The Annoyance Gambit

Gazing hard, his attention like a laser beam Max was oblivious to the incessant drumming of Todd’s fingernails on the glass tabletop. Something wasn’t quite right. Then again, it was not unusual that something would not be quite right. It was the nature of things in these situations.

Todd grew weary and somewhat annoyed. “You know you want her. Can’t you just feel what it would be like?”

“Indeed I can Todd.”

“Well then, what are you waiting for?”

Max tore his eyes away from the prize and levelled them at Todd. “Well now, if you really want me to move on her don’t you think goading me is going to make me think twice?”

Todd shrugged, his demeanour the epitome of nonchalance. He cast his eyes about the room as though looking for something that might or might not be there. He began to whistle a tune under his breath that Max was certain was intended to convey something but he couldn’t put his finger on it.

“You know Todd, you really can be a bit of a dick at times. Why don’t you just come right out and say it?”

“Say what?”

“Exactly. It won’t work. More to the point it’s not working. Do keep it up, won’t you?”

Todd let out a long dramatic sigh. “Audentes Fortuna Juvat, bro.”

“Yeah? What’s that in English?”

Todd waved a flourish in the air. “Fortune favours the brave.”

“Ah, I see. So I should go for it without a second thought, is that it?”

“Well…it’s equally true that if you fail to plan you plan to fail.”

Max leaned across the table pretending he wasn’t still eyeballing her. “See, that’s what I mean. You always send mixed signals. It’s just a mind fuck is what. Don’t think I’m not on to you.”

“Suit yourself my friend. You could take a different course of action…and wonder how it would have been.”

“You know what? I’m going to give it some more thought, what do you think about that?”

“I think that was a forgone conclusion. Take you time my friend, but be aware that time may take you.”

Max leaned back and contemplated his options, his eyes never leaving what he so wanted. He could feel Todd’s smirk and he did his best to let it slide off of him. In the grand scheme of things did it really matter?

Todd contented himself with more drumming on the glass. Never give a sucker and even break. He leaned his head over and followed Max’s sightline. It got the desired result.

“Okay smart ass. I know what I’m going to do. She’s mine, sucker, just watch and see.”

He reached out, hesitated, pulled back, Todd laughing all the while. He took a deep breath and moved his Knight two squares up and one over, knocking over Todd’s Queen.

Todd casually moved his bishop three squares. “Checkmate, sucker.”


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