Something strange is happening to me. We’re at Conrad’s vacation house, a sprawling mansion that orbits the gas giant Hades-3. (His father owns both the house and the planet.) Conrad is in the living room watching sports. His girlfriend Alyssa is standing by the mirror in the bathroom, fixing her hair. Her friend Kat is sitting near the bay windows, watching the stars and the roiling vermeil clouds on the world below. | Copyright 2004 by David Barr Kirtley. Originally published in ALL THE RAGE THIS YEAR, edited by Keith Olexa. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.

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