GFE

As the story will appear in my forthcoming collection ‘The Ombudsman’s Ombudsman’, I am just leaving here the first page as a taster.

There will be two versions of this story on TOO. The original one for the competition was set in 2018 and a second longer story set in 1953. The premise is the same in both, but the latter takes a vastly different turn early on.

 

 

“She’s in here, Miklowski.” Officer Reynolds informed his superior.

 

Twenty-five years on the force had meant Miklowski had seen it all, twice, some of it three times, but this spate of suicides was beginning to unnerve him. For the first time in his law enforcement career, he was overcome by a sensation that this would be the case he wouldn’t crack.

 

“Same MO, Reynolds?”

 

“Same, Chief.”

 

The apartment looked like a fan site dedicated to the GFE (Greatified Future Existence) Movement. They still did not know who was behind it, but the ethos was all about dumping your useless itinerant frame with which you wandered aimlessly in this life, so that you have a better chance in the next one. A rudimentary website, minimal expense at anything resembling advertising and the look of pure nineties router-based web browsing had not stopped GFE becoming a very real modern-day phenomenon.

 

The first victims had a profile that suggested they could be easily opened up to manipulation when the right buttons were pressed, but now, as the number of victims approached one-thousand, Miklowski and his team struggled to comprehend what was driving successful and popular people to end their lives in ghastly fashion to follow a fad.

 

As the story will appear in my forthcoming collection ‘The Ombudsman’s Ombudsman’, I am just leaving here the first page as a taster.

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