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I Played a Chess Game With Death . . . (Grimm Reaper)

  • #1

    Death Came to My Door and We Played Chess. ©

    By  Denver High

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        CHAPTER  ONE!

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    One evening, the door bell rings.

    DING DONG! . . . DING DONG! . . .

         ‘Heck, just when I’m in the bathroom,’

          I thought.

    DING DONG! . . . DING DONG! . . .

    “Maxine, will you get that?” I yell.

    Knock! Knock! . . . I could hear the use of the knocker.

    “Take it easy. I’m coming,” I yell as I’m pulling my pants on.

    KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! . . . This time louder.

    “I'll get it Maxine.”

    Still pulling my pants on and struggling I walked to the front door. I looked through the peephole. I don’t recognize the person. He is wearing a dark black hood that covers his head, obscuring his face. I can’t tell who it is.

    “Who is it?”

    ”Grimm Reaper in training.” 

    ‘What did he say?’ I thought. 

    “Excuse me?”

    “Please open up, sir.”

    I touched the door knob and turned it slightly making sure it was locked. I said, “What do you want?”

    “It’s too long to explain, if you’ll open up. I’ll tell you. I have a schedule to keep.”

    “Look, if you are selling something, I am not buying anything.” I said. “There is a ‘NO SOLICITING’ sign posted on the door. See it?”

    “I’m not selling anything. What I have is not for sale.”

    “Who are you looking for?”

    Denver, please open up this won’t take long.”

     I thought, ‘I don’t feel good about this guy. Maybe I can get rid of him.’

    Denver is not here.” I pressed my ear to the door to make sure I heard the response correctly. I was done with my pants.

    “I know this is the right address. Denver High, at 300 Greenwich Street. I have it right here on the form. Please open the door.”

    Denver isn’t here; he is not here right now.” I said louder. I looked out the peep hole to see if he was leaving. He was looking into the peep hole also. We were eye ball to eye ball. Except I couldn’t see anything, it was just black.

    “Please, I have other appointments to keep. Just open the door.”

               I thought for a moment. ‘I don’t know how I can get out of this.
      He knows my name.’

    Shaking my head I opened the door slightly, the safety chain is still on.

    “Thank you. You’re
    Denver, right? I guess it’s your time.”

    “My time? My time for what? Who the heck are you anyway? How come I can’t see your face? Take the hood off.” I said showing some anger.


    “I can’t take the hood off because it would frighten you too much. I’m the Grimm Reaper in training. Just call me Grimm. Mr. Grimm, Death couldn’t come himself, so many people that have to die. Just in the US 680 people die every day of natural causes. That’s without shootings, errors by doctors and nurses in hospitals, or overdoses of drugs. With 200 nations in the world it is too much even for him. He hired us reps to make the pick-ups for him. Oh, we will be compensated in a fair way, no matter which way we end up going, to heaven or hell.”

     “So? What’s that got to do with me?”

    “Oh, yeah. You passed your designated time to die. I’m really Death.”

    I stood in awe listening to what he was saying. Grimm stood on my porch. He wore a dark black robe, with a hood that had a black glow on the front that covered his face well, just like something you might see on Star Wars. I couldn’t see through it.

    I sure as heck wasn’t going to invite him in. I noticed that he was holding his clip board with white bony skeleton hands. No skin on them. I wonder how they stay connected? On his back there is a scythe with a sharp shiny blade sticking over his covered head.

          “Holy mackerel. He looks like he is just bones. He might be the reaper.”               

    “You are a Reaper in training? I’ll be go to hell. Oops. I didn’t mean anything by that. Are you sure? Isn’t there some mistake that are you here?”

    “You were supposed to die six days ago, but the paper work got lost. It was my fault, I lost the papers.” Grimm paused to shuffle through some papers on his clipboard.

    “Say, wait a minute.” I turned around and yelled, “Maxine come here to the door will you, check this out. Excuse me, let me unlatch the door.” I said and shut the door and removed the chain and opened the door wider still holding on to the door knob. I said to grim, “Are you sure it’s me that you want?”

    “Yes, Yes, I have checked and double-checked. Actually, now we’re almost a week behind. Do you mind?"

    Maxine was toward me at the door, barefoot, wearing a bathrobe, looking sexy, “What’s up. Who’s at the door?” she asked.

    I stepped aside and opened the door wide and said, “Take a look at this guy. He thinks it’s Halloween time wearing this outfit, pretending he is Death. Probably one of your friends.”

    Maxine stopped next to me, holding the robe closed with her hands and asked, “Who? What? I don’t see anybody? What are you talking about?” and she looked at me.

    “Right there, this guy in the get-up,” I said pointing.

    Grimm said, “Denver, she can’t see nor hear me. Only a designated target can see me.”

    “Quit horsing around. OK? Did you ring the bell yourself?” Looking at me she asked.

    “Well, Grimm did. He wants to take me.” I pointed again.

    Maxine glanced through the door and said, “Oh yeah. I see him . . . . Do you think I’m an idiot? I’m going to take a shower and then we’ll go eat lunch. You want to horse around shut the door, come and join me in the shower. I’ll show you horsing around.” She turned and walked away.

    “But Maxine . . . wait a minute . . .”

    Maxine turned back and said, “So Grimm is there that I can’t see huh? Well maybe Grimm that I can’t see would like to see this.” She flung open the robe and started undulating, shaking her breast and grinding her hips. Then she turned around removed her robe and shook her behind toward the door.

    “There how does Grimm like that?” she said and she walked away to take her shower, dragging her robe.

    Grimm didn’t react. He stood perfectly still. I couldn’t see his face to check if he was grinning either.

    “Look Grimm. In several hours I’m supposed to go to go bowling. We’re bowling the first place team. This is such short notice. Are you sure you have the right day? Maybe it’s later on?”

    “I’m far behind know. You were supposed to have been picked up last week.” Grimm said, gesturing the clip board up and down.

    “I really could use just a couple of more days, if you don’t mind. Got some loose ends to tie up, you know. This is so sudden. It’s not like an accident if I got hit by a bus or something, then it would be a different story.”

    “You were to die in a car crash, but you didn’t drive that night and you took a cab home. You messed up the schedule. Look. I’m really sorry. There are no exceptions. Rules, you know. But we are a bit behind. I only work for him.”

    I squinted trying to see his face. That hood really hid everything. "Look Grimm. What if I give you all my money, can’t you skip this?"

    "Money? Hmmm . . . Why didn’t I think of that. You think I need money? I don’t eat. I’m already dead you know. I don’t have rent or money to spend."

    "Think about it. I'll give you my car. Then you wouldn’t have to walk."

    “Hmmm . . . Car? . . . Walk . . . O.K . . . I thought about it. The answer is no. Shall we go now?” Grimm gestured with his bony hand, inviting me out to the street.

     “If I am supposed to go, why is it that you keep asking me for permission to take me?”

     “There are Regulations and more Regulations, Appeals and rulings I have to follow. There are so many it makes my job hard if I mess up. One says that when I miss a time slot, I have to ask during the next two opportunities that I have with the target. But if I get no co-operation from the designated target, I can invoke an emergency clause. This is my first request to you.”

    I rubbed my chin and said, “Look, my wife’s in the shower. Can I just pop in, and let her know I’ll be going? She doesn’t believe you’re here. It’ll just take a minute,”

    Grimm exhaled. “Okay, okay, but let me come in first. Make it quick. We’re running late.”

    “O.K. Come on in.”

    Grim didn’t walk, he glided into the living room area. His robe covered his shoes if he had any. He stopped in front of the living room table and looked down for a couple of seconds then looked toward me and asked, “Denver, are you the one that plays chess? That is a lovely chess set.”


     “Oh yeah. I play a little.”

     Grim turned toward the chess set and said, “Look, I like to play chess also. I haven’t had a game in several hundred years. Do you think we could play a quick game?”

     I said, “If we could have a bet maybe. We could play a speed game say . . . a five minute speed game. If I beat you then you wouldn’t take me?”

     “Naw. I can’t do that. My boss would find out and I would be in a great deal of trouble.”

     “I wouldn’t tell him!” I said.

     “He would know that your soul isn’t there. Let’s just play one game for fun.”

     “No. I’m not going to have any fun playing you for nothing, while you would be having fun.”

     “O.K. If you win I can lose the papers for a while and set a new time for you to go, but I’ll make the choice of time.”

     “Ok. I’ll agree to that. Sit on this ottoman and I’ll sit on the couch. I’ll set the digital clock. I’ll play white and you start the clock,” I said.

     I could hear the shower water running and Maxine was singing.

     Grim sat down and I sat on the edge of the couch. Grim put his hand out toward the clock and it started. I picked up my “e” pawn and moved it to e4. I banged the clock to start his time. Grim wasted no time and extended his skeleton hand toward the “c” pawn and before he touched it, it moved two spaced forward. He extended his left hand toward the clock and before his bonny fingers touched it, his clock stopped and my clock started.

     “Wow . . .” He moved and started my clock without touching it. I was startled. I’d never seen anything like that before.

    I grabbed my Knight and moved it to f3 reached over and banged the electronic digital clock. Again he extended his right skeleton hand and the knight jumped up, moved foward and landed in the correct space. He waved his left hand over the clock, again his clock stopped it and started my clock. “Wow!”

     The time I had used up was 20 seconds. Grim had used up only 4 second. “Amazing! I have to speed up.” I played faster. He continued playing just as fast. I made 15 moves and my clock said I used up 80 seconds. He had used up 20 second. No way to beat him on the clock. I already lost two pawns and one knight. So he was ahead. Time wise at this rate he could easily make 150 moves in five minutes. We continued to play. I Banged . . . He waved . . . I Banged . . . He waved . . . I Banged . . . etc . . . etc . . .

     After one of my moves, I banged the center of the clock and stopped both clocks.

     “Hey? What with that?” Says Grimm.

     “I got to go to the bathroom. My wife is in the bathroom, I’ll be right back.”

     “Oh. O.K. Make it quick.”

     “Be right back. It’ll be your move.”

     I got up and walked toward the bathroom. I left Grimm sitting at the table and I went down the hall. Grimm started shuffling through his papers. He hoped the next few pick ups would be quick. He had some time to make up now. Grimm’s gaze rested on the biography. He stopped: Denver High, it read: single. His eye opened widely, “Bastard. He doesn’t have a wife,” he said.

    Grimm, got up fast knocking over the chess board and pieces scattered on the rug. He glided quickly down the hall looking for the bathroom. The door was locked and he could hear the water running. With a sharp back kick by Grimm it splintered open. He stumbled inside and the shower was running. He pulled the curtain open.

     Maxine stopped singing and yelled, “Hey. What’ going on?” She didn’t see anything. I wasn’t there, so Grimm turned, glided out to another room. The door of the next room was locked so he kicked it open, saw no Denver. He moved to another room the door wasn’t locked he glided in. Grimm saw the window open and the curtain flapping in the wind. He went to the window and poked his head out. He saw I was running across the field about a hundred yards away.

    ‘Damn,’ Grimm thought, ‘This is not going to look good for me. I missed the right time. Now I got fooled. I got another pick up that I have to do right now. Denver will have to wait a while. I know where to get him. To bad, I was winning the chess game.’

        I ran . . . I ran . . . I ran . . .

     = = = = = = = Cont'd = = = = = =

    “Beers are here! I got it,” I said to my three bowling buddies as I paid the waitress. It was a perfect night for bowling. Lane conditions are great and the team is bowling well.

    I said to Gary, our anchor man, “I almost missed bowling, you know.”

    “Really? What happen?” He asked draining the last of the old beer.

     “I don’t think you’ll believe me when I tell you.” I took a drink of my beer.

     “Sure I will. Try me,” said Gary with a smile across his face.

     “Well there was this guy that came to my apartment and said he was the Grimm Reaper in training . . . “

    Denver! You ran out on me. I see you made it to bowling.” This voice came from up on the concourse.


    I turn and looked up. Grimm was standing there still wearing his dark black hood, robe and scythe. He had his hands at his side and his hood moving up and down impatiently. I still could not see his face even in these bright lights.

     I turned toward Gary and said, “See? That’s the guy with the hood on, that I was telling you about.”

    “I don’t see anyone, Denver. What are you talking about?”

     “You can’t see him in the black outfit? Right there,” I said pointing,

     Denver, only you the designated target can see me. Remember?” said Grimm.

    I slumped down in my seat. “Aw, c’mon. Can’t it wait until the games are over Grimm?”

    Denver, I’m going to get written up for this. We really must be going, or do you want me to drop you dead right there among your friends. I can drop you as you bowl.”

     Denver, are you going to bowl? Who are you talking to? You’re up,” said Gary.

    I turned back to
    Gary and said, “I gotta go. Mark me absent.”

    “What? Are you serious? We have two more game to go. Why are you leaving? I think you are losing it.”

    I pointed in the direction of Grimm and said, “Grimm, that’s why. Just use my average. I’ll see you later. Oh, I mean . . . Oh, never mind.”

    Gary looked toward where Grimm was supposed to be and then back to me.  “I don’t understand you. But, I . . . we need you . . .”

    “I know, I know you do, I guess . . . , Grimm and all.” I took the beer and I made a toast, “Cheers, one last time!”

    “O.k. Denver. Finish the beer and then we’ll go!” Grimm said. We chugged the beers while Grimm watched, obviously irritated.

    Denver, please, we really must go. We have a chess game to finish also.”

     “All right, all right. I’m coming. I guess I’ll see you around. Let me know who wins, huh?”

    I changed my shoes and said, “
    Gary, put my ball and shoes in locker eighty four, thanks. Bye guys.”
    “I don’t know where you are going, but see you later.”
    Gary said and waved his middle finger at me as I turned and walked up the stairs toward Grimm.

    Grimm glided next to me as we made our way toward to the side entrance Grimm said, “
    Denver, wait a minute please.” We both stopped and Grimm turned slightly and faced down the concourse. He didn’t say a word.

      Silence, Grim was listening

    Then he said, “Hi Isaac. I’m just picking up my missed target. Oh you got to hear this. I’m playing a game of chess with my pick up. He doesn’t have a prayer. I’m playing the ‘Sicilian Sozin defense.’ You got someone here also?”

     Silence. Grim was listening

     Grimm turned a little facing toward the lanes and said, “Oh yeah, I see him on lane 31. But he looks so young . . . It is such a pain when you miss some one, you better go if you are going to drop him right on the lane. I have to go myself.”

     Silence. Grim was listening

    “Later, Isaac.”

    Grimm had been talking to another Grimm named Isaac, one that I couldn’t see.

    He turned and said, “Let’s go Denver. We’re going to finish the chess game first.”

    “We don’t have a chess set or anything here.”

     “I will create everything we need, even the position. It’s my move.”

     As we passed the men’s room, I let out a long loud belch and burp. “Say, listen, Grimm. All that beer is just running through me. Can I take a leak real quick?” I said squirming.

    Grimm sighed, “O.K. Hurry up.”

    I hurried into the men’s room while Grimm waited outside the door. A waitress passed, sloshing beer onto Grimm. Grimm looked at the waitress and made a mental note of her. Several minutes passed and Grimm checked his mental clock and said, “This is certainly taking a long time. Wait a minute . . .” Grimm said, as he glided into the men’s room. I wasn’t there. “Oh Hell, I got fooled twice now? Now I am in trouble.”

    I was long gone out the back door of the men’s room of the bowling center, driving my Scion onto the 101 freeway.

     ’This time he doesn’t know where I’m going. Twice he asked me and     the next time he doesn’t have to. He might just take me, but we have a chess game to finish.’ I said to myself. 

     I was plenty scared. I didn't want to die. I don’t want to go. I’m too young. I drove straight to my mom's home. I parked in the back of the house, so my car wouldn’t be noticed. I know mom's can fix anything. I walked in without knocking. I don’t understand my mom; she never locks her door no matter what time it is.

    "Hi, mom. Can I stay here tonight? I promise I will leave tomorrow. I’ll explain in the morning" I turned locked the door and turned the deadbolt.

    ”Hi, son. It’s ok with me. You know where the guest room is.”

     “Night, Mom. See you in the morning,” I said.

    I slept like a baby on top of the bed with my clothes on. I woke up when I heard the doorbell ring at four a.m.

    DING DONG! . . . DING DONG! . . .

    "Oh . . . No! Heck . . ." With the shoes in my hand I went into the living room. I didn’t turn on the lights. I put my shoes on quickly.

    DING DONG! . . . DING DONG! . . .

    The hall light turned on and mom was coming putting on her bathrobe. “Who can it be this early in the morning?” Mom said.

    I held my index finger to my mouth hissing, "Shhh . . . Shhh . . ." Softly as I could I said, "Mom. Shhh . . . Don't open the door. Please don't open it."

    Mom asked softly, "Why are you whispering? What did you do now?"

    "Please Mom, not now. I'll call you later."

    I went to the kitchen, without turning the light on, I waited for the next Ding Dong.

         ‘Please mom, don’t rush to open the door, give me time!’ I thought.

     DING DONG! . . . DING DONG! . . .

     When I heard the door bell again, I went out the back door and closed it quietly. Climbed over the back fence and ran toward darkness hoping it would hide me for a while longer . . . I would come back later for my car.

    ‘I can just imaging my Mom opening the door and nobody would be there, since only the target can see Grimm. I know the Grimm Reaper won't give up. I’m still running. This is not the end of it.’

     I kept running cause, I don't want to die. Good think I'm a soccer player with great stamina and I know how to pace myself. I slowed to a fast walk.

    I ran . . . I ran . . . I ran . . .

    Where the heck am I going to go? I have to find a safe place at least for several nights. I’ve got to go to the bank first thing and get some cash, find another bank and transfer it electronically.

     First I need some sleep, so I jogged for the homeless shelter since I know Robert, the guy that runs it. It was a little late to be arriving at the shelter. I have known Rob since the fifth grade, that’s when he moved into town from San Francisco. We didn’t become friends until we were sophomores.

    We have been friends since. He was a psychologist with his own private practice, but he decided that was not for him and he started working one on one at the homeless shelter.

     The light was dim and could see Robert sitting in the semi-dark room. As soon as I walked in he recognized me and smiled saying, “Denver, what in the world are you doing here so late? It’s almost morning.”

     “Rob, it’s such a long story and you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Nobody believes me. I need some sleep. Can I lay here for a while until daylight?”

     “Sure. Just go in my office over there and climb into the lower bunk. Dim the lights and I will wake you for breakfast.”

     “Thanks Rob. I owe you. Good night and good morning.” I turned, walked into his office and I shut the door. It wasn’t the best place, but it probably was the safest from the Grimm the Reaper dude. I laid in the dark thinking of my problem running various scenarios and before long I was sleeping like a baby.

     It seemed like it was a short time when Robert said to me, “OK Denver. It’s time to get up. Let’s have something to eat. I really want to hear what you’re going to tell me.”

     Groggily rubbing my eyes I said, “You won’t believe it but it’s the gosh darn truth.”

     Having said that I got out of the bunk bed and followed him to the kitchen. There wasn’t anybody there. I recognized it since I have helped out here many times. We sat down at a small table that had a chess board set up on one side. I was a bit chilly, maybe because I just woke up. The hot coffee was great.

     He set up our breakfast making several trips. It was sugar corn flakes, milk, toast and grape jelly, they were my favorite. I never ever have eaten cereal and milk, but this morning it was different. It tasted sweet and good.

    “OK Denver. Hit me with the story and I will listen with a very open mind. I have several hours before we serve breakfast and the crew comes in to do that.”  Rob said. Looking at me he started to eat his breakfast.

     I began my tale trying not to leave anything out so he would believe me. Many times there appeared a smile or a smirk on his face, but all in all I felt he was listening to me. When he finished his breakfast he pushed the dishes to one side and slid the chess board in front of us. He moved the white knight to f3.

     Reaching over I move the pawn to d5.I said, “OK. That is about all. Now here I sit trying to figure out what I am going to do to solve my problem or just go ahead and let Grimm just take me. What do think about all of this. First question is do you believe me?” I moved.

     Denver, I sort of believe you. Let me ask you several questions. You said that he carried a clip board with information that he looks at, is that correct?” Rob moved a chess piece.

     “Oh, yeah. He had it when he came the first time.” I moved a pawn.

     “You also mentioned that there were regulations and appeals?” Rob made a move.

     “Yeah, Grimm mentioned that to me. He said he had too many regulations, rules and appeals when there was a screw up on pick ups.” I took a knight with my bishop.

     “Hmmm. . Listen. This is just a thought, but there is an ex-lawyer that comes to eat here every morning. He used to be a hot shot expensive prosecuting/defense attorney. Then he got a divorce and became homeless. Maybe he just might be able to help us out with this. There is nothing to lose, we can run it by him in about an hour. Rob moved the queen and took my bishop.

     “Well I have nothing better to do right now. I can help set up breakfast just to kill the time until we meet with him, if he shows up. Denver moved a bishop.”

    “I’m sure, he’ll show up. It’s Friday and he loves fish.” Rob moved.




    = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    So  sorry it won't fit in one post.

    Chapter two and Chapter three didn't fit.


             = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

  • #2
  • #3

  • #4

    Good writing. Looking for the sequel..

  • #5

    I read the whole thing . So that means it is good .

  • #6

    Is this going to be one of the stories where the pattern of denver running away and meeting new characters goes on forever? 

  • #7

     @ solskytz and @ Equiv and @Equiv again:

    Thanks for reading the first part and leaving a comment. The second and final part has already been written and posted.

    Here is the link to it.


    Hope it is to your liking.


  • #8

    Did you actually write that if so well done 😄😀

  • #9

    Hi Bigbird

    Yes I did write it. It took me about two years because I didn't know how to end it. One day I was driving some where shopping and BINGO it came to my mind on how to end it. I rushed home and started to write the second half of it in three chapters. PHEWW. I was glad when it was over.

    have posted other here on Chess.com i have written over two hundred pieces of my memoirs and about sixteen that are fiction.

    Here is a memoir that was real but I added fiction to it to make it more interesting. MY TIME IN SAN QUENTIN  PRISON.


    Bye for now


  • #10

    I belong to the Poets and Writers Chess.com  group. But the seem to like poetry better that writting maybe because poetry is short.

    I set up a vote chess match and we lost it on time we only had six players. i was one of them.


    You would have to look at my profile for more stuff I have written and posted.

  • #11

    DENVERHIGH wrote:

    Hi Bigbird

    Yes I did write it. It took me about two years because I didn't know how to end it. One day I was driving some where shopping and BINGO it came to my mind on how to end it. I rushed home and started to write the second half of it in three chapters. PHEWW. I was glad when it was over.

    have posted other here on Chess.com i have written over two hundred pieces of my memoirs and about sixteen that are fiction.

    Here is a memoir that was real but I added fiction to it to make it more interesting. MY TIME IN SAN QUENTIN  PRISON.


    Bye for now


    Have you published any of your other work?

  • #12


  • #13

    i took classes at the jr college on HTML and Css and created a web page and they were posted mainly for my family. They are copywrited. Usually I place the copywrite symbol but the web page was taken down. 

    I started writing about 2000 when I retired I took writing classes at the jr. college. I was terrible and had to learn many things about being a writed.  I mostly staarted writting my memoirs so my four boy and their off spring would know about me and my parents came from. When I die I don't know how they will read all of that I wrote. I suppose I should condense them all in a book.

    Dec 14,2014 I will be 77 years old and plan to live until i am 102. You are invited to my funeral!

  • #14

    You might like reading my profile.


  • #15

    So did you fight in world war 2

  • #16

    I was born in 1937 so I was a kid during the WWII. I was 4 F when I was 18 and tried to enlist. They didn't want me because of my glasses.

    I am having a party on Dec 13 for the heck of it. Bring a present. I already have everything I need.

  • #17

    <Mosai - re. post 12> TMI

  • #18

    Funny i am watching The Walking Dead on Tv.



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