Ground Rules

Both our jaws dropped in unison. Neither of us can play chess! Is Cricket out of his freakin’ mind?!
“Ha! I’m kidding!” he burst out. We breathed a semi-sigh of relief. But he still had that smirk on his face. Now what?
“Okay ladies, outline of the competition and ground rules. It’ll be best three out of five events, all of my choosing. They’ll be announced the day before so you can study up. Got it?” We nodded, impatient. “Now rules. You can’t communicate with anyone except each other and myself. The biggest rule: You are not allowed to try to kill each other. Can you girls manage that?” he asked, his right eyebrow arching slightly. We nodded.
More silence ensued.
“Alright we get it,” I burst out.
“What’s the first part?” Lin shouted, exploding from the suspence.
Cricket’s smirk spread into an all-out toothy grin as he straightened his glasses with a dramatic flourish. I could tell this guy’s been in theater for some time.

“Your first event,” he announced dramatically, “will be pickleball.”

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