Five poker cards are lying facedown on a wood table. I take them and slowly peek at them. The first one is a jack of hearts, the second one is a joker, and the third one is… a joker also. With a strange feeling moving up my spine I unveil the two remaining cards: two more jokers. I put them back and turn to the other players.
The giant moving eye of an enormous green chameleon sitting to my right, examines my moves. He opens his mouth and with a long tongue snaps up his cards and eats them. To my left, a bushman in a large ceremonial wood mask painted with colorful animal patterns while motionless as fire ants come out from the mask’s eyes and mouth holes. The ants climb down his arms to the table, taking the cards to the bushman’s open hands.
In front of me sits a man wearing a black robe with a hood that hides his face in a deep darkness. A candle hanging from the roof emits just enough light for us to see each other. We are surrounded by a total darkness, and I can’t see anything a meter away.
The figure in the black robe raises his left hand above the table and I can see his skeleton hand slowly releasing sand that falls on the center of the table, creating a small mound. He raises his right hand, a human hand, and brings his extended index finger to where his mouth should be. “Shhhhhhhhhhhh…” A rush of wind emerges from the shadows of his hood, scattering the sand and blowing out the candles, leaving everything in complete darkness.
M. Ch. Landa