Monday, May 23, 2011

Miss Scarlet

This is a somewhat fictionalized memory written based on the following prompt from The Red Dress Club.

This week, we want you to recall the games you played when you were young.

Did you love Monopoly, Yahtzee, or Uno? Or did you prefer backgammon, Trouble, or Scrabble?

Write a piece that explores one of your memories.

Let's have a 600 word limit.

We all wanted to be Miss Scarlet. Six young girls sat on a suburban porch, game board balanced on a table made from an old electrical wire spool, ready to play Clue. But first we had to argue over a little red token.

"I'm the oldest. I get to choose first," my sister, Tracy, declared.

"Not fair! you would always go first if we did that," Sarah protested.

"I never get to choose first. I think it's my turn." It was true. Gretchen never got to choose first.

"I'm the youngest. Shouldn't I choose first?" I knew I would lose the argument, but it was worth a try.

"You know I'm always Miss Scarlet." Becky snatched up the prized piece, placing it triumphantly on the board.

"Hey!" her twin, Susie, exclaimed with a frown. But it had been inevitable. Sticking our her tongue, she quickly grabbed her second choice, Mrs. Peacock, and placed the blue token in its starting place.

The rest of us took our usual characters: Mrs. White for Sarah, Mr. Green for Tracy, Mr. Plum for Gretchen, and Col. Mustard for me. The game quickly got started, as it did each time. We searched for clues to who dunnit, drinking lemonade and laughing.

Later in the evening we would play Kick the Can or Leftover Sardines, ranging along the whole block, most yards open to us, but afternoons, in the heat of the day, we played board games on our front porch. Some days it was Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit or Mousetrap. 

It's funny, looking back. Any other game I would have picked yellow without thinking twice. Yellow was my favorite color back then, a happy, sunny color. Tracy was always green, her favorite color. But add the characters and their personalities... well, what little girl wanted to be one of the men?

I still have that same copy of Clue. It sits on the game shelf along with the new version of Clue and all our other games. It still has some of the old marked up clue sheets from when we were young. My husband and I don't play games as often as we'd like these days, but we try. Games matter. They have been an important part of both of our lives. 

our game stash

Oh, and sometimes Miss Scarlet did it.


  1. Good post and a great prompt. :)

  2. I played several board games growing up, but that really shifted over to D&D about 4th grade. Making up our own worlds was so much more fun than working within the framework of most board games.

  3. Games do matter, I agree with that line so much. The shared experience and memory making--so important in bonding relationships. BTW, I STILL am always Miss Scarlet!


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