A Game of Thrones

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

 

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

Once in the great land of Alaska a school district decided to host a chess tournament.  School had been going for a few months, and unnaturally soon and severe winter blizzards were prohibiting students from playing outside.  The district’s superintendent decided that the tournament would be a great way to bring students together in replacement of recess.

They market it as a battle of whits between the four schools in their district.  The school with the winning student will become the flagship of the district and the student who won would be treated like a king: getting their own special desk and a lifetime supply of steak.

For the children, it was just another cruel trick.  The summer had dragged on beautifully, and now the winter was depriving them of all their freedom.  The children of the Stark family were having particular trouble adjusting to the change.  All four of them attended the same school (in various grades), and were always playing together outside, until the snows drove them into depressed compliance.  Their teacher at Winterfell Elementary notices their discomfort, and forces them into the chess tournament.  The children turn the club into a game by  promising that whoever wins will be addressed as a king or queen for the rest of the school year.  After all, they were getting their very own throne.

Meanwhile at the preppy Dragon Prince Elementary the shy Ami is discovered by her brother Jefferson playing chess against a homeless man outside of the school’s gate.  She’s quite good, but is mortified by the though of others watching her play and begs him to keep her talent a secret.

Unfortunately for her, Jefferson is determined to win the district’s upcoming chess tournament.  In their school, each player is required to have a partner, both for practicing and to boost the numbers in the club.  Jefferson signs them both up, and Ami is forced out of obscurity.

At the third school in the district, the teachers are having a hard time teaching anyone to play chess.  The students have discovered that the pieces are the perfect size for chucking at each other, which is infinitely more preferable than moving them across the checkered board.  Besides, chess is for sissies.

The last school  is the district’s school for the Gifted and Talented, and they are taking the competition very seriously.  These students have grown up their entire lives knowing that while the majority of them are not nearly as wealthy as some of their conterparts, in twenty years time they will be buying up the parents of Dragon Heart’s student’s companies, so they might as well start the domination now.  No other school is considered worthy of their attention.

The leader of the total destruction task force is Veronica, a cousin of the Starks who is not only focusing on beating the preps.  Instead, because of years of family reunions watching the other children’s large, happy family, she has placed all the blame for her strained relationship with her equally apathetic parents on the Starks.   Veronica is determined to vanquish her relations.

Each school’s teams begin to solidify.  The Starks are all very supportive of each other, and progress as a unit.  Ami is turning out to be a much better player than her brother, and as the teacher encourages her more and more, Jefferson becomes horribly jealous.  Veronica is taking lessons from five different chess master around the world via Skype in preparation of the coming battle.

Then Veronica realizes the key to beating her cousins lies in separating them.  She persuades her parents into manipulate the school district into having the championship competition held in the large city a few miles away.  After all, no child of theirs will be competing in a school auditorium for such a prestigious prize.  Veronica knows the Stark family will not be able to afford sending all of their children, clever girl.

And she is right.  The Stark parents call in their offspring and tell them that they can only afford to send one child to the championship.  After a long, meaningful family discussion they decide to send the eldest, Burt, since the rest will have a chance in coming years.

Jefferson ‘drops’ a heavy stack of books on Ami as she reaches for a chess piece, breaking her wrist.

After a brief trip to the fully equipped nurse’s office.  She continues to play, using her other hand.  The rest of the team signs her cast.

The week before the championship, Winterfell Elementary teams up with the school of hooligans in an effort to prepare their students to take on both the gifted and the rich counterparts.  While the hooligans have learned to correctly move the pieces, none of them are nearly as good as Burt.  Still, his humble, adventurous personality causes him to befriend all the other students.  They make a pact to do their best to support him throughout the championship.

Then the fateful day comes.  All the participants from each school are shipped off to the big city, and each game is broadcast locally as their individual participants compete to be the representative for their school in the semi-finals.  Burt quickly becomes the champion for Winterfell, one of the hooligans muddles his way past the rest, Veronica crushes her opponents, and in the final for Dragon Prince Elementary, Ali beats Jefferson in a record four moves.

He overturns the table and storm off screaming that he’ll never speak to her again.  Ami secretly wishes that he would keep that promise.  It makes national news, and camera crews from around the nation flock to the town to film the championship.

Burt beats the hooligan, with much joking and good spirit, and Ami and Veronica stale mate.  They are scheduled for a re-match the next morning, and the winner will be set to face Burt later that day.

That evening, Veronica is caught pouring Nyquil into Ami’s mug of hot coco and is disqualified.

Burt and Ami take their seats on either side of the table, and the story ends with Ami sliding forward her white pawn.

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