February 13, 2004
Chess Master had a lot of free time on his hands, since he did not work. He listened to the news on TV, radio, or internet, and had been working on a hand craved chess set for a number of years. He could not part with the chess set, any longer, and no one seemed to want to buy it.
The dark brown wooden pieces started out as traditional, but soon took on a life of their own. They would morph into animals and speak to him, keeping him company in his dreary hours of solitude.
One Tower, in particular took on the shape of a brown bear and gave him advice and counsel. He named the piece Little Bear. Little Bear told him as the various news events unfolded, he would become famous and important.
There was an exhibit in New York’s Central Park called The Gates. Miles of orange fabric hanging from orange gates were important to Little Bear. Little Bear became obsessed with the idea, that Chess Master should fly to Central Park, and walk the length of the gates and wait for something important to occur.
Little Bear nagged him, about the idea, he must go soon, or it would be too late. However, some of the other pieces advised him to just stay home and forget it. He spend days considering his options, but Little Bear’s argument soon dominated the other pieces on the broad.
Thrusting Little Bear in the pocket of his coat, and packing one small suitcase, he took Bart to SFO. Buying a one way ticket to New York, he was soon at the security check point.
The x-ray scan showed something organic, and oddly shaped in his suitcase. Security opened his suitcase and found a parboiled octopus. This in itself was not a crime, but no perishable foods were allowed without being declared, and the octopus was dripping all over his clothes. It was a vile disguising thing, and he had no idea how it got inside his suitcase. But, he was no longer surprised by its presences. He told security he would be happy to abandon the suitcase, but they removed the foul creature, and sent him on his way. When he reached JFK, he did not bother to even claim his suitcase, since he no longer wanted it, or the ruined clothes, inside.
He caught a cab straight to Central Park and began to walk the miles of orange gates. Suddenly it began to rain. The storm grew worse, but Little Bear encouraged him. He must not give up, Little Bear said, from inside his pocket. He was about to become famous and important.
When he reached the final gate, he stood and waited for something to happen. He was stuck by lighting and rendered unconscious. When he came to, he was uninjured, but his wallet had been stolen, and it was cold, dark, and still raining.
Little Bear was still in his pocket but had ceasing speaking to him. A great depression filled his soul.
There was only one thing he to do, call his parents. So, he made his way to a pay phone and called his parents collect. They send him, a ticket back to San Francisco, which he picked up at the airport.
When he got back to his house, some of the other chess pieces were angry and shouted at him.
“See we told you not to go, and leave us alone, look what happened,” screamed a Queen.
“Maybe God was punishing you for blasphemy?” suggested the King.
“Never leave us again,” they all shouted.
Little Bear was silent, so Chess master took him out his pocket and put him back on the broad.
The next day was Valentine’s Day, and a special delivery package was left at his door, which contained, a parboiled octopus.