• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 06
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The precondition

- Lie down in the field with the highest number. If the number is even, find the next-highest odd number. If the field has exactly two arrows, move two fields to the left. If the field has a yellow line, do NOT step on it and move to the field on your right.

This was their first set of instructions.

- The highest number of what? People? Pigeons? Potholes?

- You will know when you get there. Facing the number in your field, lie in a position which, viewed from above, could make you seem either dead or travelling. Hence the briefcase with matching jacket and shoes. If you end up in the wrong field or face the wrong direction, you will be terminated immediately. If you follow instructions, you will hitch a ride. It can get loud, so don’t forget the ear muffs. And remember, 0 is not a number.

- How am I to tell number 6 from number 9? Does it have a little dot next to it?

I was quite proud of my question. It sounded like one of those they might not have counted on. A question like that can be a matter of life and death.

- The numbers don’t go as high as that.


- But above all, bear in mind the precondition without which you will be stuck there in that field, neither dead nor alive, until the end of time: Wrap a towel around your arm in the colour of your trousers. You must always know where your towel is.