Are you ready to play”, Nela challenged, sweeping condiments and water glasses out of the way. She unrolled a piece of worn, split skin, inked with a faded grid.
Urit rolled her eyes, inserted a hand in her cleavage and brought out a spotted grey skin bag. She upended it, showering the skin with bone pieces of various shapes, all about the size of a Classic M&M. She flicked pieces by twos, dividing them evenly between Nela and herself.
“Don’t I get to play,” asked the journalist.
“This is not a game for prey, “ growled Nela, as she pointedly did not smile.
It was hard to tell how the game was played. There were knucklebones to be thrown, but they were etched with unfamiliar symbols. The counters were moved onto the grid, occupying where lines crossed, not the spaces in between. It looked a bit like “Go”, but not quite. After a while, what had to be swearwords in a number of dead languages began to fill the air.
Urit looked at her watch, sighed, made ready to leave. “Do you want to come Nela, it’s overnight at the hospice.”
“Do you have enough?”
“Sure, death is always in season.”
“I don’t need to kill, but an Ativan-laced cocktail would be a treat.”