After an hour or so wandering between the clanging lights of the slot machines and the empty green coolness of the felt, Alex gets bored and tracks Nuncio down.

“I’m bored,” she says. “Are we done here?”

Nuncio is long, languid and lean, the planes of its extrahuman face beautiful and cold in the fluorescent lighting. “Leave?” it says, and laughs maliciously. “Why would you ever want to leave? There’s everything you could ever possibly want in here.”

“I dunno. I guess I don’t really like gambling?”

“Well, I’m still having a good time. You’ll just have to wait.” So back Alex goes into the maze, until she runs out of chips and the pangs of hunger get to gnawing at her.

“I’m hungry,” she tells Nuncio.

“So buy some food, dearest, why are you bothing me about it?” Nuncio is vicious over its cards and its cigarettes.

“But I’m out of money!”

“Oh, goodness me,” drawls the beast, “has the little darling lost all her funds, and the great fangs of hunger a-ripping at her belly? Gracious! Whatever shall she do? Well, you’d best figure it out, my sweetness, and quickly, that, or it’s out into the darkness and the gnashing of teeth that you’ll go. Now be off with you, for it’s on a winning streak that I am, and can’t be bothered with the dark luck of your losing.”

And Alex was much disturbed.