Prompt: The central theme is games of childhood… the game must be heart of the story, not just a reference. My story is based on my high school friends’ SNG group.
Word Count: 1,000 words
Deadline: Wednesday, 21 September 2011 – 9 PM EST
ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT
By Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
Megan picks tiles from her rack, placing them on the board… d-o-b… a second ‘b’ already on the board in the word ‘base’… i-n. She looks around the table, smiling.
“Dobbin? Isn’t that ‘what’s his name’ in Lord of The Rings’?” Sarah’s voice holds some doubt. “We can’t use proper names, remember?”
“I thought those were ‘hobbits’?” Sean, the newcomer to our Saturday evening Scrabble party, speaks up.
“Oh… yeah… maybe so.” Sarah looks to me… I glance over at Megan. One of our steadfast rules is that when a word is challenged, the person playing the word is given the opportunity to clarify… we don’t jump right to a dictionary.
Saturday Night Games is a very tight-knit group. We have known each other for years… been through all the drama of middle school, and now… high school. There were six of us… Anne, Megan, Sarah, Bobby, Emily, and myself. A few weeks ago, Anne and her family moved out to California… leaving us one short until Emily convinced her cousin Sean to join us.
Maybe it was only my imagination, but I thought I got a little vibe off Sean when Emily introduced us. We had been exchanging little smiles and nods at school the last two weeks… both of us too shy to speak up. This could be interesting.
This week’s game is Scrabble. We are gathered in the downstairs family room at my house. Everyone loves when I host game night, because Mama always makes the most wonderful snacks… no frozen pizzas or microwave popcorn in my Mama’s kitchen! Haha!
The six of us are seated in over-stuffed dining chairs around Mama’s ‘pride and joy’… an eight-foot round oak pedestal dining table… circa, mid 1800’s.
“A dobbin is an eighteenth-century drinking vessel.” Megan speaks up.
“And you know this how… Miss ‘I hate history’?!” Bobby teases, earning him a friendly little punch on the arm from Megan. Bobby pretends shock that his own girlfriend would do such a thing to him. We all laugh.
“Okay, you know the rules… you have to tell a story using your word.” I tell Megan. Our Scrabble games tend to be a bit more drawn out, but they are so much more fun than just adding up points on the tiles.
Megan sits up, clearing her throat and looking around the room.
“Last summer, I spent a month with Auntie Celeste in London. She took me to a Renaissance fair up in Yorkshire. We got all dressed up in period clothing and had dinner with some of the actors… it was so cool! Just like in a movie! I even got to try some mead… they served it in these big…” … Megan gestures with her hands, cupping her fingers as if holding a big glass… “flask-like things, only they are made of leather. The mead was very yummy, but it made me really sleepy afterwards. Auntie Celeste said we ‘probably ought not tell your mother’. I found out later that it was alcohol… like, way more than beer!” Megan’s eyes got really big as she leaned over the table, saying this last in a conspiratorial whisper.
“Anyway, that is what they called the flasks… a dobbin.”
Everybody laughs at Megan’s story… it is very good! That is why we love our version of Scrabble so much!
It is my turn next. I pick four tiles from my rack and begin placing them on the board, directly below Emily’s word… ‘base’.
“B-a-l-l. Baseball!” I look over and flash a big smile at Emily… she grins back.
“Tell your story about when you met Sammy Sosa… the year he made MVP!” Emily suggests. “I like that story!” I smile at my best friend… I am a huge Cubs fan and have autographs of the 1998 team!
“Oh, you have all heard that one before. No, I think I want to go back a little further… fourth grade. You remember fourth grade, Bobby?”
“Aimée! No!” He says in mock terror. Everyone laughs… they all know this story… except for Sean. I sit up to the table… everyone leans forward in anticipation.
“It was middle of May… school was winding down for the summer. I had had this huge crush on Bobby all year, but he ignored me the whole time.” A mock pout… Bobby’s face turns red… laughter floats around the table.
“Summer was almost upon us! One afternoon at lunch period… I walk by the table where Bobby is having lunch with his friends…I reach over and grab Bobby’s baseball glove. Then… I run like crazy… Bobby is in hot pursuit! Ha! Got your attention now, don’t I?
I dash out of the cafeteria… down the hall… footsteps pounding behind me… girls’ restrooms just ahead… forearm out… through the door… it swings closed behind me…”
“And?” A chorus of voices around the table.
“Crash! Bobby meets bathroom door!” Bobby finishes the story and smiles over at me. I smile back.
“Seven stitches… just above his right eye. I am so sorry about the scar, Bobby!” He waves dismissively and looks around the table.
“We have been best friends since.”
The game ends around nine and people start heading out… except for Sean. Mama walks in to the living room.
“Mama, I’m going to walk Sean home, okay?”
“That’s fine, honey. It was nice meeting you, Sean.”
The two of us walk in silence… my heart is pounding in my chest the whole time. Soon, we are standing on the walk in front of Sean’s house. There is a full moon.
“I had a really nice time, Aimée. Thank you…”
Sean stops as I lean in… closer… hesitation… our lips meet.
That first kiss lasts only a few seconds…
“I have wanted to do that from the very first moment I met you, Sean.”
“Me too!” she replies. We look into each other’s eyes… mouths draw close again.
Two girls… two hearts…
It is going to be a very interesting summer!