My latest Central Station story, “The Core” (completing the arc of previous stories “Strigoi” and “The Bookseller”) is now in Interzone issue #246.
In the dark of night, Achimwene awakened.
The faint light of Central Station crept into the room through the blinds. It cast a faint glow over the pillow cases and the white crumpled sheet and over the book placed face down on the bedside table beside Achimwene’s side of the bed, a Bill Glimmung mystery, much worn and stained with age.
He turned and reached for the other side of the bed but it was empty. Carmel, again, was gone.
He sat up and turned on the lamp. It cast a small pool of yellow amber light. He picked up the book and stared at it. The bland, handsome face of Bill Glimmung, Martian Detective, stared back at him.
What would Bill Glimmung do, in Achimwene’s place? he thought. He got up and padded downstairs, and opened the refrigerator. It was quiet. He wondered what it felt like to other people, to whole ones. Those who grew up with a node as a part of them, those who were, forever, a part of the Conversation.
Achimwene heard only silence.