Cryptic Fiction

Welcome to Cryptic Fiction, a place where the unexpected becomes the expected. Here you will discover limitless imagination, with a dash of darkness to spice things up. Break boundaries, explore the extreme, and journey to the other side. Step out of the day and smile at the night. Don't worry, the night will smile back. It's been waiting for you your entire life...

The Last Game

My victory was assured, and to highlight this confidence I slid the rook across the board, taking my ominous opponents bishop.

“So,” I said, sporting a wide toothy grin. “How many souls do you claim on an average day?”

My hooded friend’s concentration was fixed on the board. Yet his voice was crisp, like the deep baritone of an operatic virtuoso. “No less than some hundred-thousand souls.”

“You don’t say?” I replied. I was genuinely surprised as I continued. “Old boy, I would think that to be an impossible amount of work for one individual.”

Another move, another of my opponent’s pieces out of the game. My plays were masterful, simply magnificent!

“The soul knows where to go,” he responded without a trace of emotion. “It is rare that I must personally intercede. And even that is at my discretion. It is my responsibility to make certain that once a soul is in my custody that it arrives at its ultimate destination.”

“I see,” said I, “Then tell me, if you would, why did you come to claim me personally?”

“Because,” said the reaper, “I like to play a game of chess every now and then. You seemed quite sure of yourself, and I do so like a challenge. By the way, queen to g-eight, checkmate!”

The bony fingers of the reaper tipped over my king and in an instant, we were walking through the shadowy underworld toward my ultimate destination. I looked back to see my lifeless face smashed against the chessboard. One of the remaining pieces had pierced the gelatinous mass which was once my right eye, while my left eye bulged in my now vacant skull in shock and terror.

“Oh well,” I said to my companion. “It was a good game...”