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Monday, 24 October 2016

Sofa Space Preview: Chapters 1 & 2

Below are the opening two chapters of my upcoming novel Sofa Space. As the complete novel is yet to be released, note that there may still be changes made to the below text. With that in mind, here we go:

1
Imagine the worst hangover of all time. You know when it feels like your head’s on fire? Take all of that pain and double it. Now combine it with the sensation that you’ve been locked in a prison cell for a couple of decades. You’ve lost all sense of self; forgotten what it feels like to be alive. You have no concept of who, where, what, why or how, but you know for certain that something must have gone incredibly wrong at some point to end up in such a sorry state.
This was going to be one of those days. I’d woken up. Where? I wasn’t entirely sure. Having fumbled around for a non-existent alarm clock, I realised that waving my arms in the air was a rather fruitless exercise, so I let my arms go limp, and… ah… that’s strange. My arms made contact with rounded metal accompanied by a comically audible ‘thump,’ and instantly I knew that this wasn’t my bed. Hell, this didn’t feel like any bed I’d laid in before. I let my arms slide along the surface, the metal curving cylindrically either side. Was this some kind of medical device? Hard to tell; my arms were extremely numb and hardly even in sync with my thoughts. From what little sensory input I had, I was able to deduce that whatever I was lying in was extremely narrow, and probably not all too comfortable for the downstairs region.
Had I been in some kind of accident? What was that burning pain? After spending a few moments clarifying that my head was not actually on fire, I tried to move my legs but my lower body hadn’t woken up. Give it a minute, I thought. I tried to open my eyes… big mistake. The resultant flash of light penetrated my poor unsuspecting retinas. In its wake, a lingering afterimage danced, mockingly, across my eyelids, continuing long after the instinctual reaction to shut both eyes as quickly as humanly possible.
Minutes passed and I began to suspect that whatever had caused the piercingly bright light was, in fact, nothing out of the ordinary; that I’d just been out of it for so long my eyes had forgotten to adjust. Just a bit of sunlight creeping through the window, surely? Slowly I eased my eyes into a narrow gaze, locked into an odd position of perpetual squinting until I could finally make out something vaguely resembling a ceiling. What colour was that, grey? Definitely grey, I thought. That or my eyesight had deteriorated to the point of rendering everything in monochrome.
Slowly but surely my other senses returned to me. There was a faint whirring sound that seemed to be reverberating all around the room. The cool air smelled of a certain freshness that was probably supposed to be welcoming but… hang on, was that coffee? Delighted that I had apparently recovered my senses enough in order to correctly identify the scent of coffee, I began floundering my limbs around like an idiot, trying to find a way to force my body up and out of whatever I was in. Yes, time to get up, lazy boy. Can’t lie here forever. A few seconds later my head had introduced itself to the floor and I immediately regretted that train of thought.
“Damn that coffee!” I swore aloud, although my lack of muscular control reduced those words to meaningless grunts. It may have seemed odd to blame the coffee for my current predicament, but I couldn’t think of anything else to use as a scapegoat. I’m not sure how long I stayed face-down on the floor, but it was long enough to induce a whole new set of aches and pains by the time I rolled over.
Finally I was able to stand. That coffee again… it was still there; the scent was much stronger now. The deliciously caffeinated aura filled my nostrils, guiding me forwards. I was nowhere near balanced, stumbling around like an intoxicated fool. I found myself slamming into pipes and walls and pieces of equipment I couldn’t identify. Everything was just an indistinct haze at this point - the coffee was the only thing I could focus on. My whole brain was preoccupied by the goal of reaching it; I wasn’t even paying attention to where I was. I followed my nose and limped through some sort of corridor until I could start to hear voices. Voices! That should have been cause for me to forget about my blind-sighted objective, but it wasn’t. I tripped through a doorway vaguely aware of four agape faces staring back at me. I took a few more steps in the general direction of the coffee until my legs gave way. I suppose I passed out a few moments later. Oh well, it was worth a shot.
“That’s why I thought he was dead!” was the first sentence I caught as I returned to consciousness.
“Thought who was dead?” I yawned, groggily. As I rubbed my eyes I got the impression that several people had quickly backed away from me, alarmed at my sudden awakening. I sure as hell hoped they hadn’t been trying to revive me through some form of close bodily contact.
“You, obviously!” came the first voice again. I turned my head towards the source, spending a few moments trying to determine if I knew who it was. I quickly realised that was too much effort, and focused on just examining features. Facing me was a slightly overweight man, probably in his early 30s, wearing a baggy shirt and jeans. He was leaning on a burgundy-coloured sofa at a slightly awkward angle. His ginger hair was long and looked pretty unkempt, curling off in random directions. He also had a silly looking goatee; still ginger, but with a mismatched hue compared to the rest of his hair. Instantly I could tell that he was in a bad mood.
“Well, no. I’m clearly not dead,” I said. The ginger man turned away, as if trying to think of some clever remark to bark back with.
“You stopped breathing,” came a woman’s voice. “Are you sure you feel alright?”
How my declaration of not being dead had somehow implied that I was feeling alright, I did not know. I turned to the woman planning to make some sarcastic remark, but her face seemed to show genuine concern, so instead I was honest.
“I’ve got a hell of a migraine. What’s going on?”
The ginger man did a fake-sounding chuckle, as if that was a naive question. The woman looked down, dark hair flowing across her face, which she brushed out of the way in slow-motion, giving herself time to think. She was pretty, I suppose, or perhaps the unkempt ginger man had been such an eyesore that I was ready to accept almost anyone else. The stripy, charity shop-esque jumper she was wearing wasn’t doing her any favours, that’s for sure.
“We don’t know what’s going on either, but we’ve been awake for a little longer than you have. We think…” she paused. “We think we’re on a spaceship.”
“What?” I gasped, suddenly taking in my surroundings. It didn’t look much like I’d expect a spaceship to look; there were a few pipes and odd metallic bits and pieces, but from what I could tell we were in an ordinary-ish 21st century living room. There was the sofa the ginger man was leaning on alongside a coffee table, a couple of empty bookshelves and a large monitor that I naively assumed was a TV.
“Are you pulling my leg?” I asked. “Is this some kind of practical joke? Because it’s not a very good one. You haven’t exactly gone to town on the set design...”
There was an awkward pause. I tried again.
“Seriously? Come on, I’m not that daft.”
“Well...” came a different woman’s voice. She was wearing glasses and a smart black dress. Arms folded, she had a sort of authoritative confidence I couldn’t see in the others. “This is just the common room. Probably supposed to look like Earth, to make us feel at home.”
“Yeah, feels real homely don’t it…” came the ginger man’s sarcastic tone.
“Okay, fine, how did I get here?” I asked, smirking in disbelief.
“You came in through that doorway and collapsed. Started muttering something about coffee…” replied the ginger man.
“I mean how did I end up on a bloody spaceship?” I asked, getting frustrated. I knew it wasn’t really a spaceship but I thought we’d get to the point quicker if I played along. Being reminded of that damn coffee didn’t help.
“Um…” came a new voice, which startled me because I’d forgotten there was another person in the room. I turned around to see an older, timid looking man, probably in his 60s, with greying hair and a tattered white shirt. He had a somewhat awkward demeanour. “There’s… c..cryo pods…” he mumbled, stammering slightly.
I followed the others through a slightly more convincingly spaceship-like corridor back to the room where I’d first woken up. The older man was right, this was a room filled with cryogenic pods. By which I mean, things that looked like cryogenic pods, but couldn’t possibly be cryogenic pods because that’s just stupid. Still, I couldn’t knock the authenticity of the design. Anyone who’s ever seen a science fiction film before would have understood what the cylinders were from just a quick glance. They were human-sized; enormous chambers with glass windows coated in a thick layer of condensation, connected to some sort of large vat reinforced with steel.
“But… this doesn’t explain anything.” I said, still going along with this prank. “Who put me in there? Why can’t I remember?”
“We’ve all got this amnesia,” said the confident girl. “It must be a side effect from being frozen for so long.”
“So long? What do you mean, so long?” I asked, ignoring what the words ‘cryogenically frozen’ implied. The confident girl pointed towards a small numerical dial on the top of one of the pods.
“25 years, every single one of them,” she said, bitterly. “We’ve been asleep for a quarter of a century.”
That was a funny old premise. Let’s think about this for a moment. 25 years. What would it mean to skip through such a long amount of time? All the important stuff I would have missed back home… What about my parents? What was the last thing I said to my wife? My kids? Would they even be alive? Wait a second, did I even have a wife? Hang on a minute. There’s something really wrong here… That’s when I realised.
“I don’t remember my family…” I whimpered. “I… I don’t remember my name.” It was true, and the fact that I had only just realised was petrifying. I was straining myself to remember these basic details but the only picture I could paint was blank. This prank was getting more and more sinister by the second. “What the hell did you guys do to me? Have I been drugged? Tell me what’s going on!” Before I knew it I had an arm round me. It was the dark haired girl.
“I’m sorry…”
“No, it doesn’t make any sense!” I yelled. It wasn’t like I’d had my memory completely wiped, because surely I’d have woken up having forgotten how to speak and spent all morning crying and rolling around on the floor like a newborn child. On second thoughts that wasn’t far from the truth, but that’s besides the point. I couldn’t remember who I was, or what I did for a living, yet somehow I knew in my heart that I’d lived a productive life. I must have done. The Beatles, Jackie Chan, Super Mario. Every now and then a pop culture reference would flicker annoyingly into my head, and hell, I recognised the smell of coffee, so clearly not everything had been wiped.
“Alright, that’s enough…” I said calmly. “The joke’s getting tired now, guys, this isn’t funny.”
“Now now, let’s not start thinking irrationally,” said the confident girl. “Nobody drugged you. It’s just a bit of cryogenic amnesia, we’ve all got it. Something must have gone wrong with the process. None of us can remember our families or our names at the moment…”
“And I’m supposed to believe that, am I?” I responded.
“Look, take all the time you need, but please just trust me. We’ll all on the same page here,” she replied.
“It’s true. I don’t know who I am, either,” the other girl said despondently. The tone of her voice was genuine.
If that was supposed to make me feel better, it wasn’t very effective. The ginger man sensed this, and decided to make the most of this opportunity to wind everyone up.
“My name’s Dom, I’ve got a wife and family in Texas. I’m 33 years old and I drive trucks for a living,” he stated, grinning idiotically. It was obviously complete bullshit, and not just because his accent was clearly British.
“You’re l… lying,” stammered the old man, eyes down at the floor.
“No shit of course I’m l...lying. I don’t r...remember anything either!” yelled the ginger man, his imitation of the old man’s stammer causing a ripple effect of disapproval amongst the others. “Not only that, I didn’t even remember which gender I was this morning until I looked down and was like, woah, dude, what’s that dangling between my legs? It’s huge! I mean we’re talking about morning wood 25 years in the making right here…”
Stunned silence.
“Oh come on!” he continued. “You don’t honestly believe this horse shit do you? 25 years, my arse. Look, guys, we can cry all we want, but whatever’s happened to us, someone’s obviously responsible. Let’s not jump to bullshit sci-fi conclusions.” Finally someone was starting to talk some sense.
“Ginger guy has a point…” I said. Ginger guy seemed to take offense.
“Really? Ginger guy? Wow, okay. We’re gonna resort to adjectives now? Male pattern baldness…”
I nervously started feeling around for my hairline.
“We can’t just sit around here for days waiting to remember who we bloody are,” he continued. “We’re gonna have to come up with actual names for ourselves.”
The confident girl started pacing up and down, trying to gauge the right moment to say something.
“I hate to say it…” she started. “But he’s right. We don’t know how long this amnesia will last. We have to find some way to identify each other.” The old man glanced up, finally, as if he was about to say something, but chose not to. The confident girl continued. “Feels like we’ve gotten off to a bad start. I think we should all have some time alone… Choose a name, and we’ll meet back later on to introduce ourselves, yeah?”
Nobody was in the mood to question her logic. We walked back through the corridor and stood in separate corners of the common room. There was a distinct lack of furniture to actually sit on other than the sofa that nobody seemed brave enough to try out. What followed was an increasingly tense hour or so of complete silence, during which everyone tried to avoid making eye contact with everyone else. Well, everyone except the ginger man, who took great pleasure in walking around being as deliberately distracting as possible without actually saying anything.
Eventually the tension was too much to bear so I chose a doorway at random and started walking. From what I gathered, the actual living space of this “spaceship” we were on was rather small indeed, consisting mainly of the central common room with multiple exits and a single corridor that wrapped around in a sort of horseshoe shape. There were doors to the ‘cryo room’, a couple of smaller, featureless rooms that I assumed were supposed to be bedrooms (minus the beds), a bathroom and a door that wouldn’t open, not that I was trying very hard to open it. Despite the ever-twisting pipes and railings in the corridor, nothing on this ‘spaceship’ looked very sophisticated to me. The doors were all on hinges and had physical handles, and not even the clean, modern sort. I’m talking tacky, half-rusted brass handles that were so stiff you could hardly turn them. Certainly not the sort of thing Captain Kirk ever had to put up with. There’s another reference for you. I’d have congratulated myself on the ability to recall another element of popular culture, but the thought of William Shatner being one of the only faces left in my memory was demoralising, so I let it pass.
Before long, I found myself in the bathroom, transfixed by my own reflection in the mirror. I felt a certain sense of recognition, but not a clear one. The ginger man was right, my hairline was receding. Well, that’s great, I thought, unsure whether I should laugh or cry. I went for the latter, because it seemed to be the normal reaction to being told you’ve been frozen for 25 years with no memories of your former life. No, that’s still stupid, I thought. I wasn’t ready to start believing that crazy story just yet.
Before long I found myself daydreaming, trying to invent my own past history in order to justify the ridiculous setting I found myself in. I started to figure that if everything the others were saying was true, as ridiculous as it may seem, maybe there was some logic behind it. Maybe we were all astronauts on some experimental mission to explore the deepest regions of space, and like the confident girl had surmised, something went wrong with the freezing process resulting in us losing our memories. No, that does sounds bonkers. Space astronauts? Cryogenic freezing? How could any of it be true? And further still, would I really commit to a career like that? I didn’t fancy myself as much of a spaceman. Maybe a banker or accountant or something really boring like that. But what did I know? I could have been a convicted criminal. Maybe this was some kind of mental asylum. I shuddered with the thoughts of things I could have done in my earlier life to deserve this.
I still had to choose a name. Jack? Sam? Paul? Mark? I glanced up at my pathetic tear stained face. Guess I was just your average…

2
“Joe? That’s the best you’ve got?” asked the ginger man, doing his best to make me resent my newly chosen identity.
“Uh… yeah, there a problem with that?” I responded.
“No, no… just… never mind.”
“Why did you stick with the name Dom?”
“It’s easy to remember.”
“Well there you go.”
The dark haired girl had chosen the name Emma, while the confident girl was extremely confident that her name was Chloe and ‘couldn’t possibly be anything else’ no matter how much Dom pushed her. That left the old man, whom when pressured for a name couldn’t come up with anything so Dom gave him the name Travis. Because it made him laugh.
So, there in the common room we stood, five complete would-be strangers with fake identities introducing ourselves like a group of students on freshers’ week, discussing fake details of our fake lives as if any of us had a clue what we were talking about. None of us stopped to question what we were doing, because there was something oddly cathartic about being able to make up details of our past lives without feeling any guilt about lying. Before the end of our conversation I had become an engineer, Emma a teacher, Chloe an investment banker and Travis (after much prodding by Dom) an artist. Dom had changed his mind about himself and instead gave us an elaborately constructed tale of how he was apparently the ‘top dog’ of a world renowned ‘pimping agency,’ owned a whole chain of strip clubs and was ‘banging thirty hoes’ a week, because ‘wouldn’t that be awesome?’ ‘Dom the Schlong,’ he called himself. Suffice to say he really enjoyed fleshing out that story, while Chloe and Emma were horrified.
On the whole though, I began to warm to the group. Part of this was undoubtedly tactical, as in: ‘I don’t know how long I’ll be stuck with these folks so I better bloody get on with them.’ Part of it must have been genuine, however. None of the people were grating on me yet, not even Dom, whose cocky arrogance had somehow swung so far into the realms of tastelessness that it had almost become charming.
I’d zoned out. Dom was still going on about his pimping business and Chloe and Emma were having a jokey argument with him around the morals of prostitution. I groaned.
“What is it, Joe?” Emma asked.
“What are we doing?” I sighed. “Let’s look at the facts. We’re stuck on a spaceship.”
“Supposedly,” interjected Dom.
“We don’t know why we’re stuck on a spaceship-”
“Supposedly…”
“And instead of trying to find out why we’re stuck on a spaceship-”
“Supposedly…”
“We’re sitting around talking about 12 inch dildos.”
“Human nature,” Dom shrugged. Yeah, human nature, or had we already lost our marbles?
“How come…” I began, trying to come up with an observation as I spoke, “…we’re all wearing casual clothes? I mean shouldn’t we all be wearing space suits or something? If we’re really in space…”
“That’s right,” said Travis, who hadn’t said much throughout the whole conversation. “It’s kind of… o… odd, isn’t it?”
“Well we woke up in them, so who knows,” replied Emma. “Obviously doesn’t do any harm to the cryo pods.”
“That’s weird,” Chloe pondered. “Must be a new type of cryogenic-”
“Chloe, do you know something we don’t?” Dom snapped. “Because the last time I checked, cryogenic pods in space were the stuff of bleeding sci-fi!”
“When was the last time you checked?”
“It’s a figure of speech!”
“Well for your information, Dom the self-proclaimed pimp…”
“Dom the Schlong.” Dom corrected her.
“Right, Dom the Schlong, I think you’ll find they’ve been doing cryogenic freezing tests for years in labs and such,” Chloe paused. “I think.”
“Yeah but not in space,” Dom retorted. “God knows what year it is now, but I remember the turn of the millennium like it was yesterday. We’re from the early twenty-first century! This shit doesn’t exist!”
That nobody piped up after this comment implied that we were all indeed from the same time period, which as Dom stated, must have been some time in the early twenty first century. Maybe. Putting aside the amnesia for one moment, it was almost impossible to recall definitive dates after half an hour of irreverent strip club discussion.
“So let’s see here,” I began. “We’ve woken up with no memories wearing non-futuristic clothes and we’re in a non-futuristic looking room with a sofa and goddamn doors with brass handles. And that means we’re in space. Why?”
“Have you looked out the window yet, Joe?” Chloe said, as if I was being stupid.
“No,” I replied, dumbfounded. “What window?”
I followed Chloe’s eyes over to the large rectangular black object I had previously assumed was a TV. As I got closer, my jaw hung wide as it suddenly dawned on me that I’d missed something obvious. There were no stars - maybe one or two max, but somehow my brain knew instantly that I was looking out into deep space. The same way that when you look up at the night sky, even when there’s nothing visible, you get a sense of scale, of openness. Standing here, looking horizontally out at the great black nothingness I got a sense of vertigo. I suppose it’s a natural feeling. You’re used to seeing space as this thing above your head, not in front of it.
“Wow,” was the only thing I could say. I glanced towards the edges of the window and could just make out some of the exterior of the ship, a textured grey that appeared to extend outwards at perfectly straight angles. I got the impression that the ship was shaped like a box. A big grey box drifting alone in a much bigger black ocean. The exterior was casting some kind of light somehow; there certainly wasn’t a nearby sun shining our way. I wasn’t going to even begin to contemplate where all the power was coming from.
“Do you believe me now?” Chloe asked, wearing her best ‘I told you so’ face.
“Yeah, I think so,” I said, wanting to just keep staring out into the vast emptiness.
“Seriously?” Dom huffed. “You think they can build a spaceship with goddamn cryogenic freezing pods, but they can’t build, say, a 3D TV monitor with a bit of snappy head tracking? You know, like the stuff that already exists…”
“You seriously think someone would go out of their way to fake this?” Emma asked, joining in with the debate.
“It’s a lot more believable than some of the shit you guys are coming up with! Jesus, I thought you’d have gotten the hint after my pimping story. Everything here is bullshit. Someone’s playing us.”
“Playing us?”
“Yes, Emma, playing us. I’m telling you, we’re being watched.” Dom started shifting his eyes around the room suspiciously. “You guys want to know my theory?”
Nobody said anything, but we let him continue.
“I think we’re on some kind of crazy reality TV show. Japanese, I’ll bet. They probably gave us some pills to make us forget everything, then they put us in those tacky pods and started rolling the cameras.” Dom started imitating a reality show announcer voice. “Five contestants wake up with no memories. They think they’re on a spaceship. Which one of them will lose their mind first? Find out on next week’s episode of Numpties in Space!”
Dom was really getting into his mad little piece of role play, as he started humming a silly made up theme tune and running around like a five year old impersonating an astronaut. The rest of us shook our heads.
“Dom, would you cut it out?” Chloe asked.
“Why should I? This is the stuff that brings in the ratings,” Dom smiled, “They’ll be lapping this up, the public. Ginger twat goes crazy and rumbles reality show on day one! Think of the headlines,” he started laughing maniacally. “BIG BROTHER! I’M A GINGER TWAT GET ME OUT OF HERE!”
Again, more pop culture references I didn’t particularly want to recall at this moment in time.
“THERE YOU GO! I’VE RUMBLED YOU! YOU CAN KICK ME OUT NOW! SHOW’S OVER!” Dom continued yelling with glee. Chloe and Emma both covered their ears.
“Must be a way out, it’s only a TV set after all…” Dom continued. He tapped on one of the walls. “Let’s see how well they built it.” Dom started banging on the wall, lightly at first, but gradually harder and harder until he was punching with all his strength.
“Dom, please stop punching the wall…” Chloe sighed.
“Right, okay, guess they did a pretty good job. YOU HEAR THAT, MR. PRODUCER? YOU BUILT A DAMN GOOD SET!” Dom stopped pounding on the wall and began nursing his hand. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d busted a few bones.
“Oh, look. There’s blood on the wall now…” Chloe said, very nonchalantly. This apparent physical injury didn’t look like it had fazed Dom much though. He was pacing around manically, combing the room for some kind of escape route. I glanced over to the spot on the wall Dom had been punching. Other than the small patch of blood, there wasn’t a mark in sight. Whatever these walls were made of, it would take something a lot stronger than Dom’s fist to make a dent in them.
For a short moment, we thought Dom had calmed down. Chloe and Emma sat down on the sofa, Travis resumed his default state of ‘looking at the floor,’ and I continued to gaze thoughtfully out of the window. Before long, however, it was clear Dom had other plans. He slowly turned his eyes in my direction, stared at the window and smiled triumphantly. Then he walked over to the coffee table and tried to pick it up. It wouldn’t budge.
“Huh… Seems to be fused to the floor. Okay then, I’ll have to use something else…” Dom looked up at Chloe and Emma. “Excuse me ladies,” he said calmly. It was clear that he wasn’t asking to sit down, as there was plenty of room. Instantly I clocked on to what he was planning to do.
“No… you can’t,” I warned.
“Shut up Joe! Ladies, would you mind?” He was gesturing for them to stand up. Emma moved right away, but Chloe remained seated.
“Chloe just stand up for one sec.”
“No.”
“Chloe, please.”
“No!”
By this point Dom was practically wrestling Chloe out of the sofa. Travis suddenly stepped into action.
“Stop it Dom! Let her s…sit!”
“I’m getting us out of here, Travis, if you people would… just… co-operate!” Dom finally managed to force Chloe out of her seat. She looked back at him, eyes filled with fury. Dom clearly didn’t care, as he was too busy trying to pick the sofa up.
“Dom, what the hell are you doing?” Emma asked, agitated.
“Getting… hnnnghh!!... out!” The huge sofa was clearly much heavier than Dom had predicted, but before long he had started to lift it. The floor underneath was surprisingly spotless.
“Dom! Oh my god!” Emma yelled, then placed her hands over her mouth in shock. Dom half-dragged the sofa over towards the window, and I rushed to the other end trying to push it back.
“Joe, would you please let me do this!” Dom shouted.
“If you smash that window, we’ll all die!” I yelled. “We’ll be sucked into the vacuum of space!”
“We’re not in fucking space!”
I looked to the others for help, but Emma was crying, Chloe was in a sort of hate-fuelled trance and Travis was cowering in the corner. Dom’s strength was unfortunately much greater than mine and I fell to the ground, hitting my head on the coffee table.
“It’s the only way!” Dom screamed, as he lifted the sofa as high as he could, and launched it towards the window with all his might.
“NOOOO!!!”
In the few milliseconds before the impact, I somehow had enough time to mentally contemplate several potential scenarios. One, that the window would be strong enough to withstand a direct collision, the sofa rebounding and landing squarely on Dom, perhaps killing him or at least incapacitating him to the point where he would never try something so stupid again. Two, that the sofa would go flying straight through the window, thus creating a hole into space, immediately sucking all of us out with the pressure and killing us all. Three, that Dom was actually right, the window really was a fake all along and that after smashing through it we’d be greeted by a TV production crew wearing headphones, sitting around with video monitors and clipboards. I found myself greatly preferring scenario number one. Even though three would technically put an end to this nightmare, in the end of the day I just couldn’t stand to see Dom victorious.
Actually, all three of these scenarios were wrong. As the sofa collided with the window it smashed straight through, but before the vacuum of space began to take its toll, a blue flash of light appeared where the window once was and the glass magically repaired itself. No broken glass on the floor, no damage anywhere at all. The sofa, however, carried on its trajectory, very slowly rotating its way out into space. All five of us watched silently as it gradually span into the distance, slipping further and further away. We continued to watch it glide out of reach for what must have been several minutes. Finally, Chloe voiced what we were all thinking.
“Now we’ve got nowhere to sit, asshole!”

Continued in Chapter 3...

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