A Game of Marbles By Carol Hightshoe
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Rated "G" by the Author.
An imaginative tale about the creation of the Asteroid Belt.
Jania removed the package from the message slot and looked at it. A thick brown envelop, it had a squishy feel that told her it was padded to protect the contents. Other than her delivery code there was nothing on the front of the package. She slowly turned it over, almost dropping it when she saw the golden vortex seal covering the flap. It was from the tournament organizer. Her hands shook as she opened the seal. Inside was a gold circle-shaped badge. She had made it. She was in this year’s tournament. Jania smiled then removed the remaining materials from the envelope.
Included with the badge was a sheet outlining the rules of the contest. The restrictions on her game piece as well as a copy of the board layout with the rotational rates, orbital speeds and sizes of the other game pieces.
She laughed at the extreme ego of the board’s creator to actually include this information. True this was considered to be the toughest maze to compete on, but every other maze board was kept secret until the player was ready to make their attempt at navigating it.
She started to toss the layout into the recycle slot then paused as she looked at it again. Very few players were ever invited to attempt navigating this maze, and only a tiny portion of those ever succeeded. If she wanted to maintain her undefeated record, she might want to take advantage of anything that was given to her.
She glanced at the date on the papers –- she had two weeks to prepare. She would be ready.