A Story by Peter Rogerson

The game of life...?


Six. I need a six to start,” said Mingus to Mongus, “and look: I’ve got a six!”

“You cheated! I saw you!” growled Mongus to Mingus, “You turned that dice over and put the six on top!”

“You must be cross-eyed! I did nothing of the sort!” shouted Mingus. “Anyway, I’m going to make my move. Look, I’ve thrown a three: that takes me to the foot of this ladder, so up the ladder I go...”

“I’ll soon catch you up!” roared Mongus, “Look, I’ve thrown a five!”

And there was a great deal of bickering ans complaining and sly little punches and loads of dark looks for the next half hour as a game of Snakes and Ladders progressed, with both players seeming to have an advantage until a nasty slimy snake made them slither down, down, down…

“Anyway, who wants to win?” moaned Mongus after he had slithered down yet another nasty snake, “what’s up the top that makes all this dice throwing worth while?”

“You win,” smiled Mingus, “that’s why we’re playing, just to win.”

“But what do we win?” asked Mongus darkly.

“The game. That’s what we win. Whoever wins can proudly say they’re the very best because he beat the other at the game.”

“But that doesn’t mean anything!” protested Mongus, “it doesn’t say who’s got the biggest brain or the most intellectual way of looking at the Universe and everything in it!”

“But it does mean you win,” smirked Mingus, “and look: I’ve won! I’ve got to the winning post without slithering down another snake!”

“And me? What of me?” wailed Mongus.

“You lose. I’m better that you, so I win and you’re inferior to me, so you lose,” gloated Mingus. “Look: I’m going through the door at the top while you stay back and stare and wish that you were me!”

And Mongus watched as his friend crowed like a morning cockerel and proudly and arrogantly, head held high (which meant he couldn’t really see where he was going) stepped over the line marking the end of the game and fell an innumerable amount of steps until he crashed, painfully, into a furnace at the bottom.

“I was waiting for you,” growled the fire-keeper, “this is where all the winners come...”

And using a red hot trident he poked Mingus in his fat little stomach until he fell backwards into the hottest fire ever, and burst into flames until all that was left of him was a load of hot air and a few glowing ashes.

All of which made Mongus laugh so loud he lost control and fell into a square marked “loser”, which took him back to the start of the game where a truly hungry snake was waiting for him, teeth dripping with vitriol and eyes glazed with pleasurable anticipation..

But then, that’s snakes and ladders for you.

© Peter Rogerson 03.06.20

© 2020 Peter Rogerson

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Added on June 3, 2020
Last Updated on June 3, 2020
Tags: losing, winning, cheating


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 76 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..