I have almost been defeated by a child. You remember the noughts and crosses game I laid out in the rooftop garden? (or yes, as you say, tic-tac-toe) I have had a reply, of sorts: I found my succulents rearranged in an incredible way. Some pots had been placed close together, obviously sharing an imagined square. Numbers had been written on flat sticks and stuck into each pot. A challenge or a misunderstanding? I chose to interpret the move as a challenge, but a challenge that momentarily proved too much. I could make no sense of the number system, could not understand why the numbers were duplicated. To signify such, I placed a feather on the “board.” (A black feather. I hear you snort, but that was the only feather I could lay my hands on. There is a bird, loud, insistent, far too clever, that drops shiny pieces of plastic in what may or may not be repayment for ravaging my garden. A feather from that bird absolutely signifies surrender, no matter the traditional white.)
But then, when I was in bed, I figured it out. A quantum game, where each piece is only a potentiality until a circular entanglement causes collapse. Or so I hope: perhaps I am expecting too much. I returned to the roof, made my move, and retreated again. I will be much encouraged if I am proved right.
You ask about the Midnight Restaurant, and no, Maxx, it is only the back of Mr Chang’s establishment. It is his joke, and mine; I am surprised you didn’t understand. We dine at an old, scarred table, sit on chairs that may once have been elegant, eat from chipped bowls. But the food is magnificent and I need only dress as I already am. And he does not question me.
Somebody is playing the Mandolin. Earlier in the night, I thought it beautiful, the music winding up and down the stairs and through to our hearts, but their endless practising and the babble of repeated notes has wound itself into my brain. It is time for the music to stop and for me to sleep.
the Ghost Knight.