Mr. Hsu sat cross legged on an opulent pillow. His head was bald and covered with liver spots. He wore a shiny, silk robe. The owner of the Opal Trading House took a slow drag from an ivory pipe.
He narrowed his eyes in my direction and exhaled slowly, "Would you care for some tea?"
The air in the small room was choked with heavy incense and tobacco smoke.
"No, thank you."
I primarily wanted to find a suitable gift, whatever this shriveled man suggested, and get going.
"Please? I insist. It's very good tea," a claw-like hand, all dead skin and curled fingernails, passed me a teacup of bitter smelling, steaming liquid. The hand then darted back within the folds of his robe. I didn't want any tea, but if I've learned anything by Kristakos' example, it's that social graces can carry you far in this midnight version of Manhattan.
I sipped the tea and we began to talk of gifts appropriate for Sam Hain, the master of Halloween.