The letter C slammed a cup of coffee on the conference table. “My proposal is a fight to the death using canes. Or cutlery. That will decide who owns the /k/ sound once and for all.”

 

The letter K tossed a highball of iced Kahlua into C’s face. “Your fantasy contests can’t disguise the fact that you’re stealing the hard k sound from me. It’s got my name for god’s sake.” The letters lunged across the table and locked limbs in mortal combat, as if Mortal Kombat had hijacked Sesame Street’s letter of the day.

 

A white dove squawked at the brawlers. Her beak jabbed at exposed faces. Her wings boxed tender ears. “Dammit, people, this is not how court-ordered mediation works. Now come up with a peaceful solution before I peck your eyes out.”

 

“I thought white doves were symbols of peace.”

 

Claws cut deep grooves into finished oak. “I’m going to be a symbol of whup-ass unless you two can resolve who owns the /k/ sound without violence.”

 

*******

 

All the letters packed three deep into Alphabet Street. A platoon of C’s and a squadron of K’s faced off on a life-sized chessboard that was chalked onto the asphalt. The dove flew overhead and extinguished any fisticuffs that erupted when a C and a K held adjoining squares.

 

Qu popped into the back of the line of letters. ‘Ello chaps, he said, ‘aving a quarrel on the chequerboard, are we?

 

“Hey, that Pom’s stealing our hard k. Get him!” Each C locked arms with a K, and attacked Qu with a backpack full of knickknacks.

 

“That settles it. We’ll share the hard k to keep Qu out of our clique.”

*******

Note: This story was the Judge’s Pick for the Microcosms Round 68 weekly flash fiction competition. Yippee!

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