Turkey scented the air, teasing my stomach. And mashed potatoes.
I walked toward the dining room table, as nonchalant as possible. My hand sneaked out, snatching a deviled egg and popping the entire thing into my mouth.
Six other empty spaces on the tray spoke of the crimes committed.
I watched my cousin execute a similar move; we exchanged looks and grinned.
Soon.. soon the game would be on.
Dinner arrived, only five eggs left to share. Innocent whistling as accusations and teasing found its mark.
A halfhearted attempt at Scrabble. War via the deck of cards.
It was time.
Board games discarded, I raced into the unfinished basement, my sister and younger cousin not far behind.
The cold walls and floor greeted us, the temperature plummeting – socks and shoes a must, or your toes would freeze. We rounded the corner, reaching the laundry room. I flipped its light switch.
“Okay!” I yelled to my cousin still at the top of the stairs.
The main lights clicked off, the only light from the bulb above.
Feet thundered down the steps, as he appeared before us.
He would be It.
“One. Two. Three. Four. Five…” He counted, the light rapidly going off and on.
The three of us scattered into the open space. I found the perfect spot, wedged between two cardboard boxes in the main room, and tucked myself into a ball. Dust tickled my nose and I fought back a sneeze.
“Nineteen. Twenty.” The flickering stopped and the basement turned black.
Only a hint of light filtered from the main floor down the open staircase.
The quiet shuffling sounds of my cousin vanished as the furnace kicked on, hiding his actions.
Was he here?
Was he in the other room?
Was it safe?
My eyes adjusted to the dim and I scanned for hints of movement.
Slowly I eased out of position, creeping towards the laundry room, hunched down onto all fours.
In the other room I heard a yell, as my older cousin found his sister.
From the main level, I’m told we sounded as if axe murderers chased us.
To us, it was our game.
Always played during the winter holidays, because summer nights were too long for the proper level of darkness.
Best. Game. Ever.
Did you love Monopoly, Yahtzee, or Uno? Or did you prefer backgammon, Trouble, or Scrabble?
Write a piece that explores one of your memories.
I’ve played and loved many board games, but those are not what I remember from childhood. Instead, it was the game we created, Freak Out, that brought us so much joy.