• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 09
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The Game and the City

The map of the city is a grid of desire. The crowds, a blur of motion. They meet at the cafe in the afternoon, thirsty eyes
drinking in the scenery. Gold light suffuses the interior.
Some of these games go way back.
The chessboards are laid out in black and white. The pieces have their rules. Who plays the pawn, the queen? Who is the
master of the knight's moves?
Enter the stranger in charcoal gray. He is an elegant older gentleman. "Do you want to play?" he says. He has brought his own pieces, his own rules. One by one, he lays them out. His
hands are graceful, with long tapering fingers.

"These are the Allies. Keep them close.
These are the Resources. They will come in handy later.
Here are the Inspirations. They can move wherever they want.
These are the Sanctuaries. They will protect you.
And these, these are the Pleasures. They have no rules. Be careful how you use them."

He smiles. His eyes are an indeterminate color. The color of
evening, before the streetlights come on.