Simon was still at the mercy of the out of control time-distorting effects of the mescaline.

Events happened out of sequence, fast-forwarded, reversed. One moment, Blake was saying It is time; the next, he was shot dead on the floor. Angela had just walked into the hotel room, ready to embrace Simon. No, that wasn’t right: Angela had just walked into the Java Hut where she and Simon first met…

Simon shut his eyes, focusing, rooting himself to one point in time.

Simon opened his eyes. He was in the hotel room, but minutes earlier. From across the room he watched himself approach the terrified agent, the kug creeping toward him. Knowing what was going to happen next, Simon turned away, only to find someone else who didn’t belong.

A woman in a black suit and dark glasses watched silently. Even with the glasses Simon could tell that she was surprised to see another Simon.

“Interesting…â€? she said, and vanished.

Simon blinked. When he opened his eyes, he was back in the present, more confused than ever.

View this story's 3 comments.