Checkmate

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The pieces glide silently across the polished board, untouched yet precise: a complex dance unfolding in response to the players’ commands. The statues exit the checkered field one by one as the battle rages.

Unclad and uncarved, but instead transformed through ancient sorcery applied to willing subjects, eagerly trading supple flesh for stone unyielding. The fortunate few abandon autonomy to embrace eternity in marble and onyx, the highest and most coveted honor to which tens of thousands aspire.

Few remain among the squares as the conflict reaches its end. The thirty-two have fulfilled their function as the victor smiles.

Checkmate.

Copyright 2023 Olivia Quinn

Photo by Heidi Walley on Unsplash


Story notes

This is a drabble: a story with exactly one hundred words. Writing drabbles is a fun challenge. Every word needs to earn its keep. Nothing extraneous may remain.

As for the story itself, the concept of people transformed into chess pieces is a longstanding obsession of mine. This is just a glimpse of an expansive fantasy world in my mind. To explore it would require many thousands of words, possibly an entire novel. Perhaps one day, I’ll dive in and tell the tale.


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Olivia Zoe Quinn lives in Ohio with her dog and two cats, who mostly get along. She is pursuing her BA in Creative Writing while working part-time in a lingerie shop. She may be found after hours standing motionless among the mannequins. Olivia is the Editor-in-Chief of Stone Cold Stories and an Associate Editor at Rock Hard Press and GAZMYK Magazine. Olivia is the author of the upcoming sci-fi erotica novel, StoneSport Chronicles: Volume 1, due out in the fall of 2024.

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