The Princess’s Game

“Stop, stop, STOP,” Bob said, crossing his arms over the strained buttons of his tropical-print polo. “What color are they?”

“Pardon?” I said, eyebrow raised. I should have just said no when they asked me to teach them how to play D&D. Seemed like a quick couple bucks, desperately needed, but I should have known these rich, old bastards wouldn’t make it easy.

“The Goblins. What color are they?” Bob said.

“He already read the description,” Gerald huffed, “you buy a cheap China-shit hearing aid? Damn Chinese…”

“He didn’t say what color they are,” Bob said, shoving a fistful of potato chips into his spit-crusted mouth. He wiped his hand on his shirt and re-crossed his pudgy, hairy arms. He turned his gaze back to me. “Paint me a fuggin’ picture! I’m paying you $20 an hour, and I want to know what color the goddamn Goblins are.”

“Fine,” I said, flatly, “they’re blue.”

“You sure?” he said, squinting at me suspiciously. “I’m picturing ‘em brown.”

“HE SAID BLUE,” Gerald said, slamming his Long Island Iced Tea on his coaster. “like the goddamn Viagra you forgot to take this morning. We got that Board call at 2:00 to fast-track those evictions. So, why don’t you put that limp pecker of yours away and get on with it?”

Bob flushed red, plump face the exact shade of his (4th) Bloody Mary.

“Gentlemen, Gentlemen,” William said, raising his overly-groomed hands, “watch the language, we’re in mixed company.” He winked at a table of geriatric brunchers peeking at us from beneath their wide-brimmed hats.  Then he mumbled under his breath, “back in my day they didn’t let women in these places, a man could say what he wanted, he–”

William’s words caught in his turkey-neck as a very different type of woman appeared at our table side: busty & bikini clad, sarong low on her hips, chardonnay in hand.  All three men went slack jawed as they stared up at the gold digger.

Or, at least I assumed she was a gold digger, at the time.

“Well, why don’t you take a seat, Princess?” William said, leaping to his feet, pulling out a chair. “Bob here was just about to slay some Goblins.”

Princess, huh?” she said, settling down in the offered seat.  Her eyebrow arched curiously for a moment, as though she were about to say something. She shook away the thought and crossed her legs, angling them towards Gerald. I watched his Intelligence fall by 5 points, I didn’t even have to roll the die.

“Okay, Bob,” Gerald said, “let’s see how you thrust that stubby, little sword of yours, your roll.”

Bob shot Gerald a look of death and snatched the die from me.

I held my breath as he sent it clattering across the sticky mahogany. It came to a stop. I winced.

“Bob the Destroyer…” I said, cringing, “…was pierced through the heart with a poisoned Goblin blade.”

The woman smirked briefly then she shot me a look I couldn’t quite decipher.

“What? The hell I was!” Bob said, face tomato-red, this time from fury, “you can take that poisoned blade and shove it up your fairy ass!”

“Now, now,” William said, patting Bob’s fat elbow as he winked at the woman, “that’s how the game goes.”

Bob slammed his pudgy fist on the table. “This ain’t what I paid for!”

“The kid’s not a prostitute, you can’t make him bend over for you,” Gerald said. Wisdom ++5 points.

The woman snorted loudly and took a sip of her wine.

Bob gritted his teeth, embarrassed. “I’ll bend you over, Gerry,” he growled, knocking over his half-empty Bloody Mary. Dexterity -3 points.

“I think you’ve had enough,” William said, obnoxiously snapping to get the attention of the wait staff.

“I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough,” Bob spat, yanking William’s brandy out of his hand. He downed it before William could process what’d happened.

“Shoulda known better than to hire a fuggin’ Nancy boy for this crap,” Bob said, shoving the board at me. “Back in my day we’d beat you for showing your face in here.”

I blinked in shock. Constitution -2 points.

“Take this goddamn game and get outta here,” Bob said, smacking his game piece to the floor, “go, before I break that girly face of yours. God, you’re as ugly as Gerry’s wife.”

“What’d I say about waving around that limp pecker?” Gerald said, puffing his chest at Bob.

“I’ll show you a limp pecker,” Bob said, scrambling to his feet, shoving his hand down the front of his khakis.

Oh no. He wouldn’t.

“Oh yeah?” Gerald said, knocking his chair away as he stood up. He reached for his belt, mirroring Bob.

What the shit!?

“BEHOLD MY FLESH SWORD!”

“Gentlemen!” William said, jumping to his feet between them, blocking the flaccid phalluses from view.  “Please, please, let’s put away our, uh, swords.” He gave an apologetic nod to the table of geriatric brunchers, clutching at their chests in horror.

“Psst, kid,” the woman said, leaning toward me. She produced a crisp $100 bill from her miniature Gucci handbag. “You’re good at this, but I think it’s time you headed out. Leave the board.”

“What?” I said, folding my brow in question.

“I’ll take it from here,” she grinned, taking a calm sip.

I heard a glass shatter and jumped to my feet. “You sure?”

“Mmhmm,” she mumbled serenely, “I’ll take them from here. I’ve got them right where I want them.”

“But you need a Dungeon Master to play,” I said, ducking as another glass went flying overhead. “Someone to tell their story.”

She laughed. “Who needs a Dungeon Master when you can have a ‘Princess’?”

She folded the bills and leaned forward to stick them in my pocket. “These three don’t realize we already started a game, 10 years ago, when they bulldozed my mom’s house and built this golf course. I’ve been biding my time. This campaign will not end well for them, their party is falling apart. This isn’t their story, it’s my story.”

I turned to the trio and considered them for a moment, flailing about in all their bigoted, bare-dicked glory.

I nodded solemnly.  “May they finally fall on their own ‘swords’.”

“They look more like backstabbers to me,” she shrugged, “I’ll get them to take care of each other.”

I turned and left the Princess to conquer The Game.

 

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