Mr. Stihl made his move.

The chessboard countered with Qc8.

Ha ha ha ha ha, said the chessboard.

Bollocks! said Mr. Stihl.

Twelve is a composite number, the smallest number with exactly six divisors, its proper divisors being one, two, three, four, and six, said Miss Dahmer from the stage in the great jam-packed auditorium.

Twelve is the atomic number of magnesium, she added.

Curling her fingers about the edge of the podium, she went on.

Eight is also a composite number, its proper divisors being 1, 2, and 4.

The number twelve is very important in many religions, mainly Judaism and Christianity,  but some uses are to be found in pagan times, she said.

Mr. Stihl made his move.

The chessboard countered with Qc4.

Ha ha ha ha ha, said the chessboard.

Wanker! said Mr. Stihl.

Lightly she coughed into her hand before continuing.

Most calendar systems have twelve months in a year.

And, in nuclear physics, the second magic number is eight, she said.

Dialysis works on the principles of the diffusion of solutes and convection of fluid across a semi-permeable membrane, said Walter in his sleep from his hospital bed at 2:30 in the morning in the dark.

His roommate wakened.

Miss Dahmer drew herself up straight before the class before continuing.

Messier object M8, she said, is a magnitude 5.0 Nebula in the constellation of saggitarius.

Also, she said,  nodding—In rugby union one of the centres, most often but not always  the inside centre, wears the twelve shirt, while in rugby league, one of the second-row forwards wears the number twelve jersey.

Mr. Stihl made his move.

The chessboard countered with Rc1.

Ha ha ha ha ha, said the chessboard.

You arse! said Mr. Stihl.

She scanned the great room as she spoke.

The ASCII and Unicode point for form feed is twelve, she explained.

And eight is the atomic number of oxygen.

In hemodialysis, the patient's blood is pumped through the blood compartment of a dialyzer, exposing it to a semi-permeable membrane, cried Walter, thrashing more wildly in the dark shrouded bed,  eyes clenched tightly closed.

His roommate listened, clutching his sheets.

Then, he shouted at the top of his lungs In peritoneal dialysis, a sterile solution containing minerals and glucose is run through a tube into  the peritoneal cavity, the abdominal body around the intestine, where the peritoneal membrane acts as a semi-permeable membrane.

The darkness of the room settled about him as he quieted.

His roommate lay listening to the dark.

Hemofiltration is a similar treatment to hemodialysis, but it makes use of a different principle, added Walter more quietly.

His roommate rolled over on his side and attempted to get back to sleep.

Miss Dahmer clicked her heels together and went on.

A disphenoid crystal is bounded by eight scalene triangles arranged in pairs.

Movies with the number twelve or its variations in their titles, she said, smiling, include Twelve, Twelve Angry Men, Cheaper By  The Dozen, Ocean's Twelve, and Twelve Monkeys.

Mr. Stihl made his move.

The chessboard countered with Qc5.

Ha ha ha ha ha, said the chessboard.

Spastic!  Mr. Stihl.

The number twelve plays a significant role in the television franchise Battlestar Galactica.   Isn't that something.

And all spiders, and more generally all arachnids, have eight legs.

In intestinal dialysis, the diet is supplemented with soluble fibres such as acacia fibre, which is digested by bacteria in the colon, whispered Walter.

His roommate drifted on the edge of sleep.

Various types of buildings, said Miss Dahmer, tapping her fingers on the podium edge, are usually eight-sided (octagonal), such as single-roomed gazebos and multi-roomed pagodas (descended from stupas).

She nodded thoughtfully, as she added:

Twelfth Night is a comedy by William Shakespeare.

Mr. Stihl made his move.

The chessboard countered with Rd1.

Ha ha ha ha ha, said the chessboard.

Bugger! said Mr. Stihl.

The Twelve is a poem by Aleksandr Blok, she said.

The Dharmachakra, a Buddhist symbol, has eight spokes, she said more excitedly.

And the Twelve Girls Band has many fans.

Finally, breathing heavily, she turned to the blackboard, where many colors were portrayed, and pointed as she spoke.

See—there are twelve basic hues in the color wheel; three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), three secondary colors (orange, green and purple) and six tertiary colors (names for these vary, but are intermediates between the primaries and secondaries).

Miss Dahmer stood beaming.    Applause filled the auditorium.

Walter said nothing.  He lay sleeping stretched in the 3 A.M. dark, and his roommate, at last, slept soundly, dreaming of strangling the enemy. 

Mr. Stihl made his move.

The chessboard countered with Qc3.

Ha ha ha ha ha, said the chessboard.

Slag! said Mr. Stihl.

The chessboard countered with Rkd1.


Bloody—here let me—

The chessboard countered with 0-1.

Mate, it cackled.

Endgame!  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha—



words: Jim Meirose, New Jersey (more)
image: Margot Miller, Maryland (Margot Miller)


BluePrintReview - issue 19 - Beyond the Silence