Chess Match

Leah Holbrook Sackett

He stared at the red bump, inflaming the fair skin on the inside of her left knee just below the blue hemline. Didn't it tickle with the swish of her skirt? Didn't it itch relentlessly; beg for relief? He could almost hear it throbbing. It was but a day old, he reckoned. It thrummed in beat with his own heart.

He imagined what it would be like to taste her skin again; to take it further and draw blood, to feast on her. She was exactly less than 42 feet away from him. A distance he was unable to traverse with the  history between them. Decades of touching and wanting and shameful silences. He was too proud to beg for her wholly. She was too contemptuous to let him fully have her, to lower herself permanently. It had been youth. She had been slumming.

Suddenly, his ambition moved out of sight, because she was moving through a sea of mock turtles, walrus, and carpenters directly to him like a Queen takes a rook.

"Can't we just stop the silent treatment and be old friends?" Alice said.

"Of course," he said as he envisaged sinking his teeth into the tender flesh, soft with age. Even she was touched by time. And it maddened him to think time would ravage what he could not.          





Leah Holbrook Sackett,

is an adjunct lecturer in the English department at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. This is also where she earned her M.F.A. She has published short stories in journals such as: Halfway Down the Stairs, The Writing Disorder, and Crack the Spine. Leah is an avid collector of Lewis Carroll literature and memorabilia, and she is a member of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Finally, Leah is from St. Louis, MO where she lives with her husband, Jonathan, and her daughter, Isabella.

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