"Time's up" she tells me, punching her side of the clock. "You lost on time."
"I didn't know we were playing," I said, feeling foolish.
"The dice are always rolling, the card always turning, the wheel always spinning. My bill is in the mail." She eased me towards the unlocked door with one arm while the other turned the knob. "See you next time." She shut her door softly behind me.
I suddenly realized that I had left my weapons in her office. I turned back. But she would not answer my knock, my pounding or my cursing.
The city stood out in the distance as I walked glumly down the front steps into the evening. The fires I had seen from her high windows now blew smoke in my face. The heat of summer hung on in the night.
I stood by the broken road watching for taxis.
"Christ, didn't you get a map from the mad old woman?" asked Abbot Sbal Tobba, appearing suddenly next to me and making me jump ten feet.
"A map?" I said dubiously. "Why would I need a map?"
"So you can finally see," he chortled.
"How lost you are."