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The Samwell Twins Play "Pentagon"
by B. Russell


One fine sunny day on a late summer afternoon in a quiet suburb quite like any other, the Samwell Twins were bored again. As is usually the case with young twins who inherit the gift of unfathomable genius, they got bored easily and often, and so to occupy themselves they would devise little games to play with each other and pass the time. Their average-brained parents, while being quite proud of their two adorable geniuses, could not even begin to keep up with them, and so they let the twins amuse themselves. Jack, the elder of the two by a few minutes, had short wavy blond hair and blue eyes, and loved to run and exercise outside. Jane, the younger by exactly the same number of minutes, also had blond hair and blue eyes, but her hair was slightly longer than his and she, being the mousier of the two, often preferred to stay inside and read. But something they both loved to do was be extremely clever. Jack felt that, being the elder and also the male, was the cleverer of the two. But Jane knew that she was the cleverer.

"Jack, I am bored again!" Jane whined, bringing us to the story at hand. "Let us play a game!"

"But what sort of game should we play?" Jack asked, sitting down beside Jill in their sturdily engineered treehouse.

"I do not know. Let us think of something." And so they put on their matching pyramid hats and began to think.

"Hey, let us have a race to see who can alphabetize all the current countries of the world faster!"

"Nah, we already did that yesterday. Anyway, it will only kill half a minute, and then we will be back where we started."

"You are right, brother. Hmm... how about we paint lifelike portraits of ourselves when we are both in our sixties in neo-Classical style using only our feet?"

"Hey, that sounds fun! Oh, but fiddlesticks, we are out of paints and the art store closed fifteen minutes ago."

"Shoot. And that was a good idea too." Suddenly Jane's face brightened. "I know! Let us play Pentagon!"

"Pentagon? What is that?" Jack asked.

"It is a game I just invented!" Jill said proudly. "Let us pretend that this treehouse is the Pentagon, and then we will make up plans in case of an emergency."

"Plans? What sort of plans are we supposed to make?"

"Any plan! Every plan! In this game, you anticipate every possible situation and then make a plan to deal with it. For preparedness sake! You don't have to use any of them, you just keep them lying around, just in case."

"That sounds like a lot of fun! And I bet it will kill weeks of time too! Yes, let us do it!" Jack pulled out their matching laptops and they began to make plans.

The Pentagon Game ended up being the best game The Twins had thought of yet. Since it required them to make plans about every possible situation, they had to be extremely thorough. And for two imaginative 10-year-olds of unfathomable genius, anything was possible. Hours upon hours were spent in that treehouse, laptops clicking away well into the night as they planned quietly with each other on what to do in case of a second world flooding, massive invasion by bloodthirsty space gorillas, North Korean nuclear capabilities, or being put to bed before they were ready. They planned and typed and planned some more, and in general had a rollicking good time.

Occassionally mother would come up to bring them food, and sometimes she would ask what they were doing. To this they would reply, "Nothing mother, we are just working on some top secret plans. Please go away." And she would leave, disheartened. Why didn't they ever make top secret plans with her? She was their mother, after all.

Occassionally father would come up to bum cigarettes off of them, which they had a reasonably good stock of, and he would ask what they were doing. To this they would reply, "Nothing father, we are just working on some top secret plans. Please go away." And he would leave with the cigarettes, confused. Why didn't they tell him about their top secret plans? He was their father, after all. Were the plans about him?

In actuality the plans were about both of them. At least a few. For in the anticipation of various scenarios, The Samwell Twins had made contingency plans in case their allowance increases had not kept up with inflation rates. This was just such a time, and so plan #2435 went into action, a plan that involved many other plans.

The next morning father walked over to the treehouse to see if they had any shrooms when he found a sheet of paper on the ground. Hmm, he thought, one of their top secret plans must have blown out the window. His interest piqued, he picked up the paper and started reading. The paper was titled:

Pentagon Plan #2435:
Execution of Parents by Poison Darts
In Case of Emergency

He read on, aghast. The plan was as he might have expected: in case of an emergency, he and his wife, also known as mother, would be executed swiftly by darts tipped with a special untraceable, fast-acting poison designed by The Twins. The darts themselves would also be engineered by the twins, and had a point so small that it would only show up as a prick the size of an insulin needle. Documents and equipment would be planted throughout the house, and doctor's records doctored, so that it would be thought that the parents were diabetics. It would be assumed after some inquiry that their parents had died of diabetic complications, and The Twins would inherit a hefty insurance policy that they would use to fund the purchase of a small tropical island.

At first, father was furious. How could the twins be up there plotting my death? This is not an acceptable playtime activity, he thought angrily, I'm going to march right up there and take their laptops away. But then fear hit him: what if they've already designed the poison darts? What if my storming up there would qualify as an Emergency, bringing plan #2435 into effect?! I don't want to be a dead diabetic, he thought. He dropped the paper at once and scrambled back inside the house.

Little did he know that The Twins had leaked this plan on purpose. Other leaks followed. Mother, checking her email that evening, found a message from Jack to Jane, with her address accidentally CC'ed. It was plan #8622, Execution of Parents by Slow Gas Leak. Other plans were to follow: while raking the leaves father happened upon #1199, Execution of Parents by Framing for Murder of Genius Twins. Or #3901, Execution of Parents by Brutal Beating with Big Stick, found underneath one of his car tires in the garage. Each plan, with the same result, but with a great amount of variety and unpredictability. Father and mother became increasingly paranoid: when, where and how would they be done in? Would it be by poison, hired gunmen, suicide bombing, structural collapse of their house, or a tornado caused by a weather-controlling doomsday device? If they tried to report The Twins to the police, would plan #6854, Execution of Parents in Case They Try To Report Us To The Police, go into effect? Mother and father found themselves unable to sleep, though both were understandably exhausted from worry.

The Twins, of course, were terribly amused.

One day, father happened upon a plan he had not seen before. The title read,

Pentagon Plan #85845:
Reward for Parents in Case of Allowance Increase

It was a simple plan, the simplest he had read. In case The Twins allowances were raised by a substantial amount before the next week had passed, father and mother would be rewarded by plans #2435, #8622, #1199, #3901, #6854 not going into effect. The plan also listed off the numbers of over 300 other plans that would also not go into effect.

The next day, The Samwell Twins had their allowances raised from 50 cents to $500 a week. Father and mother had decided to live a spartan lifestyle, feeling that their quality of life was significantly improved now that their lives were not in jeopardy. At least they had each other.

"That was the best game ever!" Jack said as he gave Jane a high five. It had been five months, but at last they were finished. Contingency plans for every situation they could come up with. They had filled up the hard drives of both their laptops, and purchased countless data storage devices with their allowances and filled those too, but they had covered pretty much all the bases. Nothing could surpsise them now, they were ready for anything.

Anything, that is, except boredom. "What shall we do now?" Jack asked. "Figuring out what to do after the Pentagon game ended was the one thing we did not plan for. Now we have to think of a new game."

"Do not worry, my dear twin brother. I am sure we will think of something." And at that, the Samwell Twins had a hearty laugh, for deep within their tiny hearts they knew it was true.




Let's play a new game!