There was a time when I grew uncomfortable in the constant presence of the ghosts who were living, so to speak, with me, though they were soft-spoken and well-mannered. Perhaps that was part of what bothered me – they had far better manners than I did, and any competent exorcist entering my apartment would confidently have lit upon me as the unquiet spirit in need of expulsion. I began taking long walks and then longer walks. The cats who are possibly the original builders of the dark city grew fond of me, and would occasionally give me small gifts – a few marbles, half a surprised mouse, a streaked stone which muttered to itself. I carried the stone with me for a few days but stopped because the coins in my pocket were picking up bad habits from it.
This was a good while ago; my ghosts and I eventually worked out our problems and they were taken over by one of my younger sisters, Greta. (It is no good asking how many sisters I have; they are like the columns at Stonehenge; it brings ill-luck to try to count them and you’ll never get the same number twice). I saw them when I visited her, but rarely thought of them otherwise. They seemed content, in their bloodless and well-bred way.