Every morning, the first creeping ray that slinks in through the curtain-cracks slithers over the thick carpet of dust that now lines the floor. One by one, the little gems that adorn the singular metal box in the corner of the room light up, like sunflowers. Sometimes, the thick leaves rustle outside the window. By mid-day, every surface in the room takes on the sticky brown complexion that has coloured it for years; only the little specks of dancing, teasing sparkle on the box offer any resistance. Even the deep-carved ornamental flourishes that once gave the little shining stones their meaning have disappeared into the murky fog.