Checkmate
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“And that about does it!” Alfred gloated, gleefully. “I exterminate half of America and Europe by faulty vaccinations! Checkmate!”

Peter laughed, rolled his eyes. “Old fool. Your memory is definitely going along with your age. Don’t recall, Alfred boy? That you’ve won four years ago and have been implementing that very vaccine alternative? How about trying to be more inventive this time, old chap. You ARE Skull and Bones, after all…”

Almost ancient Skull and Bones members or not, Alfred—obviously dubious to the fact—was and probably had been forth going the beginning stages of fading memory loss. Not quite dementia, but soon enough, perhaps. The once sharp minded (and most members were) had even forgotten to ask Pete if he’d cared for tea during their catastrophic game of chess. And Alfred never forgets. But he HAD just turned ninety-three two months back. Pete was NOT going to remind him—NOT of that—he’d had more new-age minded plans for their family’s future. Humanities’ future. Better late than never, he had started to believe in. Even at ninety years of age. This sudden new realization began digging its claws into his soul two months ago when one of the last original members of eight kicked the bucket of pneumonia at a ripe eighty-seven with family by his bedside. Another feisty strong willed member—there are no women allowed in the shadowy group—of the original 1937 Yale secret alumni, he’d had a good run with the group, but it started to make Peter wonder just what legacy he’d left his own family with, OTHER than with the group. Which wasn’t much. They all spoke and attributed to the outside world as one-unit with any means necessary to birth their dreams of world domination AS one. A one-world government, then, hopefully, a one Orwellian-world then controlled and owned by them with a few million people left as their good-doers for the secret faction. Sound a bit clown-crazy? It was—at least now to Peter. For hundreds of years, this anti-constitution group planned and done whatever they could to capture that one final plan . . . and always failed. Something always divinely-good got in the way—and this time, it was Peter’s conscious, as he started wondering about the future of the world for his own bloodline. It had OUGHT to be better.

“Four years ago, you say?” Alfred sat back, laced his fingers together over his chest in deep tiring thought. “Well, it has been a good while since our last meet here in Switzerland; I can hardly recall what the last chess game resulted in accomplishing—”

“—Nothing much, Alfred, I assure you,” Peter grunted, impatiently. “You had won four out of six games and decided on the vaccine genocide and there are still more than a billion people sniffing around on the planet.” He slowly leaned forward, stared at Alfred. “NOTHING has worked, old boy. NOTHING! Nothing since this so called secret fraternity of successful and knowledgeable men had started this brain-sick dream of one world ruled by a mere influential few rich families. The plan since its birth has always been railroaded by divine circumstances, Alfred. There are now only TWO of these secret societies’ members left on the planet! ME, and you, old boy. And indeed, we ARE old. Don’t you want a brighter and safer and a lot more successful future for your OWN family? The world they can call their own, without all the wars and strife that’s going on? STILL going on, after all this time, because of us?” He slowly sat back, reflected, then said, “When I start thinking about the world my grandchildren might have to live in, and all the bloody perils of that every day, it makes me wish I was never a part of this, Alfred. Makes me wish I was never even BORN. All of our members were born and grew up in all of this lunacy, caused by the failures of our past members’idiotic dreams of the future. We have to face a brighter future, Alfred! WE are NOT going to win! We’re almost worm food; that’s our future, and we should start accepting that. There hasn’t been a new Skull and Bones member sworn in since the Regan administration. And he jumped off the San Francisco Bridge amidst a traffic jam!”

Slowly nodding, taking it all in, Alfred let out a deep sigh. After a couple of minutes, his hands began to shake. “You know, Pete,” he breathed. “I can’t even remember my kids’ names let alone my grandchildren’s anymore? No matter how many times I’m reminded, I just can’t. And yes, Peter. I DO want a brighter future for them…” he swallowed hard as a tear-bead rolled under his thick glasses and down his thin bony cheek. Peter watched, unmoved, hoping Alfred would sink into his new dream of the world’s future—for their OWN families’ sake, and maybe even help him implementing it in a heartbeat.

“Peter,” he finally sighed. “You’ve always been a good friend to me; to us all. You’re a really solid old chap; just want you to know that. And, please…let our grandchildren play and grow up together.” Before Peter could reply to the odd last statement, Alfred hauled something out of his pants pocket and held out his fist palm down.

“Would you like one?”

“No,” Peter shook his head. “I was never much one for candy or breath mints, chap; I’m more of a—” and before he could finish, Alfred leaned his head back and popped the contents in his fist into his mouth.

“…A Mentos fellow, myself,” Peter finished. Peter waved him away with the hand he now comfortably rested on his lap.

“Close your eyes a minute, old chap,” Alfred told him. Peter did. After less than a minute, a sudden gargling erupted in the inaudible room and he couldn’t help himself any longer. He opened his eyes. Confusion disappeared as he laid eyes on Alfred, whose eyes were still open but frozen, looking up. His open twisted mouth spewing white foam down his cheek, slathering the chest and shoulder of his five thousand dollars three piece Armani suit.

Cyanide…Peter thought and nodded, realizing what had just suddenly taken place. Slowly, he got up, buttoned his gray blazer and gave his long time friend a respectful farewell nod.

“Checkmate, old boy,” he whispered a sigh, left the room.




One Response so far.

  1. amartin says:

    If you like this story, check out After Midnight by A.Martin. A five-star Amazon rated collection of over 50+short stories!

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