Young Writers Society

E - Everyone

Mind Games (Part 3)

by RavenBlack


ANDREA lies, curled up, on the carpet of her living room. She's holding a picture of her family in her hand. Her mother and father smiling, with a younger ANDREA in the middle of them.


I did it, Mom and Dad. I'm leading my own project.


Can you believe it? Me of all people.

ANDREA caresses the photo, her eyes welling up.


I miss you two so much.

Kissing the photo, she gets up of the floor and places the photo on top of the fireplace beside the other old photos of her and her parents.The one in the centre is framed and engraved with the words: 'Lewis and Paulette - Gone But Never Forgotten'.


A black, expensive car pulls up outside a small modern, Victorian styled mansion.


MARIA is greeted by an older man dressed very formally and conservative. He takes her coat and her bag and hangs them on the metal rack.

MARIA makes her way through the hallway, pictures of her standing solemnly next her parents hang on the walls. All of them with her holding a prestigious award.

But one caught her attention. Her graduation from the University of Oxford. It was the only picture that they were all smiling in.


Maria? Why are you standing out there? Come in, child.

At once, MARIA headed into the living room.


Sorry, mother. I was just looking at the photos in the hall.

MYA was in her late 40s but still radiated with the timeless beauty of her youth. Though her elegance was constricted by her stiff personality.

She stood to greet MARIA, who shrunk before her.


You bring good news I hope.

MARIA became hesitant.


I had it mother! She was going to choose me, I knew it! But then that bitch-


I bore of your excuses, child.


But Mother-




Come now, my love. Don't be too harsh on her. I'm sure she knows how much we've put towards her career.

MARCUS, late 40s, who was reading his newspaper, put it down on next to him as MYA moved next to him, sitting on the arm of the sofa. He was still in his business attire, though his jacket was hung over the chair opposite him.

Peering over his reading glasses he looked at MARIA.


Don't you?


Of course, Father.



(opens newspaper)

Then you know what you must do.

MARIA exits the room. But before she heads upstairs she stares of the picture of her University graduation, more so at the certificate. Her hands clench and she storms off.


ANDREA presses the button for the fifth floor. As the elevator moves, ANDREA clings to her briefcase, taking multiple deep breaths has she watches the number of levels increase.

But then the elevator stops on the 3rd floor and when the doors open, she was shocked to see LAURAINE standing at the entrance.

They both lock eyes for a brief moment before LAURAINE gets in the elevator and presses the button for the 6th floor. ANDREA stays in the corner, head down whereas LAURAINE holds her head high.

In the silence, ANDREA admires her outfit. LAURAINE wore a red velvet suit.

ANDREA tries to say something, her lips parted to speak but she doesn't. Then the elevator reaches the fifth floor.


(head slightly turned)

Your stop.


Yes. Thank you.

When ANDREA gets out of the elevator, she turns back and gets a small glimpse of LAURAINE looking at her as the doors close.

ANDREA heads to her desk, amid all of her co-workers staring at her. But as she gets comfortable, MARIA appears behind her.


What are you doing?

ANDREA looks at her confused.


Sitting at my desk.


You're the Project Leader, aren't you? Or did you get so drunk last night in celebration that you forgot?


I don't drink-

MARIA lifts ANDREA out of her seat and drags her to an isolated office room, the door titled: 'Project Manager'.


(taking ANDREA's briefcase)

Here, let me get that for you.

ANDREA snatches the briefcase back and holds it against her chest. MARIA narrows her eyes at her protective behaviour. Then a warm smile edges onto her cold lips as she puts a comforting hand on ANDREA's shoulders.


Listen, Andrea. I know how much this means to you. I can see it in your eyes. And I don't want you to screw it up.

ANDREA becomes uncomfortable as MARIA's grip on her shoulder tightens.


So if you need any help. Any help at all - you know where to find me.

ANDREA forces herself to smile.


Good. Now it's time to introduce yourself to the team!

Dragging her back into the main room, ANDREA becomes uneasy under the silence. Everyone is looking at her with hawk eyes, waiting for her to slip up so can gnaw at her like fresh meat.

MARIA notices her hesitation to speak and gives her a reassuring smile.



Come on, you can do it.

Sweat rolls down ANDREA's brow, the SOUND of her HEARTBEAT racing ushering in a familiar darkness.



The chess board is reset. ANDREA shakily moves a pawn forward one square.


Someone's nervous.


It's your turn.

ANDI snickers before moving her knight forward. ANDREA is visibly shocked by her action.


(leaning in her chair)

You didn't think I was going to play nice, did you? Not with what's at stake here.


Don't pretend to be helping me because you're not!

ANDREA moves her bishop through the gap that her pawn had made and places it directly adjacent to ANDI's knight. ANDREA looks surprised.

But ANDI didn't seem the least bit worried and calmly moved the pawn adajecent to her knight, two squares forward.

Immediately, ANDREA moves her bishop across, capturing ANDI's knight. Then, the dim lightbulb shines brightly for a second before returning to it's normal gloom.


I won't let you win this time.

ANDI smirks.


A knight is dispensable. They're just swords, nothing more.

ANDI hovers her hand over her queen. ANDREA's eyes widen at the realisation of what she had just done. She had made herself a target.


But there can only be one Queen and a true Queen protects her King - no matter the cost.

ANDI nonchalantly knocks over ANDREA's bishop, the SOUND of it hitting the glass board ringing against ANDREA's ears as the light bulb flickers vigorously.


I am your Queen, Andrea. Let me protect you.


I don't need your protection! I got the job I've always wanted without you!


And look where that's gotten you! Now you've made an enemy of Maria and Lauraine still barely notices you exist!

ANDREA becomes silent. Tears welling in her eyes.


I'm scared.

ANDI gets out of her seat and kneels in front of ANDREA.


Then let me help you.

At first ANDREA is hesitant but then she gives in. Holding her hand, ANDI consoles her has a white light obscures her vision.


Don't worry, I've got you

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377 Reviews

Points: 2980
Reviews: 377

Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:30 am
Omni wrote a review...

Hey Raven! Let’s jump right in.

Aww, that’s really sad and touching, how her parents are gone. I wonder what the reasoning is for their death? I hope it’s not another cliché XD but in all seriousness, her parent’s deaths are extremely important, both on what happened and how it happened, when it happened, and more. I hope we get more explanation in the future.

I like the juxtaposition here of Andrea mourning her parents and Maria mourning herself and her past in the pictures. They’re not quite polar opposites, but they work marvelously. It’s not too in-your-face, either, which I think much of the last two parts suffered from (blatant clichés).

So, this is a bit of a personal nitpick, and you totally don’t have to take this advice, but I wonder how this scene between Maria and Mya would have played out if they weren’t face to face? This, at the moment, is very cliché, not to mention stereotypical, but a way to spruce that up is perhaps having this over a phone call, or if this is enough in the future, a holo-call, where holograms of her parents are there. That would make it so that the mere presence of them isn’t even needed to make Maria falter. I also wander what would happen in this part if you make Maria nice to Andrea in the last part. I’m sure her parents would still be upset, but at least Maria would have a plan this time around.

And, reading on, I see that Maria is being “fake” (like, really fake, too fake) nice later on. I think that it would work better if she got nice with Andrea as soon as it was revealed that Andrea would be the leader. Here’s my reasoning: She obviously wants to get the project for herself. She’s also not a stupid person (as she went to Oxford, as well as many other accomplishments) so she would know when she lost, and make the most of that situation. That would make the parent scene not as problematic because Maria has a plan so it doesn’t seem like it’s all her parents that are doing all of the work for her. Because, like, no matter how controlling your parents are, they didn’t finish Oxford, Maria did.
On another note, Maria is so terribly fake here that a five year old would notice. Definitely make it more subtle!

Okay, I’ve now caught up. I see a lot of potential here. You have good themes, and you have decent characters. But, you’ve found yourself caught in the trap of too many clichés. They’re a problem throughout this piece right now, but there’s easy ways to fix that. I also think things a bit too obvious here, but again, there’s simple fixes. Hope to read part 5 :D

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98 Reviews

Points: 4255
Reviews: 98

Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:57 am
trashykawa wrote a review...

Hi @RavenBlack!
I'll start by saying that this is brilliantly written.

You're flow is perfect, diction is appropriate for nearly all ages, and you had my attention throughout the three installments in this....series(?). (i read all three in one go, it was THAT good)

And as Riellehn says, the chess scenes are indeed very interesting (i must say, i love the Andi character a lot, she reminds me of my twin)

You've managed to give us the setting up of the environment very nicely too, which relaxes the imaginative power required here; i like how you've conveyed emotion in this piece. You've showed us very clearly some the personalities of Andrea: she has low self-confidence, anxiety problems, she's shy, and from what i could glean, suffers a mild case of inferiority complex. So A+ for character development.

Also, we see the conflicting sides of Maria and that she isn't bi***y just because she can be, but because its a 'living up to my parents' thing (which is kind of a relief on my side because after all, we share the same name).

However, i think Maria's outbursts are a bit too abrupt (in the first two parts); i mean, a person can't go from blank to absolutely a screaming-fit-rage in a milli-second, now can they? So like, add a bit of the emotional changes your character (gradually) leading to their outburst. Again, it's kind of unnatural the level of bi**hy Maria is, even in real life, people don't act that way (like, at all), or atleast, not openly.

Andrea, Andrea. I have to say though, unless Andrea fights and stands up for herself more, i don't really think she's gonna come up as the readers' role model any time soon (take my example, my favourite character in Andi, and she's not even real-real). feminism, girl power, you know what I mean?

I'm really looking forward to the next parts (like, very eagerly; holding my breath eagerly), so hurry up, no good keeping us waiting.

Just saying this for the sake of it: Keep writing, keep up the *great work*


RavenBlack says...

Thank you for the review!

I'm so happy that you enjoyed it and actually went back to read the previous parts, i wasn't expecting that at all xD I'm also glad that you inferred the character's personalities and motivations, it shows that I'm doing well with the 'show and not tell' technique which I struggled with a lot previously.

You're comment has motivated me to keep writing, so I'm going to try to get as much done so I can keep updating the story. Stay tuned :D

trashykawa says...

i will :)

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13 Reviews

Points: 100
Reviews: 13

Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:00 pm
sylrie wrote a review...

I must admit I was waiting a while for this part to come out. And you did not disappoint! There was one noticeable typo (Right at the beginning, "Andrea gets up of the floor"), but otherwise grammar isn't a problem, especially considering the format (Which seems more fitting for a movie than a theatrical production. Not that that matters; the format is unique, and sets MIND GAMES apart from many others).

And I will say that I have noticed what you've been doing throughout all this concerning the personalities and intentions and pasts of each character. From what I can tell (and I don't know if this was intentional or not) you've been giving us enough to figure out what's happening (like Andrea's presumably dead parents, and Maria suddenly kissing the toes of Andrea) but at the same time you aren't simply telling us what is happening. For example, you don't straight up tell us Andrea's parents are dead, but the engraving makes that clear enough that it isn't up in the air whether Andrea's parents are dead or just far away. It also provides Andrea with her motivation for going through with this.

And the basement scene, by the gods! I'm probably going to become addicted to those scenes due to the heavy use of chess as an analogy for what's happening in the real world. Andi is freakishly manipulative, and knows how to destabilize Andrea. And when Andrea gives up and lets Andi help... well, I can't wait to see what that causes, but I'm pretty sure a lot of my questions will be answered.

Faithfully awaiting part 4!

RavenBlack says...

Thank you so much! I always look forward to your feedback!

I'm so glad you inferred the characters motives and that you really love the chess sections, I really enjoy writing them!

Poetry comes alive to me through recitation.
— Natalie Merchant