The wooden crown between her thumb and index finger, she moves her Queen to D4. ‘Check,’ she adds casually and he realises any countermove is pointless. Dumbfounded, he stares at the board; she stares at his staring. Fifty-two seconds pass, the clock ticking relentlessly or maybe his heart beating. Then suddenly, in one rash gesture, she rises and knocks over their table. This is what naked feels like, he thinks he thinks as he hears how the pieces roll across the floor, right until she kisses him. In between gasps he catches himself thinking of nothing.


This piece of flash fiction first appeared in ‘Records, Rivers and Rats’ by Earlyworks Press.