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Climbing the Ladder September 9, 2009

Posted by P J Sabados in Uncategorized.

After breakfast, ambitious Shai Ning wished to advance himself another rung higher on his climb to being a Chess Legend.  He made a phone call, and soon his next opponent arrived.

Next Victi...er...Opponent ;)


He shook hands as he gave her his name.  The woman introduced herself as Pauline Wan.  She’s older, Shai thought to himself, a lot older than any previous opponent.  In some ways it worried him.  He reminded himself however that age does not necessarily equal expertise when it comes to chess.  She was next in the rankings; how hard could it be?

Icy Stare

However, when they sat down to play and Pauline continued to regard Shai with that same icy stare, he began to feel a bit unnerved.  She seemed to be daring him to try and beat her, and somehow, wordlessly imply that there would be consequences if he did.

The match commenced, and while Shai Ning played on, his game was a bit off.  He found her eyes constantly boring into his every time he looked at her disturbing.  He decided to make small talk every now and then to try and take his mind off those icy eyes of hers.

In the middle of the match, the front door opened, and Fah Ling came outside.  He nodded to Shai, and then wordlessly busied himself in the garden, which was badly in need of some tending.


Breaking the Stare

“Don’t worry about him,” Shai Ning said as he reached down to move one of his pieces, “that’s just one of my brothers.  My brothers and sisters will probably be in and out later, if we’re still playing.”

Pauline looked down to study the board, momentarily breaking eye contact, to the relief of Shai Ning.  “How many brothers and sisters do you have?”

“Well, there are six of us in all,” Shai Ning said casually.  “There’s me, and Fah Ling behind you.  Rai Sing is my other brother.  And then there’s my three sisters:  Bree Li’ant, Magique Elle, and Wii Shing.”

Sudden Recollection

“Wii Shing…Wii Shing Starr?” Pauline asked, her eyes suddenly seeming to soften.

“Yeah,” Shai Ning acknowledged.  “Do you know her?”

He didn’t get a response.  Now Pauline seemed distracted.  Her mind was wandering back to a prior night; a night in the park when she saw a young blonde girl meet a young man, then to a night long ago when Pauline met her own young man.  She played on, but the hard edge in her eyes and in her game was gone. 


As Pauline’s intensity waned, Shai’s became more pronounced.  Soon his own eyes hardened, and as he finally called “Checkmate!” his eyes looked as if they had stolen the iciness from Pauline’s.

Pauline, still lost in her remembrances, graciously accepted her defeat.  She soon left, still reminiscing about past love.



1. kansine - September 9, 2009

Yay, the mini chapters are here! 😀 I loved this one! Such an everyday event, but your writing makes it so interesting! And Pauline is btw beautiful 🙂

celara - September 10, 2009

It gets hard sometimes because there are so many repetetive events that it can sometimes be hard to make them interesting. I reallly enjoyed writing this one though. 🙂

2. Mannie - September 9, 2009

Awe, that’s awesome! That’s the lady from the park!

celara - September 10, 2009

It amazes me sometimes how you’ll have a chance meeting with a character one day, and in the next day or so they turn up again. It used to happen in Alice and Kev every now and then too.

I really liked the fact that Pauline was the one in the park and then happened to show as Shai’s next opponent for chess. It gave me a point to connect the two events and make the story about more than Shai gaining a higher rank.

3. Connor - October 13, 2009

The narrative of what was happening in Pauline’s head was interesting… and I liked the description of her “iciness.”

celara - October 14, 2009

I really enjoyed being able to get inside her head and see what was going on.

I haven’t had a chance to visit your site yet, but I plan to soon. The Simpass gang has given your story good reviews. 🙂

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