Chapter 35A

You awake on a sofa, half covered in a sleeping bag. You see shelves, floor to ceiling, full of books. Their mismatched colour and sizes form an unpleasant blur before your eyes. There is a pint glass of water on the table next to you. You down it in one go.

You get up and look around the house. All seems quiet. But then you hear the faint pitter-patter of fingers tapping on laptop keys from up the stairs. You climb, every muscle in every part of your leg trying to convince you otherwise.

At the top of the stairs you enter an office and see the festival organiser sat at his desk. He is typing in facts and figures to a spreadsheet, and is deep in concentration.

Oh hello’ he says, noticing you. ‘Sleep well?”

You tell him you did, as you try and remember what happened when you made it back to the house the previous evening.

Just filling this out. The stats suggest it was an enjoyable day’ he tells you, studying them carefully. ‘Anyway, you still up this project then?” he asks pointing at a blue folder on his desk.

You have no idea what he is talking about. You still say yes.

That’s great. Well I’ve got the tickets booked. You best get yourself showered, the limo will be here in 40 minutes.’ He hands the folder to you. ‘The tickets are in there. You are flying from Manchester Airport, should get you into New York by around teatime. Then it’s all down to you really. I’ve told Kim Gordon’s press people it’ll be you doing the interview now.

You take the folder and look inside. It’s all there, just as he said, along with a stylish identity card with your name on it, next to the words Rhubarb Bomb. Looks like you won’t be going to the Fringe Festival then.