An unlikely romance
The North Star
The Jonas Brothers
Big Screen TV
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
The Red Sea
All characters are Monopoly tokens
Mathew W. Weaver
“Talk to me,”
“They’re inside, Sir. Two hours,” Boot replied, “These are their demands.”
Scottie grabbed the sheet.
After two years of hunting, it had come to this. Squad cars in position, choppers training beams on the building, and the roads cordoned off.
This was the night.
“Hostages?” Scottie demanded.
“Fifteen civilians,” Howitzer said, “A six-man team. We have the getaway driver.”
Scottie crumpled the sheet.
Inside the bank, the hostages whimpered in the corner. The Bag of Money sobbed piteously as Iron and Thimble kept watch.
At the other end of the office, Battleship peered out through the curtains.
“Doesn’t look good, boss,” he muttered.
“Oh, we’ll be fine,” he said, “Relax.”
Scottie grabbed a megaphone and switched it on.
“Top Hat!” he hollered, “We have you surrounded!”
“Boss?” Battleship turned.
He walked onto the balcony and leaned over the railing.
“Scottie Terrier,” he called, “Long time! Looks like the force really has gone to the dogs!”
Scottie’s hackles rose.
“He’s baiting you, Sir,” Boot whispered, “Don’t fall for it.”
“You’re done, Hat!” Scottie yelled, “We have your driver!”
Howitzer obligingly aimed the searchlight; it fell on Automobile, still struggling between two officers.
“Well, you still have my demands,” he replied, “My property in an hour, or these hostages lose. Nice catching up!”
He waved and walked back inside.
“We need to wait them out,” Scottie snarled, “Starve them.”
“Sir, the hostages…?”
“He wouldn’t dare kill. He knows the consequences.”
“We could storm them,” Howitzer said.
“The place is like the goddamn Bastille,” Scottie barked, “I can’t risk it.”
“No other way, Sir,” Boot said, “You’ve gotta take a Chance.”
“I don’t trust Chance,” Scottie snapped.
“No choice, Chief. It’s your roll,” Howitzer drew the deck and held it out.
Scottie scowled and grabbed the card on top.
“Sir?” Boot nudged.
Scottie let it fall.
“Move,” he growled.
“MOVE!” Howitzer boomed, “MOVE OUT!”
The SWAT team stormed in. Train and Thimble sent a hail of fire down the stairs. It didn’t last.
Top grinned and spread his arms as the officers swarmed into the office, unceremoniously dumping Train and Thimble on the floor, handcuffed and still conscious.
“You dropped these,” Scottie said.
Iron fired, and the hostages screamed; Boot returned fire, and he fell. Howitzer tackled Battleship to the ground, pinning him down.
“Scottie, old boy,” Top said, “How’s the wife? Still on those Wate-On pills?”
Scottie walked to him, grinning savagely.
“It’s over, Hat. You’re going away for a long, long time.”
Top smiled, “Oh, I don’t think so, Scottie. So sorry.”
“If you would reach in my pocket, dear boy,” Top said coolly. Boot looked at Scottie, who scowled and nodded.
Boot pulled out a card.
“Is that?” Train gasped.
“YOU PLAYED US!” Battleship bellowed.
“Sorry, boys,” Top said, “Just had the one, and I needed to cut some weight.”
Boot handed the card to Scottie, who flipped it over with a shaking hand.
“I’LL KILL YOU, HAT!” Battleship roared.
GET OUT OF JAIL FREE.
“Well, old boy,” he said, “Guess we’ll have to keep playing, then.”
“If I have to move one more step, I’m going to kick the dice onto the floor!”
“It’s alright for you,” a plaintive voice said. “The last game we had, there was a French guy playing. I landed on ‘Go to Jail” and couldn’t get out for ages. All he kept saying was ‘Oh moi pauvre! Je suis dans le Bastille!’ It was horrid! I had to wait there for more moves than I care to remember.”
“I don’t think I want to move,” remarked an English accented voice from nearby. “I’ve collected money hand over fist ever since I landed on Mayfair!”
Nobody spoke. All that could be heard was a rattling sound. A human hand appeared over the board.
“Look out!” yelled the token over on the west side of the board, under the ridiculous poster on the wall featuring some thin-looking human. “Everybody duck!”
But the dice landed with a clunk as they nearly rolled off the board. When they were still, both dice showed three spots each.
“Whew, that was close!” groaned the token on the Railway Station space. It tried to slip off the edge and hide under the board.
There was muttering from the humans above. The dice were whisked away and a card picked up from the Community Chest pile.
Suddenly all hell broke loose. The board tipped, the tokens were flung to the floor, the money pile scattered into the air, floating down like large snowflakes on a cold Winter breeze.
The humans were shrieking.
“It’s a wasp!”
“It’s a hornet!”
“It’s a swarm of bees!”
There was utter panic, with stamping feet, arms waving furiously and chairs falling with loud bangs and crashes. The humans fled from the room.
The thimble token looked up from under the table where he had landed in the chaos. He rolled his figurative eyes with disgust.
“Stupid humans,” he scoffed. “It’s only a Mason bee and, like Elvis Buzzley, it’s already left the building!”
After about 15 minutes, the humans returned, still cautious and quiet. They gathered up all the tokens, found the cards for the community chest and chance, collected most of the money, securing it with a rubber band, then folded the board and put everything back in the box.
The hat token heard his player mutter as he put the box back on the shelf.
“I wasn’t going to suggest starting again – I was nearly bankrupt anyway.”
“Oh my. It’s so dark in here. What happened?”
“Thimble? Is that you?”
“Yes. Who’s this? I…I can’t see. You sound really muffled.”
“Thimble, it’s me, Top Hat. I’m under some wet paper I think. Actually, it might be a used coffee filter? I can’t really see either. Where are you?”
“I don’t know Hat. Next to some paper I think. A pamphlet maybe. Place De La Bas Til.”
“Place De La Bastille. It’s in France.”
“Sorry, I never was good with names. I’m scared Hat. I don’t know what’s going on.”
“Me too Thimble. Me too. I don’t know what’s going on either. One minute we were on the shelf. Then the tumbling. Then the dark.”
“But hey, at least we’re not covered in dust any more. Right Hat?”
“True. But did I mention the coffee grounds?”
“Oh right. Haha. Sorry Hat.”
“Can you wiggle towards me Thimble? I think the others might be further down.”
“I’ll try. Ungh. Hmph. Oh! Yuck. Yeah that’s definitely old coffee. Hey, there you are Hat!”
“Good to see you too Thimble. I think I just heard Car rev his engine. Shall we head further down?”
“Might as well?”
“Car is that you?”
“Car it’s me Top Hat. Are you OK?”
“Me? Yeah. I guess. I was just trying to read this… this…whatever this is. You guys figure out what’s going on?”
“No clue Car. After the tumbling it just got real dark. You have a lot more light here though.”
“Huh. That’s weird Hat. I’ve had the tumbling before. Fallen under the bed a few time but that was nothing like this.”
“Yes. Same here. Say, what’s that you’re reading Car?”
“I don’t know Hat. All I can make out is a picture of a lady. Say’s something about ‘to be SKINNY’. Can’t make out the rest.”
“Strange indeed. I wound up buried in an old coffee filter.”
“How’s Thimble holding up?”
“She’s just fine. She’s just behind me. A little shaken but no worse for wear. She should be here shortly.”
“Good. I think I heard Ship’s horn a while ago. Further down I think.”
“Well, when Thimble gets here…”
“Bees! Oh my word! Hat! Car! Help me!”
“Thimble! We’re here.”
“Oh Hat! It was terrible! I slipped on a banana peel and fell against a piece of rotted wood. I looked up and there were bees pouring out of a nest in one of the knots.”
“Well, they didn’t follow you Thimble. I think you’re OK.”
“Whew! Good! Oh, hey Car.”
“Hey Thimble. Glad you’re OK.”
“Hey, what’s that rumbling? Is that Ship?”
“No Thimble. That’s far too loud. I do believe it’s coming from outside this…whatever this is we’re in.”
“Sounds like a truck.”
“Yes Car it certainly does.”
“Oh! Hat! I’m tumbling again!”
“Try to hold onto something Thimble! Car, are you still there? Car?”
“The rumbling is getting louder Hat! Hat? Hat?!?!”
“Dog! Oh Dog it’s you! Bad Dog, don’t chew on Shoe!”