“Well this is highly improbable,” Logan murmured, glancing over his wall’s whiteboard one more time. “One might even say impossible..” He sighed frustratedly, running a hand through his hair. He’d been at this entirely too long.
Logan didn’t know how Patton did it. Perhaps it was some kind of fluke, a mere simple trick that Patton had somehow managed to-
No , Logan reasoned. That would be extremely out of character. And also very difficult to pull off.
The subject of Logan’s frustration was the fact that Patton has never lost when playing a board game. Ever. Over the years, everyone had made jokes about how Patton seemed to win every board game they play, whether it be checkers, The Game of Life, hell, even luck based games such as Chutes and Ladders . They didn’t play them very often, as most family nights included a movie and snacks; maybe some video games, although even that was rare.
Logan started thinking about it while dreading that night’s family night (it was so unproductive, although.. He was loathe to admit it, but he supposed it was enjoyable), and the logical side realized how right they all were. He glared at his whiteboard, looking over the list of over twenty board games and the various dates they were played that he had documented. The end results were all the same, of course. Patton had won every single one.
It would be unreasonable to assume this “streak” (if you could even call it that) was going to continue forever. It, just like everything, would end eventually.
It’s luck. That’s all it is. But nobody is that lucky. It just doesn’t happen.
Logan needed to test it. Wasn’t that the best course of action when presented with a seemingly unexplainable conundrum such as this? He’d need help, though, as much as he despised admitting it.
A sharp, precise knock at the door alerted Roman to Logan’s presence. Everyone knocked differently, and it was an easy way to know who was at the door before you even opened it. Roman stood up from his desk and various notebooks to answer, the wind swirling around his room coming to a sudden halt when he spontaneously quit brainstorming and writing down video ideas.
Roman opened his door, welcoming the logical side inside his extravagant room. Logan quite simply looked frazzled, his hair mussed (obviously because he’d been messing with it recently), his glasses somewhat askew and he almost radiated irritation.
“What brings you to my corner of the-” Roman flamboyantly began, but Logan cut him off.
“I need board games.” Ignoring his annoyance at being interrupted, Roman blanked. The request was odd, even moreso when from the requester. Roman had been expecting maybe a couple things when Logan had knocked on this door, but this most certainly was not one of them. Whenever they played board games Roman was always the one to conjure them, of course, but it was always either his idea or Patton’s. Logan had never expressed any sort of interest in them whenever they brought up the idea.
“What?” Roman asked, perplexed. Logan sighed irritably, and then spoke to the fanciful side as if talking to a small child.
“I need board games. Surely you know what those are? Yahtzee, Battleship, The Game of Life, etcetera?” Logan asked, and the royal scoffed, frowning.
“Of course I know what those are, Board Brains. What I meant was why are you in need such things? I was of the impression that you found such activities a waste of time.”
Logan thoughtfully paused, finally adjusting his glasses back to their proper place.
“Well, you are not incorrect. I do find them a frivolous use of time. However, something has recently come to my attention and I wish to experiment.”
“What is this ‘something’?” Roman began, narrowing his eyes at the logical side. “I truly hope this isn’t a repeat of the Lunchbox Incident-”
“ No . It is not a repeat of.. Of the ‘Lunchbox Incident’,” Logan hissed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Have you noticed that in the twenty-nine years of our collective existence, Patton has yet to lose a round of any kind of board game?”
“Well.. Yes? I thought that was a joke, though,” Roman said, crossing his arms. Logan shook his head.
“No it’s not, Roman. It shouldn’t be possible, but his streak has lasted the entirety of his life. This is why I need board games. I wish to test this; perhaps see how long his ‘luck’ will hold out.”
Roman theatrically sighed, dramatically putting the back of his hand against his forehead as he ‘swooned’, “I suppose I can spare the energy.” Logan just rolled his eyes in response.
“Alright everybody! It’s family night!” Patton called to the hallway, easily smiling as he put together snacks for everyone. Friday nights were easy because he usually didn’t have to worry about making a full size meal. He had gathered snacks that suited everyone’s various individual tastes (sweet for himself, crunchy for Roman, sour for Virgil, and salty for Logan), and he was bringing a bowl of popcorn to the commons when Logan suddenly appeared to his left. Nearly dropping the bowl in surprise, Patton fumbled with it, dropping some kernels onto the floor.
“Nice of you to pop -corn in, Logan! Although a little warning would be nice, kiddo,” Patton smiled, placing the bowl on the table. Logan held back his groan as the other crouched down to clean up the few kernels on the floor.
“Patton, I was wondering if it would be satisfactory that instead of watching a movie tonight, we all participated in.. board games.”
The moral side raised his eyebrows, not looking unhappy but simply very surprised. He quickly got over his surprise however and joyfully grinned, fidgeting with his hands in happiness. He looked like he wanted to hug Logan, but was respecting Logan’s boundaries. Logan appreciated it.
“I can’t believe you’re actually engaging in family night! Well, of course! I’d be happy to,” Patton yelped, bouncing on the balls of his feet. “We’re gonna need to decide which ones to play! Oh, and we’ll need to convince Roman to conjure them-”
“Do not worry, I already have that covered.” Patton almost squealed with happiness. This was so exciting! Logan had never been one to enjoy participating in their family nights, and this sudden change was unexpected but entirely welcome. “We’re probably gonna have to convince Virge to play, though,” Patton hummed.
“Wait, really?” Patton gasped, and Virgil shrugged from his spot on the kitchen table, his feet on one of the chairs. “I guess, yeah,” Virgil smirked. “Any chance to mess with Roman is a good time in my book.”
“Well, while I don’t exactly agree with the reason, I do appreciate your willingness to engage with everyone!” Virgil smiled a little at Patton’s enthusiasm. The moral side bounced out of the room into the living room, and Virgil followed. The other two sides were already sitting at the living room’s coffee table, a pack of Uno laid on the table. “Starting strong, huh?”
“You have to be doing this on purpose!” Roman screeched, adding ten more cards to his already impressive hand of fifteen. They were playing Uno, and they had just completed a dreaded draw circle, the brunt of the setback landing squarely on Roman when he didn’t have another draw card to keep it going. “This is the fourth time this round! The fourth! I had just gotten rid of all the cards you handed me last time! ”
Virgil nearly cackled, looking entirely like the cat that got the cream to Roman’s left. Patton stifled his laughter while Logan looked determinedly at his hand. “Don’t blame me, that’s just how the cards fell,” Virgil deflected, shrugging. Roman scowled, and Logan played a green four. “Why aren’t you doing this to Logan? He’s about to win!” Indeed, Logan now only had two cards in his hand. Patton played a blue four.
“I don’t think you understand, Princey. I am winning,” Virgil contentedly grinned. He saw the blue four and then glanced down at his own cards, getting a thoughtful look on his face. “Huh. Weird.”
Logan swore when Virgil played a blue seven, prompting Patton to yelp, “Language!” when everyone swapped hands to the right. Now Patton was winning, as the logical side had just handed him his two cards, while Patton gave his six to Virgil, Virgil gave his nine to Roman, and Roman gave his immense twenty-five to Logan. “Thank Lin-Manuel Miranda, I am not glad to see those go.”
Realizing it was his turn, Roman scowled. “Oh you have got to be kidding me.” Virgil did laugh that time, eagerly watching Roman growl as he started endlessly pulling from the deck, searching for a card he could actually use and finding none. “This is ridiculous!”
Seven cards later, Roman finally drew a card he could use, triumphantly playing the blue skip. Logan frowned at his turn being skipped, adjusting his tie. Patton suddenly gasped excitedly. He quickly called Uno as he played a color change card. “Not to make you guys blue , but the color is now red!” He proclaimed, and Virgil glanced down at his cards. The anxious side smirked, playing his only red card. “Nice job, Pat.” It was a red reverse.
Logan gaped as the turn went back to Patton. The moral side cheered as he played his last card, a red three.
Everyone laid their hands on the table with mixed emotions, and Patton high-fived Virgil. Logan pulled out a small notebook and a blue pen.
“Uno”, started 7:46 PM, ended at 8:10 PM. Patton won when he swapped hands with me and Virgil, which perhaps leaves most of the claim on the victory in my hands rather than his own. Anyhow, the end result has remained the same.
Roman gathered up all of the cards and put them back in the box. He held them in his hands, and the other three watched the box dissipate back into energy, the warm light fading into Roman’s chest. The fanciful side turned back to the others.
“Alright, who’s up for a game of Monopoly?”
“Yes, and I’m saying that I can pay more for it,” Virgil said, and Roman scoffed. Patton rolled the dice as he munched on some chocolate covered pretzels and landed on New York Avenue. He quietly bought it (making sure to pay the correct amount so as not to accidentally cheat) and handed the money to Logan who absentmindedly put it in the bank, too focused on the argument at hand to pay attention to the moral side’s exploits. “Sure, you can afford to pay more for it, Doom-and-Gloom,” Roman turned back to Logan, “but I can give you Pennsylvania Avenue so you can start building houses! It’s a long-term investment.”
Patton silently handed the dice to Virgil, who seamlessly took them, rolled, moved his ship token, and paid the rent he owed Patton without breaking his focus in the ongoing argument.
“Logan, if you give Boardwalk to Roman he’ll start building houses on the blue spaces!” Virgil handed the dice to Roman, scowling. “Don’t forget that he has Park Place too.” Virgil leaned over into Roman’s personal space bubble to read Park Place’s card as Roman rolled the dice and moved his hat token. “The rent gets up to fifteen-hundred if he builds a hotel, and even if Prince Smarmy over there just builds houses, that’s basically a whole Passing Go’s worth of rent just for one.”
In response, Roman rolled his eyes, handing the dice to Logan. “We’re barely even in that phase of the game, Virgil. I couldn’t dream of affording hotels yet.” Logan rolled the dice and moved his car token accordingly, giving a curious, suspicious glance over to Patton’s inconspicuously growing property pile when he inevitably had to pay him rent, before Roman shouting his name distracted him. “Besides, Logan! I’d be willing to make a truce!”
Logan raised an eyebrow in curiosity, passing the dice to Patton. “I see. Well, you have my interest.” Virgil loudly groaned, and Roman proudly beamed. Patton quietly rolled the dice once more, read his Chance card, moved his dog token to St. Charles Place, bought it, and internally cheered when he passed Go (carefully remaining quiet, although the usually boisterous side found it particularly difficult to remain silent in his jubilation). He opted for silently fidgeting happily with his hands instead of talking.
Patton passed the dice to Virgil, who took it without acknowledgment.
Virgil landed on another one of Patton’s properties. “Yeah, how much do I owe you? Logan, you can’t just…” Virgil trailed off, looking at the money he was about to hand to his best friend. The anxious side’s gaze swept to Patton’s stack of cards. Patton froze, realizing that his jig was probably up. “Hold on. Wait. When did Patton get so many properties?”
“What?” Roman asked, and Logan’s attention was caught as well. “Well, shoot.” Patton lamented as the other three finally processed what was happening.
“How.. How did this happen?” Logan deadpanned, holding his head in his hands. “How did we let this happen?” Virgil and Roman looked equally gobsmacked, staring at the moral side. Patton smiled, flapping his hands in excitement. “Well, while you guys were busy arguing, I was busy buying properties and earning rent!” Patton’s rather large stack of properties loomed over the three of them. Patton had probably earned at least half the board, maybe more, fueled with the rent of the previously oblivious three sides sitting next to him.
“How did I not notice?” Logan disbelievingly hissed. “I’m the banker!”
“Now I wish I was in jail,” Virgil muttered, eyeing the stretches of land that Patton owned.
Virgil was the first to go due to unlucky rolls, followed by Logan, and it left a surprisingly bitter standoff between both of the Right Sides. Having eventually won the Great Boardwalk Squabble of 2018, Roman had managed to scoop up a good number of the properties the Left Sides mortgaged off before they went bankrupt, and it was a waiting game to see who would crumble first. The end result took a while, long enough for Virgil to announce his departure to his room ( “I know I sleep late and all, but I need at least a solid hour of laying in bed to even consider going to sleep for the night. I’m out, guys.” ).
However, in the end Patton reigned victorious, a lucky chance card sending him to jail and freeing him of having to pay rent on any of the fanciful side’s many spaces, and once he was booted out of jail he amazingly immediately landed on the “Go To Jail” space which just sent him back. The mindspace was very loud for a time, loud enough to prompt the anxious side to make a reappearance in telling them to “Shut the hell up right now or I’ll make sure the only sleep any of you get will be six feet under you loud assholes,” followed by yet another “Language! Love you too!”, a small amused smile, and a scoff.
“Monopoly”, started 8:20 PM, ended at 10:00 PM. Patton won once more, using the distraction of the “Great Boardwalk Squabble of 2018” (or so they called it) in order to acquire properties unbeknownst to the rest of us. The variable of luck factored in heavily near the conclusion of the game, as Patton miraculously landed on just the right spaces to secure his victory. Look into the probability of certain Chance cards.
“Well, that was quite a hard-fought battle,” Roman began, “and, like after many of the extraordinary battles I face, I am exhausted.” Patton smiled, gathering up the game pieces and cards for Monopoly and put them back into the box, handing it to the creative side, who reabsorbed the energy back into himself. “I am heading off to bed.”
“Roman, before you leave, would you mind creating one last game for us?” Asked the logical side, who glanced at Patton to see if he would be willing to play. Patton curiously nodded, and he continued, assured. “I mean, sure. I’ll dissipate it in the morning, I suppose.. Which game did you have in mind?”
“Connect Four”, round one, started 10:10 PM, ended at 10:14 PM. Patton. A rookie mistake on my part, accidentally setting up a connection for Patton in a rare moment of shortsightedness.
“Connect Four”, round two, started 10:17 PM, ended at 10:21 PM. Patton. More rookie mistakes on my end.
“Connect Four”, round three, started 10:24 PM, ended at 10:27 PM. Patton. I need to pay attention; I somehow didn’t notice the simple maneuver he was creating.
“Connect Four”, round seven, started 10:48 PM, ended at 10:52 PM. Patton. Perhaps I am more exhausted and mentally drained than I thought.
“Connect Four”, round eleven, started 11:19 PM, ended at 11:22 PM. Patton. This doesn’t make any sense; it’s almost as if he can predict my moves before I make them. This game does not involve luck in any way, so it isn’t possible that he’s just extraordinarily lucky.
“Connect Four”, round sixteen, started 11:45 PM, ended at 11:50 PM. Patton. I do not understand.
"Connect Four”, round twenty-three, started 12:24 AM, ended at 12:27 AM. Patton.
“Uh, Lo? Are you.. Okay? I think we should go to bed,” Patton frowned in concern, rubbing the back of his neck.
“This doesn’t make sense. How are you doing this?” Logan demanded. He was harshly scowling, gripping his small notebook tightly in one hand while his pen tapped irritatedly against his leg in the other. He looked very tired, almost like he could fall asleep where he sat. They were in the middle of their twenty-fourth round. Patton could see the next couple actions he should take if he wanted to win; planning it out wasn’t as difficult as it seemed. He’d only need to put a chip in slot number four, and then, depending on Logan’s move..
No. While Patton didn’t like cheating or throwing games (it really just felt dishonest), he’d make an exception for this. “I.. Don’t know?” He sheepishly mumbled. Patton glanced at his “competitor” one last time, noting his disgruntled, ruffled expression.
He pretended to think about his next move for a couple seconds, and then picked up a chip. He intentionally put it in an inopportune spot, and watched the logical side’s eyes narrow.
Patton watched Logan sigh in what seemed to be relief when he finally connected four, ending Patton’s twenty-nine year streak. Logan pulled out his notebook, scribbled a couple sentences, and closed it. Moving to put his notebook away, Logan hesitated, opening it back up and writing something else. Patton felt a weight lift from his shoulders at Logan’s mood shift. Honestly, he looked.. validated.
“I must apologize for my rudeness,” Logan crisply stated, meeting the moral side’s eyes again. He still looked somewhat upset, but now it was perhaps more from embarrassment than anything else. “I was.. Frustrated.”
Patton laughed, waving it off. “It’s perfectly fine, Lo. Right about now I’m all four going to bed, though.” Logan tiredly nodded, barely acknowledging the pun with an eye-roll. They put the game back in its box together, and they left it sitting on the coffee table for Roman in the morning. After Patton had cleaned some of the mess they all left (he could finish in the morning) they both headed for their respective rooms. Patton glanced at Logan one last time before he entered his room, satisfied in seeing Logan’s usual stoicness returned.
Patton softly smiled, entered his room, and closed the door.
“Connect Four”, round twenty-four, started 12:27 AM, ended at 12:31 AM. Myself. Patton Sanders’ streak has now officially ended. I will make sure to get sleep; the sleep deprivation is obviously affecting my mental capacity.
I also will make sure to look into playing chess with Patton at a later date. It could prove to be a.. Learning experience.