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"Monopoly" (2020)

๐–’๐–”๐–“๐–”๐–•๐–”๐–‘๐–ž;โฃ


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With each pewter pawprint tapping around the cardboard squares, Alan forced his metallic counter across the board for the goddamn millionth time. Coming to rest on the crimson flash of Fleet Street, the middle-aged man grimaced -- a small row of three red houses signified a debt owed to another player. Grumbling under his breath, Alan collected a handful of bills, before reluctantly passing them across to the man opposite.โฃ


โฃ


He'd never understood it. Laboriously lengthy games, property owning, fees and bills; it was too much like real life. Weren't games for escapism? Disappearing into a wild fantasy land in an attempt to discard the humdrum of everyday life? Well, apparently not, according to Hasbro.โฃ


โฃ


Sighing heavily at his seemingly eternal trap, Alan's gaze drifted to the omnipotent moustachioed gent at the centre of the board. A peachy hand outstretched towards the despondent dad, the game's mascot looked almost smug, safely nestled between piles of money. Alan wondered if even Mr Monopoly got bored sometimes.โฃ


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For what seemed like hours, Alan forced his canine counter past train stations and community chests. Each move came with an echoing '๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฑ, ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฑ, ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฑ', as each square bought him and his fellow players closer to the end. Red turned to yellow turned to green, and as he approached the prestigious Park Lane, Alan could feel his torturous afternoon finally drawing to a close. Soon, the smug, piggy eyes of their top-hatted observer would be folded back into the dark confines of the box, the garish false currency would be tucked away and Alan would, at last, be free of this hellish board game.โฃ


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With a triumphant '๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฑ, ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฑ,' Alan drove his token to the finish line. Beautiful, heavenly words, a rounded black font atop mint green signified the end of it all; collect ยฃ200 as you pass go. With a dazzling hope in his eyes, Alan looked skywards, sighing with divine relief... And Satan, proceeding with Alan's eternal damnation, shook his head, "No."


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Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2020: https://tinyurl.com/3um96z44ย 

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