Author: Greer Watson
Time: elsewhen (covering several days in mortal time)
Most of the pieces that had fallen off the scrabble board had now been picked up. The Powers That B'Aint (No More) was not, however, feeling as relieved as this should have made it. One ear--if it had ears--kept permanently cocked for the sound of TPTB's return. Until all the pieces were recovered and put back, the game could not continue.
In its heart, TPTBn't(NM) knew, of course, that it had long since lost this game, as so many other games (for so many other shows) had been lost so many times before. Hope, though, springs eternal.
Was that a vibration in the ether?
It jumped; and, to its chagrin, saw that its sleeve had knocked a piece right off the table to the floor--a piece, moreover, that had not up till now shifted position. The little square of wood flipped and skittered; and TPTBn't(NM) hastily got down on one knee, reaching to grab it--
--caught a foot in the hem of its robe--
--instinctively reached to brace its fall--
--dropped half the pieces it had not already put back on the table--
--and, in reaching to grab them, sprawled full length.
It was, of course, at that point that TPTB returned to the Great Hall of Play. It looked down from its loftiness.
TBTBn't(NM) craned its head back to stare up. It flushed.
"If you're ready?"
"Uh, not *quite* yet?"
"I can wait. Eternally."
It proceeded to do so ... if not eternally, then till TPTBn't(NM) scrambled awkwardly to its knees, stepped on its robe again as it tried to stand, and tripped once more to sprawl, arms outstretched, hitting its head on a table leg.
"Shall I come back later?"
TPTB didn't bother to wait for an answer but left, pausing only long enough in the doorway to look back at the mess. It produced a superior sniff, and swept out.
Another piece slipped off the table. Its aim was true. TBTBn't(NM) rubbed its head, suppressed a few words, and began--yet again--to pick up the pieces.
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