She released the dice one at a time from the cup; the first was a six, as was the second. The third: six. The fourth: six. The fifth she kept in the cup. All eyes were on the cup. She took a breath. She rattled the cup slightly. She blew on the cup like she’d seen people in film depictions of casinos do. She rattled it again.

“Hurry up!” Dave was insistent, but the excitement of the moment caused him to let out a girly giggle. He stifled it, but not before everyone stared at him. “Just a cough.”

They’d been playing Yahtzee for seven hours. After lunch, they decided to have one quick game before they took the dogs for a walk. But then no one got a Yahtzee. There were five of them playing. They’d played eleven games. Each game consisted of thirteen turns each. This gave them over one-hundred-and-forty-three turns. Not one person had managed to get all five dice to show the same number. Not once. It was ridiculous. They’d been playing for seven hours.

After the tenth game, they had made a pact. No one could stop playing, and they would not eat a meal until the game was over. They had eaten plain chips, Twisties, Cheezels, mini-Mars bars, Tim Tams, Barbeque Shapes, Rice crackers, apples, oranges and gone through six litres of water. No one was hungry; only hungry for a Yahtzee.

So, when Mary threw four sixes, all eyes were on her. Their faces were a mixture of hope and fear – would they be set free, or would they be stuck here, in Yahtzee free Yahtzee forever.

She closed her eyes and released the dice. It spun on one corner for seconds before landing. The collective sigh went up before Mary opened her eyes. Five.

Time stood still for a moment.

“So, what you going to put that down as? Four of a kind? Best four of a kind you can get?”

“Yeah, but do you want your bonus?”

“Quite frankly, I don’t think anyone cares about winning anymore.”

“How can you talk like that? Don’t let the Yahtzee gods hear you, you’ll be destined to never win again.”

“Yeah. You give up on Yahtzee, you give up on life.”


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