Sunday, October 25, 2009

LT308: LOST Retold


In the last TIDBITS, I mentioned an idea had occurred to me. This posting begins that idea. The plan is to write a short series essays about LOST. Now this will quickly become clear how obsessed I am with the show and that in itself reveals more than is probably good for me. But it sounded like a good idea at the time and my hope is that I don't run out of steam for the project.

It is also my hope that you enjoy this twist on LOST. My objective is to actually share a theory which could be described as "The Bible According to LOST".

It has become clear already that this is a fairly time intensive project, so let me begin with an apology. I'm not a writer. But I use writing to often help myself sift through ideas and so the theory I'm exploring will sort of reveal itself as we progress. There are no plans to edit, spellcheck or even verify facts. It is merely an effort to explore LOST from a different approach.

There is an outline of the story completed and so each posting on Wednesday and Sunday I do hope to have at least one or two essays ready to go. Who knows where this will end up or whether I'll run out of steam, but for the time being, I do hope you enjoy these.

I've decided on the official name of this collection: CHECKMATE - Lost Retold. So without further disclaimers, justifications and with out an ounce of common we go...

CHECKMATE - Lost Retold
ESSAY 1: The Opening Moves

Chess is a cerebral game. It is a thinking person’s game. The opening move is said to offer dozens, if not hundreds, of possibilities. It is the possibilities that make the game interesting, challenging and unique each time the board is set up.

This story however is not about chess. It is about the players. Two players in particular are the subject of this story. These two players are some of the finest chess players in the world. These chess masters are Lew and Chris.


Lew’s father was an intellectual and it is then of no surprise that his influence would be seen in his son. One of the many areas of study he mastered was astronomy. It is of little surprise to those who knew the family that the man and his wife would insist on a name derived from the stars.

Lew’s birth came with little fanfare. His father paced as he waited with anticipation for the news of his child. Upon announcement of his son’s arrival he turned towards the window for a moment of private examination. What he saw was that moment before the Sun would rise over the horizon. In the morning dawn he saw Venus in the morning sky just before the Sun would take its turn. At that moment he knew his son’s name should reflect this event. He would name him after that Morning Star.

Since the father was well-schooled and the practice at that time was for every student to be taught some Latin, the father would use the Latin name for Venus which means “light-bearer”. He would call his child Lucifer. As one can imagine, family and friends recoiled from the name and it was not long after that the shorter nickname of Lew was adopted.


Chris was also the product of an uneventful birth. His family and in particular his father was a master of many studies. But it was his mother that selected his name. The manner of the name selection soon became the subject of family lore and was retold several times over the years at family gatherings.

She claimed that the night before labor she had a dream. In the dream she was visited by an angel who told her what to name her son. The angel said, “You will call him Jesus Christ”. She was met with quite a bit of objection for the obvious reasons, but she insisted. However, it was nickname that the son would use in order to avoid the teasing and disbelief that the son was sure to endure. So, they took from his middle name and simply called him Chris.


These two young men were schooled by the best. Out of all their studies the one thing that held their interest was the game of chess. The game allowed them to interweave many lessons from other subjects they undertook: strategy, mathematics, philosophy, and above all: psychology.

It was not long after before these two men were recognized as great chess masters. They would compete in several tournaments with each interaction becoming an epic contest.

It was also not long before it was clear that Chris was the better of the two. Lew never lost a match except to one player: Chris. In youth this fact seemed to matter little to Lew since he approached this as a challenge. But over time, the second place status did begin to gnaw on his psyche. It wasn’t long before he decided to devise a plan to finally beat Chris and become the champion.


Those who knew to two men would later recall signs of the rivalry. Hindsight is 20/20 and the signs of change in Lew were too subtle for raise any alarm at the time. But looking back is was clear to those intimate with the world of chess at this high level of competition that Lew was determined to beat Chris.

One family friend observed, “Lew’s opening moves were become more bold and yet more reckless. Those of us around the game dismissed this as experimental from a great chess mind.”

It wouldn’t be until years after before Lew’s degree of obsession in beating Chris was recognized for Lew kept his thoughts mostly to himself and his diary. Like the game of chess, life can punish you for one careless move. Lew’s error was forgetting to put his diary away in its hiding place.

It was the maid who discovered the book, open to the last entry. Without any guilt of invasion of privacy she had merely looked down on the writings and read, “And if this fails, I should just kill him.”

The man of the house was quickly alerted and he devoured the diary that afternoon. It was now clear that Lew was upset with Chris’ dominance over his chess game. Yet the more revealing and disturbing discovery was that Lew was jealous over the attention Chris got over Lew’s efforts. For you see, Chris and Lew had the same parents.

A parent can tell their children that they love them equally, but one most wonder if that is even possible. To Lew’s mind, it was not possible and it was equally clear that his father loved Chris more. Chess was merely the mechanism for admiration and not enough of that attention was coming Lew’s way.


The family tried to work it out, but after a period of effort a decision was reached. Lew would be kicked out of the house. He was allowed to take about a third of the staff in order to secure a comfortable life, but Lew would no longer be welcome home.

The opening move of two lives had taken place and in this game called Life there are no “do-overs”.


Each Wednesday and Sunday will be a new essay or two. In addition you can expect to get a summary of the off-season games. We will also keep up on reader feedback and any breaking news. As we've done from the start...there are NO SPOILERS in TIDBITS. I don't peek at the rumors for it ruins the surprise. That isn't to say that we don't gather published facts and draw conclusions, but we do not spoil.

Give me some feedback on the essays after you've read a couple. And as always, Thanks for reading!



Greg Tramel said...

NICE story!

we've been talking chess and lucifer over here

It's a Wonderful LOST...

i'm still liking lucifer (jacob) vs devil (man in black)

KC said...

Thanks...I've found it is more difficult to write these than first thought. But hopefully the points are coming through in a semi-interesting way.