Callum, Ogwambi, Illarion, Koyla are taught a new game by Carlton
So Carlton had invited a bunch of us to stay after dinner for a card game he used to play.
It was Me, him, Ogwambi, Illarion and Koyla, three on one side of the table and two on the other, I was next to Illarion.
He had a deck of cards and a piece of pipe stood on its end in the centre of the table.
"So how does this work?" I asked.
"The game is called Jungle Speed, and it's like snap," Carlton said.
"We're playing snap," Koyla whined.
"No I said it was like snap," Carlton said.
"What’s the pipe for?" Ogwambi said.
"Save the questions until I've explained," Carlton snapped.
I raised my hand and said, "Why?" and I smiled at him as Carlton turned red in anger.
"Just let him speak," Illairon muttered.
"Thank you. Ok so we have a deck of cards. Normal snap is when you put down cards until two numbers are the same then if you spot it you yell snap and the cards go to your opponent, when you have no cards you win."
"I always thought it was the other way round," Koyla said, "When you yell snap and slam the cards you get them, and when your opponents have no cards you win."
"It doesn't matter we're playing a different game, where the aim is to get rid of your cards," Carlton said. "So this is how it works, the game used to have a set of cards specific to it, but I don't have that so we use this deck of cards. Now then the whole deck is dealt out equally to all of us. Then we take turns laying cards in front of us not a giant deck like normal snap, when two of us lay a card that is similar you have to grab this piece of pipe, if you get it before the other you win and they get your cards."
"What if two of us get the pipe at the same time, is it first to touch it?" I said.
"That's the fun part you have to wrestle with it and get it from the other's hands to win."
We all perked up this game was getting interesting. I was already forming tactics.
"Here's something else, over the course of the game we change what the criteria for 'snap' is," and he did the quotation marks around the word.
"What does 'that' mean," Koyla said adding the quotation marks as-well.
"We will start with numbers/face cards, so if you Koyla laid a two of spades and later Callum laid a two of clubs that's snap..." Carlton began.
"So it's not always the next person in line, we play people across from us?" I asked.
"...Exactly, and when an ace is played you change the criteria to suits, if you lay another ace it goes to colour."
"But suits have a higher chance of matching and the colours even higher," Illairon said.
"Well that ups the pressure to be quick. The cards from the proper game used to have four colours and different shapes which was harder to spot. If another ace is played then it goes back to numbers. The aces are meaningless so they don't count, they only change the criteria."
"We only have four aces so the criteria will change very rarely," Ogwambi said.
"I have borrowed some aces for other decks," Carlton said.
"Are there any rules when two people grab the pipe?" Illarion said.
"You can't hit people, you have to pull it free."
"Well clearly Illarion is going to get it every time," Koyla said motioning to the boy who was a foot taller than most of us.
"I don't know he might be slower," I said warily from next to him, knowing full well I was within sticking range.
"Muscular people are slower, but stronger," the Russian boy said flexing his giant frame.
"I meant your brain was slower," I said.
The next thing I knew he had me in a head lock.
"I'm sorry?" he said..
"Yes I am sorry," I called out, my voice muffled by his armpit, and he released me.
I flattened my hair and said, "Let’s play."
Carlton smiled and dealt the whole deck out face down in front of everyone. Koyla scowled when he ended up with more cards due to the uneven distribution. He however went first and laid a three of clubs.
Illarion was next and laid a five of hearts.
I laid an ace of clubs, now it was down to suits.
Ogwambi laid a two of hearts.
Quick as a flash he grabbed the pipe in the centre of the table and raised it in the air, twirling it around triumphantly.
"What happens now?" Illarion said. "Does he gain these cards for going when he shouldn't?" he added pointing at my club card.
"No, you has a heart card in front of you and he laid a heart card," Carlton said.
Illarion studied the cards on the table for a moment, then he slapped his hand down on the table.
We all laughed at his slowness and pushed the cards he had earned towards his deck.
He growled as he shuffled them into his face down pile.
"I should say that yes if you grab the tube when you shouldn't you get all the cards on the table," Carlton said.
Ogwambi put the tube back and the game continued. He laid a King of clubs.
Carlton laid a queen of hearts.
Koyla took his time laying his next card trying to get an early look at it as he turned it over towards himself.
It was a ten of diamonds.
Illarion laid an ace of spades, the criteria was back to numbers.
I laid an ace of hearts.
"The criteria is now Suits again," Carlton explained.
I felt my mouth go dry and my muscles tensed as everyone, by pure fluke, next laid cards in identical suits to the cards they already had.
Ogwambi laid a queen of clubs.
Carlton, a nine of hearts.
Koyla, a two of diamonds.
Illarion, a three of spades.
The other four’s hands started to rise, the next card would cause two us to go for the tube regardless. Unless it was another ace, but that was unlikely.
I put my hand on the top card of my deck.
"Put you hand back Koyla," Carlton said as the boy had moved his hand fixed in the open position really close to the tube.
I readied my other hand.
I decided I start slowly, raising the card millimetre by millimetre, I lulled then into a false sense of security, then quick as a flash I turned it over.
It was a four of diamonds.
My mind discounted the possibility of an ace in a microsecond and my hand was already moving since it had to be me and someone else.
Koyla took a couple of microseconds to figure out it was him and then moved.
He was quicker than me, but I had the head start and we both reached the tube at the same time.
Ogwambi and Carlton's hands moved forward but their brains stopped them from actually grabbing the tube when it delivered to them the result of the card turn, and told them not to bother. They both turned their moving hands into other manoeuvres to avoid embarrassment. Carlton brushed his through his hair and Ogwambi turned it into a stretch.
Neither me nor Koyla pulled because Illarion’s hand suddenly clasped ours.
We both looked at him, "What are you doing?" I asked.
He looked down at his card and realised his mistake and took his hand away.
"He went for it does that mean he gets the cards?" Koyla asked Carlton.
"No because you two reached it first as you were supposed to," Carlton said.
We both stayed where we were, with one hand on the tube each.
"So who got their first?" I asked.
"I didn't see," Ogwambi said.
"Guys, don't forget you're supposed to wrestle it free to win," Carlton said.
It took another few micro seconds for me and Koyla to realise what we should be doing.
Suddenly both hands of ours were on the tube. I pulled first and Koyla's body was yanked over the table.
The others gathered up their decks out of the way.
I raised a foot and put it on the edge of the table and pushed.
Koyla strained as his waist was at the edge of the table on his side, which locked his body in place.
I pulled some more hoping he would be in pain and therefore would let go.
He tried to re-position himself, which dislodged him from his place and I pulled him across the table, where he barrelled into me and we fell to the floor.
"This is a good game," Ogwambi said standing up and looking down at us as we wrestle for the tube rolling over one another.
I put my foot in Koyla’s stomach and pushed.
This forced some wind out of his lungs. He however put his foot in my face and pushed and he wasn't wearing shoes.
His toes gripped the skin on my forehead.
"Arrgh," cried out when I accidentally smelt them.
My arms went to their maximum extent and it was too much and I let go.
Koyla rolled away. Then stumbled upright and brandished the tube.
Everyone was laughing, including me and I was sprawled on the floor completely knackered.
"Do you wash your feet?" I said.
"Not really no," Koyla said.
He offered me a hand and helped me up.
"Was that legal?" I asked Carlton.
"Yep it's within the rules, you didn't hit each other," He replied.
I returned to the table and gathered up the cards that were now mine.
The piles had been disturbed by me dragging Koyla over the table and everyone had to bring them back together.
As Ogwambi was re-stacking his he suddenly looked up, "Hey I just had a great idea."
Five minutes later we were in the Anti-gravity room, a giant hall where the gravity could be adjusted.
We set it to a low level, so it was like we were on the moon we then sat cross-legged in a large circle with our respective decks in front of us. However in the low gravity we would occasionally float and so would our cards.
"It's the same game as before, however obviously the distance between us and the tube is greater and now it's a race to get to the tube in this near zero gravity environment," Ogwambi explained.
"I can't see your cards, how do I know when to go," Koyla said.
"When you turn your card over you have to say what it is loudly and clearly so we know what is on the field," Ogwambi answered. "Let's restart on numbers/royalty."
We all nodded agreement.
I was first to turn a card over, "Jack of clubs."
Ogwambi was next, "ten of clubs."
Carlton said, "5 of diamonds."
Koyla turned his card over inspected it for a moment then said, "6 of hearts."
Illarion turned his over and was already moving when he said, "Jack of Diamonds!"
He was about to push off with his feet when my brain told me that I had to go as well. I was a second behind him when he pushed off.
Suddenly the two of us were hurtling like bullets towards the tube in the centre of the circle, arms held out to grab the tube.
Illarion had a head start there was no way I could beat him.
His hand wrapped around the tube and because of his angle of approach he went sailing past me.
I had no chance.
However he kept going unable to stop his momentum.
Ogwambi didn't see the problem until it was too late and Illarion crashed into him sending them tumbling.
I laughed my head off as I watched the impact until Koyla shouted, "Callum watch out!"
I went crashing into Koyla and we rolled through the air until the wall of the hall stopped us.
The wall was padded, however that didn't help much and we hit the wall in a tangle of limbs.
There was a loud pop and I screamed, I had dislocated my shoulder.
"Guys, I've hurt myself," I said.
"Maybe this was a bad idea, Carlton said from his totally safe position in the middle of the hall.
"Don't worry Ogwambi will get the blame," Koyla said.
"You all agreed to play this way," Ogwambi said.
"But I didn't agree to this," I said as I gasped for breath and shock with the surge of adrenaline and shock of pain.
"Let's get to the medical bay, Illarion said.
"Before One finds out," Koyla added.
"What is going on?" One's voice said over the speaker.
"Don't tell him what we were doing," Koyla hissed.
"It's a two way radio Koyla I can hear you," One replied.
We all looked at each other, some us while floating upside down.
"It was Carlton's idea," four of us shouted.
"Not cool," Carlton yelled back.