The square players

Elderly men sit on the benches that surround the small neat garden in the center of the quiet, car free square.  To one side of the garden there are tables under low pine trees, where a few men leisurely play cards or chess.

He looks in the opposite direction at the playground on the other side of the garden but there are no children playing.  While he waits for his wife to come back from the little souvenir store she stopped at, on the way to the square, he sits and watches the men play.


photo credit: Eugen Anghel via photopin cc

There is something odd about the place but he can’t quite figure out what it is.   He thinks it’s strange that although he has been sitting here for a while, he hasn’t seen any children or women yet.   He realizes that, in fact, he hasn’t seen anyone other than old men since he arrived in the square.

The elderly men appear calm and relaxed as if they have no care in the world.  They seem happy.

As he looks at his watch he sees that it is past 6pm.  He has been sitting here for more than four hours – how did all this time go by without him noticing it?  And where is his wife?

Even though he has no idea what has happened to his wife, he feels an overwhelming sense of peace.  He leans back against the bench and continues watching the players …


This was written for the Tritecta weekly, one-word prompt.  This week’s word is:

1a : to be or come in sight <the sun appears on the horizon>
b : to show up <appears promptly at eight each day>
2: to come formally before an authoritative body <must appear in court today>
3: to have an outward aspect : seem <appears happy enough>

You’re probably going to have to tinker with your sentence construction a bit in order to make appear work, since, as you know, our rules don’t allow you to use appears or appeared.  That’s why it’s called a challenge!  Good luck!


25 thoughts on “The square players

  1. Lovely description of the scene!! Love parks and playgrounds that supply chess tables. Love sitting on a bench watching the people sit around playing chess, it always looks so peacefull. So timeless.

  2. Intriguing. As if time stood still. Great description of the happy men at their games. I like the strangeness that comes through. He feels no panic. I hope you continue it.

  3. What a surreal setting! I like the odd but peaceful feeling of the story. I can’t help but think when word gets out about this “male only” hangout, it’ll be so crowded that they can’t find a spot on a park bench anymore 🙂

  4. What a beautiful piece of writing, I feel drawn into that dappled shade and smoothly slowed down, really nice atmosphere you created with your words……and I want to know where on earth she got to!

  5. Pingback: The missing player | lena de almeida

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