Monday, September 9, 2013
Henry sucked a breath in through the gap where his tooth had fallen out.
"Will knows how to play," she said.
"Yeah?" he said and tapped his fingers on the table.
"Yep!" said Abigail. She ran into her bedroom, her black converse sneakers thumping across the floor, and returned with the breast cancer awareness scarf she had received from their mother. It swung from her hand like a bindle.
"Oh, you and that stupid pink scarf," said Henry.
"It's not stupid," said Abigail. She opened it and let her marbles roll onto the table.
Henry held one to the light and squinted. "They're clear," he said.
"Not really," said Abigail. "They're clear but they're cloudy. Go ahead. Have them all."
Henry put them into one of the pockets of his backpack.
Will arrived and sat down with an air of importance. "Okay. So. You wanna play Webtuckin. Let's see your marbles."
"W-what do you need to see 'em for?" said Henry.
"If we're going to do this, you've gotta get your marbles out."
"It's fine," said Abigail to Henry.
He unzipped an inside pocket of his backpack and scooped out his marbles. They were a solid, shiny red. He held them over the table, his hands curved as a bowl.
"That it?" said Will.
"Um, I-I got more in th-three other pockets," said Henry.
"Wow, okay, you might as well get those ones out, too."
With great caution, he set down the ones he'd been holding like he expected them to shatter into smithereens any second. Abigail helped him extract the rest, including hers.
"Good," said Will. He opened his satchel and grabbed a couple handfuls of his own marbles which were solid green.
"Now it's time for strategy," said Will. "What we're going to do is put a percentage of yours with mine and put them in the middle like this. Remember you've gotta think about what's going to happen later in the game. This is what we're doing now, but later it's going to come together on that end of the table if you want to work your way over there."
"Actually, let's change this percentage." Will moved more of the red marbles in with his green ones then moved them to the side. "And let's put five of those red ones over here." He swept them with his hand but accidentally knocked a few off the edge.
Henry was getting angrier by the minute.
"What's wrong?" Abigail said, but he refused to answer. "If this is just making you mad then you don't have to keep playing. You can do something else."
He stood and, with his forearm, swept as many red marbles as he could off the table into his open backpack. "It's over!" he yelled to Will and stomped away.
"I didn't mean doing it like that," mumbled Abigail.
Will looked down and fiddled with the drawstring on his bag.
Abigail pointed to some of his marbles on the table. "What color are those?"
She pointed to a few of the red ones Henry had left behind. "And those?"
"Green," he said.
He cleared the table and closed his satchel. Abigail wilted like a dying plant.
"This is all Henry's fault!" he blurted out.