Forest looked at the board. Push had advanced quite a bit, but they had been down this road before.
For a long while he thought. He moved a piece.
-Good move, Push said thoughtfully. -A very good move, I hadn’t expected that. His voice was dark and low. Forest sensed worry and anger.
The birds were singing in the trees, two deer ran by in a distance. People walked by. Forest felt the fresh air in his lungs. His mind wandered through the surroundings for a moment, to get a well deserved pause from the intense game.
Push sat there, thinking, rubbing his little flute. There had to be a way out of this situation, some way to read his opponent’s plans. Then, there, just in front of him, it appeared. A solution. He lifted one of his pieces, moved it two steps forward.
Forest snapped out of it, stared at the table. It was turned. He was the one in trouble, the one behind, the one losing. Nature would go under by the power of the supernatural, the beyond, the way of the old gods. The definition of reality was in danger.
Scratching his head, he thought for a long time. He had been here before, behind, underneath. He had lay on the ground, in the dirt, waiting for the strike, the destruction.
Push grinned. It looked like he’d finally won. Forest was sweating, not knowing what to do or where to go, which piece to move. Push laughed out loud, smearing out his triumph.
Another piece was moved. Push’ grin stiffened, faded. Changed into dark disappointment. Forest was back in the lead, once again, as it had happened so many times down through the uncountable rounds rounds they had played around the sun.
The game continued, as it had done for an eternity, and probably would for an eternity more.