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Little White Knight - Revised

Author: Scrumpy
ASL Info:    28 / M / Attleboro
Elite Ratio:    6.37 - 25 /27 /13
Words: 2593
Class/Type: Story /Serious
Total Views: 1468
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Bytes: 14052


I wrote this story a couple of weeks ago, and have been working on it almost non-stop. I'm currently in the process of submitting it for publication. Let me know what you think.

Little White Knight - Revised

Mom was heading up to bed, and I had set up the chess board so my dad and I could play. I was only eleven years old, but I felt like I was getting pretty good at it, even though my dad never let me win. My dad’s chess set actually had belonged to my grandfather who got it in England during World War II. My dad would always say that someday when I was ready he would give it to me, just like his dad did. I loved setting up all the pieces. They were all carved to look like real people. The pawns had little swords in their hands, the knights wore armor and sat on top of horses, the rooks looked like real castles with little towers, and the queens even had boobs. I was only allowed to take it out when my dad was around though, as it was “too valuable to just play around with”.

“We are going to have to make this a quick one, it’s getting late Teddy,” my dad said while checking his watch.

“Okay,” I said, shooting him a disappointed look.

I knew he meant it because he sat down on the edge of his seat instead of leaning back in it. My only hope was to survive as long as possible, take my time with my moves. I knew if I made one slip he would mate me before I even knew I made a mistake. I also knew he didn’t really want to play, but I had been bugging him about it all night. My dad was great like that. He always had time for a game of chess with me, even if it was a quick one.

After a few moves though, the tension in my dads face began to melt away. His moves seemed more relaxed, and less like he was waiting to pounce on my mistakes. My dad would never let me do a move over, or remind me what piece did what. Instead he would tell me my mistake, why it was so easy to over look, or just let me figure it out on my own. He took chess seriously. “Chess is a lot like life Teddy,” he would always say, “If you don’t look at the big picture and think things through carefully, then you will never get ahead.” He had lots of sayings like that, but that one always struck a chord with me for some reason.

“I’ve told you before, you can’t always attack with your knights so soon,” he said, capturing my last one. “They are too valuable of a piece to lose so early in the game.”

“I know. I thought it was a good move though,” I said, plopping my face into my hands.

“Well, it was a bad move. Eventually you will learn the difference between a good move and a bad one, but for now you’ve lost both of your knights and I’ve got you on the run,” he said chuckling to himself while ruffling up my hair.

“Well I still think it was a good move anyway,” I said, straightening up to survey the board.

We sat in silence for a few moments while my dad waited for me to make my next move when suddenly, a noise unlike anything I had ever heard sent a fiery wave of panic down my spine. It sounded like someone had ripped our garage door off and crumpled it into a ball. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it wasn’t good.

“That was a car accident,” my dad said. He sounded concerned, which in turn made me nervous. I had never seen a car accident before, and I only heard my dad sound concerned when he was worried about something. It wasn’t easy to make my dad worried.

“Stay here Ted.”

Being eleven, I disobeyed and followed him to the front door.

When he opened the front door, I saw three cars scattered about in the street. Two of them were upside down, one of which was in flames, and the other car looked as though it had almost been torn in half.

“Oh my God! Oh my God! I might have killed somebody!” I heard a woman scream. I had never heard such distress in someone’s voice before. It was disturbing.

“Ted, go inside now and get the fire extinguisher,” my father instructed me. I heard him, but I couldn’t move because I was too busy staring at the body lying on our front lawn.

“Ted!” the urgency in his voice shook me out of it. “Go now! Hurry!” he said, before running down the driveway.

I turned around and ripped through the house to the cellar. I knew right where the extinguisher was because I was the reason we even had one in the first place. I once set the side of our house on fire after dropping some fire crackers out my bedroom window. I had meant to throw them down the street to scare a friend of mine. At the time it had seemed like a good idea, but while I was lighting the fuse I burned my hand and dropped them into the bushes and leaves underneath my window. Within a couple of minutes the side of our house was on fire. So ever since then we kept a fire extinguisher in the house.

I flung open the cellar door and grabbed the extinguisher. I also grabbed our first aid kit and a flashlight. As I was running back up the stairs, I heard my mother yell down to my father.

“Mike what was that noise, is everything okay?”

“He’s outside Mom! People are hurt call 911!” I yelled back before bursting through the front door.

The first thing I saw was a woman kneeling next to the body on the front lawn, screaming at it. To this day, I can honestly say it was the most upsetting thing I have ever seen. It was so helpless. She just knelt there screaming “I’m sorry!” over and over. I steeled myself and ran over to her.

“Please help me! He needs and ambulance quick! Please help!” she cried, grasping at my hands.

“He needs help! He’s hurt!”

“Here take this,” I said, handing her the first aid kit. It was then I noticed the blood on my hands. A cold feeling washed over me as I looked past my hands and into the man’s open eyes. They were blank, like a doll’s eyes, staring off into a glassy nothing. It was the first time I had ever seen a dead person.

“Ted! Get over here!” I heard my dad yell.

“I have to go lady, my dad needs me!”

“No please don’t leave me! Please!”

“Ted! I need the extinguisher now!”

“I’m sorry!” I said. I stood up and ran as fast as I could to my father. He was crouched next to the burning car reaching inside.

“Here Dad I got it!” I said.

“Good boy Ted, now go back inside and tell your mother to call for help.”

“I already did, she is calling now.”

“Okay then go inside now Ted it’s not safe,” he said, pulling the safety pin out of the extinguisher.

As my dad tried to put out the roaring fire, I noticed a woman strapped into the front seat of the car. It didn’t seem like she was okay. She was barely moving, but her eyes were open and alive. She wasn’t like the man on the lawn.

“You have to try to reach the buckle lady, I can’t reach it!” my father yelled to her.

“I…I can’t…” she moaned.

The fire extinguisher was too little so late. The fire was on a warpath now, creeping along the whole underside of the car. My dad had to shield his face as he sprayed the last of the extinguisher across the burning car.

“Lady you have to try! I can’t reach it!” my father said as he tossed the can aside and crouched by the window again. He stuck is arms in and reached around her trying for the buckle. I stood there watching, as he pleaded with the woman to try and reach the buckle, but he was too big, and the fire was spreading. Then it hit me.

I don’t really know why I did what I did next, but I guess it just seemed like the right thing to do. It’s what my Dad would have done if he could have.

“Dad…” I said, trying to get his attention.

“Ted get inside now!” he shouted at me. My father had never shouted at me in my entire life.

“Dad I can reach the buckle!”

“Now Ted! Inside now!”

“But Dad! I can help her!” I screamed back, and before waiting for an answer, I ran around the car over to the broken passenger side window.

“Ted stop!” my father yelled.

I heard him moving around the car to stop me so I quickly crawled through the window and over to the lady. Just as I felt my father’s hands wrap around my ankles, my fingers found the seat belt buckle and pushed the button. The lady fell out of her seat and on to her head. It would have almost been funny if it wasn’t so serious. Then almost as quickly as I had crawled into the car, I was pulled out and on to my feet.

“Ted get inside now goddamnit!” my father yelled at me as he shook me by the shoulders. It scared me more than the burning car and the dead man on our lawn. His grip was tight, his face was fierce, and his voice was booming. It wasn’t until years later, after becoming a father myself that finally understood what it meant.

“She is free! Get her out Dad!” I cried. I could still hear the woman on our lawn screaming, as sirens began to bleed into the distance.

I ran back to our front door and turned to see my father pull the woman out of the car. Soon after the fire trucks and ambulances showed up. By the time they got there though, the car was completely engulfed in flames. It never blew up like they do in the movies though; it was just a big burning lump of steel and plastic. They never would have been able to help the lady.

Later on the night after the fire was out and I was back inside with my parents, my dad explained it all to me. After talking to the firemen and giving numerous reports to the police, he was told that the accident had been caused by the screaming lady. Apparently she had run a stop sign just as two cars on the intersecting street were passing each other. Her car flipped over, but compared to everyone else she was relatively unharmed, just a few cuts and bruises. The driver of the car that looked like it was torn in half was the man on our lawn. He hadn’t been wearing his seatbelt and broke his neck when he was thrown through the windshield. The lady trapped in the burning car had broken both of her arms, and that is why she couldn’t reach the buckle. I had a few cuts from being dragged out of the car, they stung but I didn’t care, I just kept thinking about my dad’s face.

“That was a stupid thing to do Ted, it was careless and reckless. What if the car had exploded? We would have lost you, do you understand that?”

“I know Dad. I just wanted to help.” I said, finding my feet on the floor.

“You did help Ted. What you did was the bravest thing I have ever seen. That lady owes you her life, but the cost of you would have been too much for your mother and me to bear,” he said, his face wilting with tears peeking out the corners of his eyes.

It was the first time I had ever seen my father cry. The only time I ever saw him cry. He got up, kissed me on the forehead, went to the kitchen and poured himself a beer. He didn’t drink it though. He just sat there with his face in his hands.

“Teddy honey, Daddy didn’t mean to yell at you sweetheart, he was just so so scared you would get hurt, we both were sweetie,” my mom sniffled.

“So Dad wasn’t really mad at me?”

“Well, he may have been a little bit mad Teddy. You did crawl into a burning car after all, so don’t you ever scare us like that again,” she said fighting back tears of her own.

“Daddy is so proud of you though sweetheart. The firemen couldn’t believe you saved that woman’s life. You did something no one else could do and that took courage baby. So for that, we are so proud of you. You are a hero, sweetheart.”

“I’m a hero?” I said.

“You sure are Teddy, you sure are.”

“I don’t feel like one, I made you and Dad cry.”

“You may not understand now baby, but that’s why you’re a hero.”

She hugged me and started to cry also. I didn’t understand why everyone was crying if they were so proud of me, it was all so confusing. I knew that people cried when they were happy sometimes, my mom still cries every mother’s day, but even my dad was crying and it didn’t seem like happy crying. However, wisdom comes with age I suppose.

“Oh we love you so much Teddy, we love you so so much.”

“I love you too Mom.”

“Its time for this hero to get to bed though, it’s almost past 1:00.”


“Why don’t you go up and get ready and I’ll be up with your father shortly.”

“Okay,” I said, and headed up to my room.

I changed into some pajamas and got in bed and laid there for a few minutes thinking about what my mom said until I heard my parents coming up the stairs. I don’t know why, but when they came in I just laid there and pretended to be asleep. Even though they thought I was sleeping, they both told me they loved me, and kissed me goodnight. As soon as they left the room, I buried my face into my pillow, and burst into tears. I didn’t ever want my parents to die. I didn’t want them to be like the man on our lawn.

I woke up the next morning to the sound of rain against my bedroom window. As I was getting out of bed I noticed something on my desk that wasn’t suppose to be there. It was my father’s chess set with one of the white knights in the center of the board. I walked over to it and saw a note under the knight that said, “Good move.”

Submitted on 2006-04-26 21:18:41     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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5: Wow!


"...the queens even had boobs."

Ok, me being a bit immature, but I still liked it. You had realistic swords, horses, towers, and then...


This certainly is a serious story. Pretty dark, even.

Since you want to submit this for publication, I want to do my best to give some constructive advice, but looking through it, I'm not sure what to say. I didn't get to read the earlier draft you posted, so I am unaware of the changes you made.

Technically speaking, there is one thing I noticed, a repetition of sentence structure, that, although it isn't necessarily bad, might offer a minor help.

my dad said while checking his watch.

I said, shooting him a disappointed look.

he said, capturing my last one.

I said, plopping my face into my hands.

he said chuckling to himself while ruffling up my hair.

I said, straightening up to survey the board.

he said, before running down the driveway.

I yelled back before bursting through the front door.

OK, I'm getting a little carried away, here. First, I liked the way you kept mostly to "said" as "said" is far better than some of the other verbs people come up with for speaking. It is the simplest. But I think you should play around with the structure of these sentences. I mean, I know it is difficult to find variety, but a clever mind finds tricks.

I liked the way you handled the car wreck. It was very raw. It was realistic.

I guess another thing I can say is that the pace moves a little too slowly at the end. You nail it for the wreck, but at the end, everything seems traveling at too slow a pace. There's a lot of crying and a lot of reenforcing the point that brave Ted is a hero. What I would do at a point like this is try to represent an eternity of afterthought in as few words as possible. I think the dialogue sort of distracts from reflection and drags on the story. I think you can make more of an impact with the dialogue cut in half (but you may have to add a few narrative thoughts).

Anyways, good luck with this. I'm glad to see you're working on something.
| Posted on 2006-04-28 00:00:00 | by Eggman | [ Reply to This ]

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