There was a pause, and White burst out laughing, tears streaming from his milky eyes. Black scowled at Ray, though there was not much else he could do. The rules had changed, another player had become involved. Black had to accept it.
Ray felt as though he was floating as the great weight was taken from him. He felt the wrinkles he hadn’t realised had grown, smooth from his face. His arms retreated in their sagging, his hair went from grey to black, and he flexed his fingers, wondering at their dexterity. He could take deep, full breaths, and his heart beat slower, stronger.
White was still laughing, mopping up his tears with an immaculate handkerchief. “Deus ex machina!” he exclaimed through the chuckles. “Fantastic!”
Black was shellshocked, his skin a deathly grey. The youth he had stolen from Ray was fleeing rapidly. Crow’s feet sprung from his eyes, his cheeks drooped, and streaks of silver appeared in his hair.
The blind man smiled, gesturing at Black with his hand, his laughter finally subsiding. “This is the natural way, old friend,” he said cheerfully. “Doesn’t it feel so much better?”
Black grunted, stood, and swept his left arm across the board, scattering the pieces everywhere. He adjusted his top hat, which had fallen askew in the madness, and without a further word or gesture, the man in the black suit walked off, at a decidedly hobbled pace.
Ray jumped up as soon as his attempted murderer was out of sight, delighting in the movement and vibrance of his body.
“That was quite ingenius, Raymond,” said the man in the white suit, and paused before saying: “You know, I could make you important, if you so wished. The world needs clever people like you. It would take some work but–”
Ray spat on the ground right beside him, interrupting him.
“Fuck you and your ‘importance,’” he snarled, shocking the blind man.
“Ray it would be safe–”
“I don’t need the approval of men in fancy suits to make me feel ‘important’,” he sneered. “Believe it or not, life’s worth a great deal more than what can change the world. According to your friend in black there, that’s something you of all people should know.”
“I used to…” the blind man mumbled, but then looked up in confusion. “You’re not honestly returning to your old mundane life, are you? After witnessing what you’re capable of? Your potential?”
Ray laughed, and shrugged. “I honestly don’t know, and I don’t care either.”
The man in white frowned. “You’re not lying.”
“We all need some chaos in our lives,” he replied with a wink, and left without another word.
White waited for a few minutes. A tear formed in the corner of his eye, though this was not one of mirth.
“What has become of me?” he asked the diminishing silence. There was no reply.
He stood, clenched his white cane, and walked off, the cane tapping away on the ground below, fading into the noises of the city.
The chess set remained, abandoned. Pieces lay broken and defeated on the battlefield. But on the edge, hidden by the carnage, stood a white pawn. His face was grinning in delight, and without warning, he walked right off the edge of the board, vanishing in a flash of light.
Leaving the game behind.