I play cards in the stairway of the abandoned palace

Accordion. Aces and Kings. I’m playing cards in the stairwell of the ruined palace. The flight of pigeons rattles in the clouds overhead. All my games are solitaires of one sort or another: Alhambra, AllIn A Row. Amazons. Aztec Patience.Who brought friesias to our clockmaker, the one whose knees ached as he crooned to hisworm and his escapement? Surely there is an intrigue afoot. It could be the jawless girl who sluices the kitchen flags. For the clockmaker’s sake, I hope it’s not her. I lay down cards for Babbette, Baker’s Dozen,Beetle, Brisbane, British Square….

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