The Game | Creative Writing


Thursday 23rd February 2017 

A Ravenclaw, a Hufflepuff, a Gryffindor and a Slytherin sit around the top of a faux-leather pouffe, a game of Frustration between them.

It starts out innocently enough, although the Ravenclaw seems to have bad luck from the first time she presses the clear plastic pod that houses the dice. The other players quickly collect sixes and their mini pegs fly around the board whilst the lonely Ravenclaw provides a sparkling commentary. All is not lost - she manages to secure a place home for one of her 'little 'Claws', as she calls them - until the Hufflepuff wins the game.

Pegs are moved back to their original places and the Slytherin, hooded in a black cloak with his sidekick (a Jack Russell named Thor) between his knees, silently curses the other players - at least that's what they suspect. They're all sat awkwardly together on the floor, the Ravenclaw's legs brushing against the Hufflepuff's, and they each complain at a time how uncomfortable they are. None of them seem to care much though, and they refuse faux-fur cushions when they're offered, because the next game is about to begin.
Again, again: luck is not on Ravenclaw's side. Her little 'Claws remain in their locked places, awaiting a six to set them free. The bickering begins this game and she reminds them all, a little indulgently and in the way that only a Ravenclaw can, that the game itself is called 'Frustration'. Gryffindor, always so headstrong, consistently attempts to make moves and then corrects herself, something the Slytherin and Hufflepuff will not stand for. They chastise her and together decide that this is a new rule for the game: once your fingers brush one of your own pegs, you have to move it. This ends up biting each of them in the Pygmy Puff at some point as the Ravenclaw (when she finally releases a 'Claw) and the Gryffindor both take out a yellow or green peg because of it. Again, the Ravenclaw manages to take one of her 'Claws home before the game is won, this time by the cunning and increasingly competitive Slytherin.
The final game starts quickly and Slytherin is vicious from the get-go. He's calculating and ruthless, always two steps ahead the rest of them. He reminds them frequently, in an increasingly frustrated-yet-elated voice, that he is 'The Player' of them all and he will not stand to lose. As tensions rise a casual yet distinct sense of urgency settles upon the players and allegiances are forged with a glance: the Ravenclaw and the Gryffindor, and the Slytherin and the Hufflepuff. Dirty moves are met with a growing dismay from the only witness: another Hufflepuff, one who is not so loyal to her House but loyal to its characteristics - for how could she wave yellow flags when three of her children are competing against them?
The game is so heated, and so quick-paced, that each player pushes the clear dome with enough desperation and force to pop the little pegs out of their homes. The job to restore them lies on Ravenclaw, because she has little else to do - the sixes are not on her side today, and her loyalty to the Gryffindor, her youngest sister, gets her taken out before she has a chance to make more than a few moves.
Gryffindor also comes across this problem, but restores her luck with a little magic: she pulls out her 'lucky stone', a rough-cut chunk of Amethyst that glistens in the low light. When it's time for her to make a move, she shuts both eyes tight and touches her thumbs with her forefingers, counts to five and then pops the dome... and gets a six four out of the five times she tries. Ravenclaw is laughing now, cackling with her head thrown back, and the Gryffindor is giggling in a way that gets the Hufflepuffs going too. But not Slytherin - he's too focused on those little green pegs and how he's going to get them home.
The Gryffindor restores the Ravenclaw's honour, though, in that typical Gryffindor fashion, and sets her sights on Slytherin as she plans her every move. It becomes apparent very quickly who is going to win this game, and with the sacrifices proud Ravenclaw made it seems only fitting. The Gryffindor eventually, finally, brings all of her little Lions home, with a great cheer from herself and Ravenclaw. The Slytherin finishes second - of course - and the Hufflepuff third. The Ravenclaw still holds her beaked face high, receiving torment from both the Hufflepuff and the Slytherin for the noble - but probably stupid - sacrifices on Gryffindor's behalf, but still happy none-the-less. It was the first time in a long time that they'd played this game together and she couldn't help but appreciate the humour and strategy each House brought to the gameplay. And it also made one thing very clear: if she'd ever doubted her brother was a Slytherin before, she definitely didn't now.
I wrote this immediately after the events happened and thought it was quite a fun, unique way to document an evening of my life that I wouldn't have recorded otherwise.  It's incredibly different to anything I've posted on my blog before but it's the first finished piece of creative writing, albeit a short one, that I've written in a very very long time and I guess that in itself is something to celebrate! (Even if it does make me feel vaguely nauseated at the thought of someone else reading it.)
I've been feeling some feels regarding my blog lately and I feel like I let it slip away from me for a little while - I spent a lot of time thinking about other people's opinions over my own - so I'm hoping that sharing this piece of writing will be the turning point in reclaiming this little space.
And I'll leave you to decide if Leigh's lucky stone is fictional or real ;)



  1. I love this so much! Such an interesting and clever way to share an event, proud of you for posting cause I know how daunting it can be :) I've taken a long break from my blog too and it's terrifying posting again but we got this. Hope you're having a lovely day!

    Nabeela x

  2. Oh I loved this Lauren! You've definitely got a knack for this type of writing. Plus anything Harry Potter is always a win haha!


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