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#164:Next in Line

Season:  2
Number:  164
Wave:  1
Color:  purple
Suit:  suits suit
Corner:   corner
Card's Points:  1000
Card Group's Points:  0
Reverse:  special reverse
Playing Card: 
Number Marks: 
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Homer Aristotle Rembrandt Joseph Heller

Madame Bianca lived in a handsome town house in Amandier. Her man showed us through to the parlour, where she was already seated at a round tabl, which was covered in a long, purple cloth of florid design. Three younger ladies sat with her, their darting eyes betraying a certain agitation.

Two chairs remained unoccupied. We took our places and Madame Bianca nodded to her man, who drew the curtains together and backed away through the doors, bowing as he closed the room.

The parlour was a tribute to the taxidermist's art. Stags peered down, their antlers scraping the ceiling. A falcon swooped upon a luckless vole. From every cabinet and every corner, the dead assessed us with a glassy eye.

Upright in her chair, our host examined each of us in turn. She took my hand and that of the lady on her left, and the others followed, linking their hands around the table. She bowed her head and I felt her grip tighten.

The shadows seemed to darken as she growled deep in her throat. Her voice rumbled like a geyser from the earth.

"Gyvann! Baka! Orisann! Uncouple the gates of your world and allow the spirits of our fellows to pass freely! I, your preistess, am prostrate at your altar. Hear me and my prayer. Shima! Shima! Shima!"

I have heard such speeches before.

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PXCCC 2.0 2009-05-02 21:06:51 PDT