from the short story “Rules” by China Mieville
1) Consider beginnings and endings. Consider their relations.
- Player one draws a horizontal line and calls it “Time.”
- Player two cuts the chronology with vertical strokes in several colors.
- Player three numbers the divisions, according to whatever logic is appropriate.
- The sheet is placed in the center of the table and the digital hourglass (included) is started. Meditate on the schema while that random timer runs.
2) Play commences when the buzzer sounds.
- Player four picks one card from the Integument stack and one from the Geist stack, and places them face up, visible to all. She has thirty seconds to decide on what First Thing the combination of these two cards portends. While the timer runs again, she performs a wordless mime of this inauguratory activity.
- The other players announce their guesses as to what is being mummed. A correct call ends the turn. If the timer runs down without the activity being guessed, no one wins.
- Play can be interrupted at any time by any player who declares “Final Thing.”
- She must take a card from the Possible stack. She must never reveal her Possible Card to any other player. She must combine its value with those of the other two visible cards, and on that basis decide on an ending.
- All other players must remain silent.
- She must perform the Final Thing as long as she can.