Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Flight Square"

This is the freebie for the March [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam, inspired by [personal profile] shiori_makiba.

"Flight Square"

Rudolph was fairly sure that
his father Donner never meant
to be abusive, and that the other fawns
didn't mean to be bullies, but their actions
still matched that list of stuff to watch out
for, like if you were hitched to the sleigh
and heard people yelling or saw the daddy
throw the Christmas tree across the room.

So Rudolph started avoiding them.
He knew how; he'd had lessons in hiding
from the Abominable Snow Monster.

Rudolph had long since lost interest
in the Reindeer Games, as much because
he wasn't good at them and they made
his body ache for days as because
nobody wanted to play with him.

But there were other kinds of games,
the kind that went into Santa's sack
for the good little boys and girls.

Rudolph had seen those too,
flat boards that folded out and
pieces the moved around on top.

There were rules for them, but
he couldn't read those, so he had
to make up his own from whatever
he could overhear of things that
the older reindeer had seen.

Then Rudolph met Hermey,
who was an elf but not a toymaker,
as much an outcast as Rudolph
with his very shiny nose.

Rudolph could fly quite well,
so they ran away together, and
after a few adventures they found
the Island of Misfit Toys.

Rudolph didn't care about
the strange place or all of
the funny-looking toys.

He only cared that King Moonracer
had that game with the board made
of black-and-white squares and
the pieces that lined up in rows.

"Do you play chess?"
asked King Moonracer.

"I've always wanted to,"
Rudolph said, "but I don't
know how it's played, so I
had to make up my own rules."

The winged lion gave his booming laugh.
"My dear fellow, this is the Island of Misfit Toys,"
he said. "Here we have Fairy Chess, and
that is precisely how it is played."

"I want to learn too," said Hermey.

"I want to stay here forever," said Rudolph.

So they did.

* * *


flight square
A square to which a piece can move, which allows it to escape attack. Also called escape square. See also luft.
-- Glossary of Chess

Read about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Know how to identify abuse and bullying.

Fairy Chess relies on making new pieces and movements. Some people also use this term for all modifications of chess even if they're keeping the standard pieces/movements and only changing other parts of the rules -- like Warp Chess where pieces can travel off one edge of the board and onto another -- but those are more often called variations.
Tags: creative jam, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, holiday, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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