The Adversary

The Lord said to the Adversary, “Where have you been?” The Adversary answered the Lord, “I have been roaming all over the earth.”
-Job 1:7

Sol got up from his desk and walked to the chessboard in the corner of his cluttered office.

He enjoyed playing chess by mail, having the time to consider all the permutations while he waited for a letter.

He remembered when, in 1941, a correspondence game with Professor Milasz in Prague had a four-year interruption, only resuming when Milasz was liberated from the Terezin concentration camp. The pieces had left halos of dust on the board.

Sol noted but did not mention that Milasz’s game had changed so much in the intervening years it was like playing a different man entirely.


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  1. granonine

    The details are important here. The dust rings around the chess pieces. But mostly, the way being in Terezin change his personality. Really like this one.

  2. bearmkwa

    Now, this… I like – alot! What a beautiful story of friendship. People who’ve experienced such horrors do not come away un-scarred, nor changed. You captured the change in a very unique and indelible way. Beautiful!

  3. GHLearner

    The way people can play chess — per mail, blind by memory etc.– fascinates me. I’m hopeless at the game and admire everyone who plays it well. The change of personality playing the game tells more about the horrors Milasz experienced than many a detailed explanation would.

Don't just stand there.