Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Sudoku 3: Trouble Brews
by Michael S. Collins

Asha was a single mother. She went home with groceries, bad tempers and an important newspaper. Well, not quite an important newspaper, only the Daily Mail in fact, but important to the continuation of the story, so it may as well be high literature.

The boy sat by the television, watching the static lines bubble and fizz. Water poured out of a tub and illuminated the floor for copyright reasons. The boy was still.

“Evening” said his mother. No response. “Evening!” she said slightly louder. No response. “Dinner in five”, she said.

“Oh hey, mum” he said.

Asha groaned and dragged her bags into the kitchen. Her boy continued watching the static television. But then, he was a strange boy, was Yoshi: proof if ever needed, the dangers of a woman in labour craving Nintendo video games.

Asha put the hastily-chosen dinner in the microwave and with great decision, turned the machine on. She flicked open the newspaper: disaster here, perjury there, she's gay today and he's divorced tomorrow, and she's a he, and he might never play for the local side again. Then, as she flicked through the pages, she came across it: the Sudoku puzzle.

“I can do this one, its easy.” she said to herself, and with her pen (she had still been biting it, that was a particularly nasty habit of hers) she put an 8 down in the space. Any space, it didn't matter. It was only an 8. It was after she'd done this that she noticed the cartoon strip next to the Sudoku. Funny, she'd thought it was the usual comedy dog. Instead, it was a sleek black haired girl, staring out at the world with her big dark eyes. The caption was hardly comical: 'finish my puzzle in seven days, or I'll be havin' ye.'

Asha thought for a second.

“Damn, I forgot about the curse.”

The microwave buzzed.

“Oh good, dinner!”

“Mum, food”, came the voice from the hall, “Mum, the phone. Oh, I'll get it. Ah, it was just the debt collectors.”

Yoshi entered the room, and saw the newspaper. He went over to and placed a 7 on the board.

“Why did you do that?” cried his mother.

The boy shrugged. “Felt like it” he said.

She turned to the cartoon. The caption had changed: “Ha-ha, you two are like, so screwed. That's the difficult version!”

And Asha felt terror, and hunger. So she ate.

...continued in 'Sudoku 4: 'The Importance of Being Apathetic'