This then was all that was left. Dex’s climb had been stratospheric. At thirty he’d been ready to fly. Too close to the sun. The crash hit hard. The auditors did their job for once. His bosses held him to account for the same things they once demanded of him. Everything solid turned to dust. Now this was all that was left. A torn matress, a dirty blanket, a transistor radio and a bunch of clothes. He kicked his belongings together into a corner, sucked his last cigarette almost to the filter then flicked the glowing butt into the pile. Black latex smoke started curling upwards. He glanced at the door. Now at least he had options. Freedom of choice. That’s what made the country great. Dex smiled. Smoke pooled beneath the ceiling. A lick of purple flame struck up among his t-shirts and jeans.

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