's an overdose." "But the cops...?" a second person asks. "That's why it has to happen in Treasure Creek or thereabouts," says the first person. "My cousin Dale runs the mill and he goes fishing with the county sherriff every other Saturday." I want to laugh about the "cousin Dale" bit, but I don't dare. I've just remembered that we really are on our way to a place called Treasure Creek.

I close my eyes. It's a game. One move gets Johnny Moonlight out of the tourbus and into a damp forest clearing. He doesn't remember running the distance, but I move a rook and he's off the grid. Storywoman sacrifices a castle and Johnny Moonlight has no ground to lay down on. I slide a queen forward and a messy attic-like room begins to shape around him. It fades. Something tries to draw Johnny Moonlight back towards the road to Treasure Creek. Back towards that death that never happened. Storywoman moves a pawn. A theatre poster on a wall reads, "Who killed Johnny Moonlight?" The death becomes a story, played out on a stage. Beyond the applause, we hear ghostly cries of rage and anger. We clink our wine glasses. Our killers lost their quarry to a story.

I open my eyes. Blackness. But there are voices in the darkness of my skull. "There is no such thing as death," says Johnny Moonlight. "I read somewhere that you died," says Reenie. "On the internet or in a magazine." "I'm sitting here talking to you," Johnny Moonlight replies. "Does that look like death to you?"

I close my eyes... To continue, click here

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