He dealt the cards with practiced ease, sliding them from the top of the deck with a quick thumb. The table had chairs for four players, and each chair had a corresponding stack, but only one chair was occupied, and it was that of the dealer himself. Or so it seemed as the game commenced.
It was a strange game, and no one quite knew the rules--even he who had dealt the cards did not, yet he waited in quiet anticipation to find out.
The game began with the nonexistent player on his left.