Chess a Game of War? . . . Fiction by Denver
Chess a game of war.
August 2, 2010
Since the beginning of man, many wars have been fought. The weapons used have changed as technology improved them. Foot soldiers, archers, lancers, chariots, knights in shining armor, including castles and forts were part of war. I happen to be an infantryman, a foot soldier and expendable unit of an army at war. Nobody knows who will survive in battle. I am just a pawn.
To the victor go the spoils of war. The battle hasn’t yet begun. The armies are poised and ready to fight. I happen to be on the front line ready for battle. All is quiet and there is an empty, desolate large space between the two armies, like a no man’s land. The power and size of the armies are about equal. Of course, I am on the good guy’s side. That is the feeling I have. I suppose that the men on the opposing army feel the same way.
I say to the pawn on my right, “I’m so scared. I hope I live to see our victory. What about you, are you scared?”
“I’m so scared, I just might poo in my pants,” he says without looking at me.
There is so much tension in the air, just waiting for the beginning of the end. We don’t speak to each other very much. We just wait, keeping our thoughts to ourselves, with our weapons at ready. All of us are hoping and praying for a good outcome. We keep wondering how is it going to start. How will the first movement of troops be made? That will show the method of attack. How will the other army respond?
I’m fearful and I don’t want to be one of the first casualties. I am a foot soldier, on the front line to attack or defend. I know that if I’m killed, that is acceptable to the top brass, they don’t even know I exist. If I wasn’t here, they would have some other soldier. Sure there will be support from behind when we move up. We are told, that when help is needed, it will be sent. I don’t think they will send it. We will probably be on our own.
Oh. Oh. They have given the sound to attack. The pawn to my right moves up with speed toward the front line, to be in position to engage the enemy. I hold my position and wait for my orders. He moved into the open space and I see him stop and hold his ground. He is supposed to occupy the area and hold it. When we move up, we are to hold and contain the area. They allow no retreat to a pawn. Only forward movement for us, unless we are in hand to hand combat.
The response from the other army was subtle, but a tactical movement that could be seen. The mounted knight made a move on the far right and they responded to the far left. Another knight unit moved up very fast, passing on my left to attack from the flank and support the center force.
So much tension and fears are everyone’s mind. No comrade injured or casualties yet. More movement of the attack came from behind me. I was glad they didn’t tell me to move forward yet. I knew that when I went forward I couldn’t retreat. Going backward for me is not in my vocabulary. I’m trained to go forward, attack, contain, threaten, capture, kill, and destroy the enemy. Of course I hoped they did not kill me in turn. A flurry of movement is all around me as both armies were battling for ground and position.
Now the battle has begun and many expendable units are falling by the wayside. They haven’t ordered me to move yet. I’m wanting to move, just waiting is killing me. I want to do something to win the battle. I have confidence on my abilities.
Finally, I’m ordered to move up and support the forward units from behind. Just as I move up, take my position, I see an enemy calvary soldier take out the foot soldier on my right. I get ready and poised to strike at the proper moment. I attack the mounted soldier with my lance and with a quick thrust take him out and he falls to the ground. As soon as he hits the ground I pull my lance out, with a quick jerk and a twist to make sure he is dead. Can’t afford to let him live, he would kill me if he could. It’s my first kill. It was him or me. I am glad to be alive and beat this mounted soldier. It didn’t take long, just second of fast movements. My heart is beating a mile a minute. I have to catch my breath and get ready again.
He probably didn’t want to die either. He was there because they told him to attack and he did his best. He probably was just as scared as I was. Once you fight to survive, all of that is forgotten for a moment until it is over. After I made the kill, there was a moment of silence that took over after all the action and many thoughts passed through my mind.
I’m alive. I survived, so far. Im not even injured and I see more support is coming from behind me. I’m ordered to move up further and I do, always alert of the enemy nearby.
Oh no. They see how I have penetrated their area and are aware of my location. They are focusing on me. I’m pinned down. Hope that I can survive. I see more supporting forces coming to my aid from behind and from the far side. I can’t believe it. They are actually covering me. I’m being helped. I thought they didn’t care about me. Much fighting is occurring all around me. They remove many fallen warriors from the field of battle from both sides. I’m still alive. I can’t believe it. It must be my lucky day.
Again I’m ordered to move up and take my objective. We are moving as a unit, making penetration moves and many more fall from both sides. Cries of pain and death are all around me.
What happened? I don’t see any more attacks or confrontations near me. There is a lull in the fighting. I can see fighting going on to my far right flank and the enemy is defending fiercely. It looks like the commander is making the right tactical and attacking decisions. There is confidence in the air among our troops.
I’m grateful but still scared of the fighting. Why can’t we stop and just get along? I’m a good man. I’m an honest man. I’m a nice man. I should be somewhere else.
All is quiet and both armies are regrouping for their next assaults, maybe. Only troop positional movements are being made. I clean my sword and make sure I have ample sharp arrows for my bow. I’m so tired. I fell a sleep, very soundly.
Another enemy foot soldier awakens me abruptly. He came from the left side of me. When our eyes made contact, I knew what he felt inside was just as I felt. I knew I had to fight for my life and kill him, to live. We clashed with swords in hand. I gave no quarter and neither did he.
Lucky for me he tripped and fell backwards during the fight and I thrust my sword to into his side. I saw his eyes looking at me but he did not utter a sound. He just opened his mouth as if to say something with his last breath. I pulled the sword out from his side with a twist and with a rotation of the handle in my hand I thrust it downward into his chest to be sure.
I had a feeling of a loss though I didn’t know the man. We had nothing against each other. It was just destiny. Exhausted I climbed up the crest, stood and saw that I was at the final target of my attack. I had been victorious so far.
Since I reached the eight rank they promoted me to a Queen immediately. The King gave me an order for another target to attack. Now with supporting men behind me I moved to the right flank attacking the fort of the enemy. Without thought of my well being and for the good of our army I attacked their position. I sacrificed myself breaking up the defender of the opposing King. I succumbed to several wounds and was removed from the battlefield. The leader gave up and laid down his arms after several more attacks. Our army won the battle.
I died. I had no mother or father to cry for me.
Nobody wept for me . . . Nobody misses me . . . I had no one, only my comrades that fought by my side . . . I was an expendable part of this army, but a very important part.
So goes the wars. Sometimes there are many deaths sometimes only a few. After the end, it doesn’t matter who survived and who died, all the armies will be put together again for the next time. Foot soldiers like me are always on the front line. I’m just a pawn in this game. Sometimes I live. Some times I die right away. Sometimes I don’t take any part during the whole war. Sometimes I get promoted to a higher rank and I sacrifice myself and become the hero.
Look for me on the front lines.
Come, reach out and touch me.
I’m a lowly CHESS pawn.
Smile when you do.
It’s your move.