By the time I cleaned myself up, Arj had scrounged me a fresh t-shirt. I stopped outside the recovery room to pull it on.
“How is he?” I asked, rather indistinctly. My top lip had blown up like a balloon. My head ached, too, where I’d hit it on the cold bed.
“Awake. Calm,” he said. “Whole – we think. Physical responses are normal. He’s in mild shock. Hasn’t said anything yet.”
He shrugged. “Gone real quiet.”
Abby and Dole were a couple, the ringleaders of our little cabal. They were the kind of adrenalin addicts who see extreme sports as a mystical experience. Who’d mangle J.M. Barrie to tell you: “Death is the greatest adventure of all, man.”
Of course, the rest of us were fear junkies too, otherwise we wouldn’t be sneaking around the labs after hours like the cast of Flatliners.
About the Author
IAN MCHUGH is a writer whose first success was winning the short story competition at his local science fiction convention in Canberra, Australia in 2004. Since then, he’s sold more than 40 stories to publications around the world, and his first story collection, Angel Dust, was published in 2014. You can find his full bibliography, with links to read stories that are available free online, including his past publications at Pseudopod, Escape Pod and Podcastle, at ianmchugh.wordpress.com.
About the Narrator
Alasdair Stuart was briefly employed as a circus geek until an unfortunate mix-up involving a prize-winning fighting cock. Its owner had ties not only to the carnival, but also to the Russian mob, so now he writes supplements for role playing games, where he exercises his superpower to make you appreciate the Sixth Doctor. He has played for the national rugby team after defeating the monstrous four-horned sheep across his home island. He is the Supreme Mugwump, Keeper of the Big Red Button, a regular contributor to Tor.com, and he owns a bunch of awesome podcasts.