A serious game

In a few hours, they’re going to burn out a part of my brain. It’s my sister’s fault.

She bought it for my sixth birthday. It’s a solitaire game, just a piece of sanded pine cut with a router and thirty-three marbles, exactly. I remember being disappointed after I opened it.

I played the game and tried to enjoy it anyway. Counting the marbles as I laid them out on the board, counting them again each time I put them away.

One day I noticed that the layout of the holes was imperfect. Several of the marbles were off center from the neat, orderly lines they’re supposed to form. The dimples in the wood are misaligned, which really bothers me.

The universe needs much more order and precision, don’t you think?

There are exactly ninety-seven grains across the playing surface of the set; I’ve re-confirmed the count many times. I soak the marbles in a jar of alcohol every night to kill the germs. Sometimes, my hand shakes while I carefully count out the thirty-three marbles, and I leave bloody fingerprints. That’s from the repeated hand washing.

They’re going to try gamma ventral capsulotomy, the gamma knife. I blame Jenny.

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200 words. Prompted by this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt:



Gamma Knife


14 thoughts on “A serious game”

  1. I remember reading in college about the sort of behaviors associated with the most extreme cases of OCD.

    An image like that one strikes me as a likely trigger 😛

    1. At least this case doesn’t seem to blame himself (as so many OCDs do), Not sure how his sister feels about that, though.

  2. That is interesting how he is not aware, as, from what I have read, many are of what is “wrong”.
    Interesting take on the prompt.

    1. He’s aware I think. Just high-functioning, between his ‘episodes.’ Then again, I’m not a real psych or anything 😛

  3. What a great story! I think your story showed OCD perfectly. Your story flowed well with the OCD descriptives. My grandson has OCD (but not to this extent). For him, everything needs to be perfect (as in your story). But again, not to the extent of the character in your story. Many have OCD to that extent and even worse.

    1. Well, not many are ‘worse’. A washer that reaches is hands-bleeding stage…that’s pretty severe. At least they have better (physical) treatments than Corpus Callosotomy.

  4. Great story.. I have OCD issues too.. that board would have driven me insane! I am not a washer or germaphobe though.. mine is more counting and things being “perfect”

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