Chess in the park

The peacock landed heavily on the chess board, an overused, overweight symbol. Alexei, who said he had a photographic memory, half picked it up, half pushed it off the concrete table. People in the park shouted and pointed, but not in an aggressive way. Now they were laughing, but at the situation, not the victims.

Can you eat peacock, wondered Alexei, as the bird strutted away.

Oh yes, of course, roared one of the spectators, if you have good teeth and are not afraid of the soldiers.

Ah, I must have said that out loud, thought Alexei, making sure to keep his lips tight shut and his eyes from blinking. The bystander said nothing.

Alexei set up the pieces again, almost exactly as they had been when the peacock had arrived. The game continued until its inevitable outcome became clear.