Once upon a time, when thinking ahead was considered a thoughtful idea, three friends, Charlie, Daniel and Michael were playing a card game in the Greenvale School’s library. They were discussing the chess tournament that had just been announced via several well-positioned posters in their school. Although only Charlie had a genuine chance of winning the tournament, all three would enter the competition in support of him and to make sure they kept him on track for the next three weeks. Plus, there was always the enjoyment in taking a break from cards and taking chess seriously for a few weeks to try and beat one of the boys’ current arch nemesis, Jacob Conroy.
Jacob didn’t know he was the arch nemesis of the boys. They had just decided that, since they were always losing the school-based “intelligence” competitions to him, he was a force to be reckoned with. Charlie, Daniel and Michael had been friends since they discovered they lived on the same street when they first started school and they took pride in being amongst the more intelligent of the Greenvale school student community. Jacob Conroy threatened that illusion, so the boys made it their mission to prove to themselves and to the school that they were as smart as they thought they were.
“You know that you’re going to be famous, right?” Daniel said to Charlie as he placed an ace of hearts on top of Charlie’s three of clubs. “Like, they’ll put you on the cover of Chess Monthly standing like this.” Daniel stood up and pretended to kiss an imaginary trophy. Charlie shook his head and chuckled while assessing the cards in his hand.
“Look, I want to win this more than anyone,” replied Charlie, “But, Jacob’s got his father on his side. And It’s not that I don’t appreciate you guys helping me out, but you’re not exactly World Champion Chess players now, are you?” He picked up the cards in the middle of the table and added them to his hand, unable to beat Daniel’s ace.
“Oh, now that’s not fair!” Daniel said, pouting his lips to express how grumpy he was. “I can beat level one on my Dad’s com…” Daniel cut himself off and stared wide-eyed at his friends.
Michael laughed a little and said, “Well, what is it, man? Spit it out.”
“I know how you’re going to win!” Daniel announced excitedly. He then jumped up out of his chair again before performing an extremely premature celebratory dance and repeating “We’re gonna be the smartest! We’re gonna be the smartest!” The boys asked him to quit it and sit back down.
Daniel begrudgingly agreed. “Let’s just meet at my place after school and I’ll talk you through everything once we’re there.”
Charlie and Michael knocked on Daniel’s front door at 3:34pm and Daniel opened it up slowly as if they were spies, telling them to come in as, “the coast was clear.” What he meant was that his parents were in the study and the boys had the living room to themselves. Daniel lead them into the room and eagerly pointed to the object on the coffee table in the middle of the room. Charlie curiously looked at the small, electronic device. “Pretty neat, right?” Daniel asked excitedly.
“You’re looking for ‘Yes’?” Michael replied. “Except we don’t know what it is, numbnuts. Shaking his head in frustration, Daniel picked the device up from the table and showed it to his friends. Charlie and Michael stared at their friend.
Daniel smiled. “This is how we’re going to beat Jacob Conroy.”
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…
This tale has some connections to Tale #5 – The Tale of Two Runners. Click here to go deeper!
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