ÆV

Emma, ever the Taoist at heart, knew of course that what it says, what was written, what it is on the page as what wasn't. She knew Zhuangzi's tale of the Butcher Ting as one would their name. Ting had in nineteen years, never sharpened his knife because the edge of the knife has no thickness and Butcher Ting found the intervals, the gaps. His knife was sharp because he cut where there was not. This was a case where the meat was for later but what was not must be taken away to appreciate the meat.

She took another glance at the letter and, lighting a cigarette, walked over to the office adjoining Charles's nautical themed basement bar and copied the letter. "Just in case we need the bones Chaz," she called out knowing he'd ken the allusion but doubted he knew how to ensure a sharp knife in this case. She left the copy produced on the tray as she walked back into the bar flicking the kitchen knife into the dartboard on the wall opposite.

"I wish you'd stop doing that," Charles said disinterestedly, pouring another drinks.

"I know."

She grabbed a large silver plated charger from Chuck's impressively stocked china cabinet behind the bar and placed it on the table closest to the bar. "I wish I hadn't ruined the chafing dish when I put the lid on the Vladivostok situation but one works with the tools one has, right?" Emma lit a candle with her cigarette and placed it on a saucer in a colander and put the charger, with cloche, on top.

"Now the waiting," Chuck said, realizing where she was going with this.