A group of elderly men chatter in Chinese.
Birds twitter, those free and in cages.
Fly through the setting of a chessboard.
Zoom to group of men, the two players in the center of the attention, a chessboard in-between.
Both have concentration, the game is a battle.
See the players form the view of the pieces.
One is aged, a cane learning against his seat.
Everything is in shades of grey.
A young adult is the other; razor sharp blades of black hair hang in front of his eyes, shielding his thoughts from the enemy.
He will win, the other will lose.
A black pawn moves forward, the enemy advances.
The sharp eyes of the young hone in on the horse.
He smiles in his mind.
This is the enemy’s mistake.
All turns to color.
See the players from the view of an aged one standing on the side.
The young one sits still for a moment, his fingers slowly pick up the piece, it slowly moves forward, and lands on the square in finality.
Enemy, this is my move, my small gift to you.
A horse stands in a battlefield, calm and quiet, a breeze blowing its mane.
The young one closes eyes, pictures his next tactic.
View from top.
View from side.
The pieces have come to life.
Moving back and forth.
Battlefield, swords clash, a chariot turns quickly.
A white tower lands in determination, a hollow knock on the board.
The battle slightly stills.
Elder looks into eyes of young, and the black queen captures the white bishop.
The young will lose.
A tap on my shoulder.
One with no teeth looks at board and at me.
His bird flutters in its cage.
It is my verification, he agrees.
Eyes closed, fingers rest on table, thinking.
Eyes open, sharp as a spear that is suddenly thrust by a warrior.
The young has made an advantage.
Blades clash, again, again.
Horses carry warriors to their adversaries.
White moves right.
Black moves one.
White three and back.
You are surrounded.
At night, warrior looks up at sky.
He looks at patterns on the grass of the battlefield, tactics of the moon and stars reflected.
White pawn moves toward black pawn, but hangs in air.
No, he is not the danger.
Changes direction and lands.
Young stares into eyes of enemy through blades of hair, shadows slash over his face.
The warrior stands looking over battlefield, covered in orange glow of sunset, at enemy, who lowers head in acknowledgement of defeat.
Turns away, disappears into the sunset.
No death, no blood.
You lose, because I was meant to win.
Fingers rest on table.
The intensity of battle is ebbing, the end is near.
Young finishes his attack.
He no longer hears men.
No longer hears birds.
All is zoned out from mind.
The last white piece moves into place.
You lose this battle.
A burst of cheers.
The bottom of a cane taps against the ground.
Players smile at each other, no longer foes.
The chatter of the elderly.
They point excitedly.
The sound of laughter.
Rustling of the leaves, filtering slits of sunlight and shadows.
Blossom petals fall around a sword planted into the ground.
Chattering and laughing.
Only the tiny bird in the cage notices the single blossom petal falling from the sky.