This room is black; black walls, black ceiling. The floor is bare and the unvarnished floorboards look as if they haven’t been swept in a long time. The single, naked light bulb that hangs from the middle of the ceiling can’t push out enough energy to throw off the gloom.

I can’t think straight because of the stress. I look across at my companions. One of them is saying something but I cannot and will not hear his words. Were we once all in the same faction? We are not any longer, that is for sure. I must rely only on myself if I am to have a chance.

There are three wooden chairs sitting in the middle of the floor. I look again at the others. There are four of us.

Then the music stops.

Jim Steel is a member of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers Circle. Unsuprisingly, this involves living in Glasgow and writing science fiction. He used to be a professional beer tester and is of the opinion that writing is probably the second-best job in the world. Jim is also the book reviews editor of Interzone.

This story was sponsored by
Camilla d’Errico: A character designer and artist who dances on the tightrope between pop surrealist art and manga inspired graphics. Explore her paintings, characters and comics: Tanpopo, BURN and Helmetgirls.

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