Life’s A Game

Author’s note: This week’s story is inspired by a prompt from the great people at WriteAnything. Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcome.


I’m driving to the toy store thinking. Thinking about Carol. Thinking I’m going to leave her because all we ever do is fight. She accuses me of not listening and she’s right, I don’t. I’m just so sick of the constant nagging and whining. If you believed half of what she says you’d hate me but I think I’m an OK guy. Nothing special, but I have friends and they at least think I’m OK. Anyway, I think I’m going to leave her after my little cousin’s birthday.

I’m looking at the shelves and wishing my Aunt hadn’t picked board games as a theme for the party because I really want to get my cousin a remote controlled car. I pick up Monopoly and put it back down. I mean it’s a classic, but does anyone really like that game. I grab Risk and put it back too. It’s a great game, but it takes forever to play. One game and you hardly ever pull it off the shelf again. Life. Now that’s a good game. Spin the wheel and see where you land. Some times you get lucky. Out of all the games here, this is probably the most real.

I toss the package into the back of the wagon and head off to the party. I probably should have brought some wrapping paper but fortunately for me, Carol’s thought of everything. I’m sure I’ll hear all about how right she was to save the gift bags after I was just going to throw them away and how she knew she better put one in the car because obviously, I would forget to ask for free gift wrapping. I guess she does have a point there. I go to put the Game of Life in the gift bag and notice a small piece of paper with her handwriting. It says “sorry”.

Now I don’t know, maybe it is me. Maybe she does still love me. Maybe we can make this work. I head inside and join the party. I smile at Carol as she takes the gift bag from me and she smiles back. I had forgotten how beautiful she is when she smiles. I watch as her face morphs from smile into the fixed corners and crumpled brow that I’ve come to loathe. She slams the bag hard into my chest.

“What?” I ask.

“You always screw things up. Claire is getting him Life,” she says and fixes me with a stare.

“Well, how the hell should I know?”

“I left you a note in the bag. You were supposed to get him Sorry.”

22 thoughts on “Life’s A Game

  1. Love the communication between these two — not! But I love this guy’s voice, the tender bit in him that hoped, just so hoped that he had a chance with Carol. Peace, Linda

  2. Let me guess Chris, the next scene is: Lead pipe, in the drawing room?

    Oh wait, that’s another game. Lots of tension in this short tale – good job!
    (and thank goodness that someone else doesn’t like Monopoly!)

  3. Laughed at the end. But shouldn’t because it’s sad.

    You certainly played a very good game with that prompt, eh. Ahem. Sorry.

    Also, the comments by David and Skycycler cracked me up!

    I always won with Col. Mustard in the conservatory with the rope.

  4. I happen to like ‘Monopoly’ and I remember the one time I played ‘The Game of Life’ I ended up with seven kids and couldn’t fit them all in the tiny plastic car.

    My favourite parts are – where he says he’s OK and his mates think he’s OK (so he’s obviously an OK guy then!) and the way you whip it 180 degress and insert ‘hope’ into the picture, and then give us whip lash, whipping us back to the start and the harpie scream.

    Very nice twist!

  5. As always a wonderful journey – though I am like a cat on a tin roof – expecting a monster or psycho to rush out and decapitate something at anytime with your stories…I have to agree with Jodi – Game of Life sucks the big one. Monopoly however, is an institution in my family and played numerous times over the holiday breaks.

    He should leave her – what an ungrateful witch she is.

    Vistors can see my entry at

  6. Ouch! Can’t win for tryin’

    Nicely done with this. You get the reader’s hopes up, along with the main character’s, and then let them down with a thump. Yeah, these two no longer know how to communicate – best separate before blood gets spilled.

    Well done.

  7. Heh – I feel the same way about all those games. Perhaps he should have bought a Magic 8-ball and used that to answer a few of his questions.
    Nicely worked in with the “Sorry” too – didn’t even see it coming.

  8. He should have just went ahead and got the remote controlled car. The kid probably would have liked it better anyway. And it sounds like his wife wouldn’t be happy with anything he did. Good story.

  9. GREAT story! very ingenuitive with the game titles and never saw the twist coming. it was a spot on description of a flailing relationship… the mental cycle of “it’s over,””maybe it’s not over,” was so relatable. well done!

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