It has been a while since we were at it. A battle…a battle of wits. Three men, facing each other, like the penultimate scene of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. Not exactly a Mexican stand off (see image), because here one will be winning.
The room is filled with the sound of silence. TICK-TOCK-TICK-……the sound of the wall clock breaks the silent barrier. Each breath can be heard. Eyes dash from one face to another. I stood there. The other two on my each side. Faces stern. Making sure that the our faces betrayed no emotions.
We had our weapons and the counter weapons. I required 1 more round to win the game and two were left. My turn to start, since I had won the last round.
I have my last two weapons.
The aces have already been used by them.
Of the 7 trumps, 5 have been used and I hold 1.
One of them the other.
I recalled, everything that had been thrown during the last 8 moves. How each round had been won. Who had used what and it had been countered by what, if it had been. The mind keeps calculating……
Using the other one throws another problem.
The things that have been used earlier, one higher power remains.
Then that means that one of them has a counter.
If the same person has both the trump and the normal counter, then I will lose.
But, if not then I can lure then in a trap with this move.
Let one of them win this round to give a sense of false hope.
Make them lose guard.
And then go for the kill in the final round.
That would require a sacrifice.
To sacrifice a trump.
But what if it doesn’t work?
The eyes shifted from one face to the other. One face partially hidden, the was as expressive as a stone. My eyes squinted as I tried to pierce into their heads.
Show me what is in your head..
Even a tiny move, a twitch of a muscle will be able to let me fathom his situation.
The way you speak, act, write…will help me deduce what’s going on in that head of yours.
I recalculate in my mind. It cannot go wrong. I was right on what had been used earlier.
Of the remaining 6 weapons, I had 2, 2 I was afraid of, and 2 posed no threat…unless I made a foolish error.
But the 2 potent ones. The other two had used almost the same arsenal.
It was hard to tell. The trump had not been used to cancel any regular attack, so I could not calculate, who had finished the ones in his weaponry.
I could throw my trump to lure the other into throwing his.
But then, even if the other had the other main weapon, he would not throw it.
He will sacrifice a lesser one.
But if I throw the other and he counters, then presuming that the other guy has the last trump, he will try to win it.
Leaving me in the position to win the last round.
Calculations and recalculations………
The one hiding is face is the weakest link.
He does not think ahead much.
I could use it to my advantage and make him create an opening for me.
But I will have to play mind games with him.
Right now I have 10 strategies in my head. 10 ways.
Out of the 10, A is the most likely to succeed while B has the least probability of success.
But the difference is small.
Using B, I would be able to test my manipulation technique.
I threw the trump…
….Alea Jacta Est…..
He threw the counter. I looked at the weak link.
“I know you have it. Throw it. You won’t be able to save it this time.”
He looked aghast. I had been unsure and had taken a chance based on highest probability and what he had used and played till now. And I was right.
“How do you know? Are you able to see?”
My right index finger tapped my head in indication, as the lips curved in a wicked smile and the eyes narrowed at him. He had taken the bait.
Dumbfounded, he did what I wanted him to do. He threw it.
I smiled now. Could afford to do it. And I looked at the other.
“You won this round but I will take the last one and with it the game. You have the Queen of Hearts….but I have the King”said I as I opened my final card for them to see.