PUSHING PAPERS

The handle turns easily under your grasp.

It’s more of a storeroom than anything else, packed with boxes stacked in untidy piles. It’s a small room, two paces wide and about five long, although you cannot be sure given the clutter blocking your path.

You feel the wall for a light switch, find none, then snap your fingers to see if the light is sound-activated. The room remains dark, the boxes shadowy, menacing forms.

Digging through all the clutter would take too much time. You grab a small box close to you, pull it towards the door. Inside is a thick stack of flyers. The top one is a little dusty — you wipe it clean and lift it up to the hallway light.

The Affected Parade, it says. It’s a programme for tomorrow’s show. Werekin, vampires, ewtes, stein… every kind of monster is listed on the pages, accompanied by an illustration. This booklet is the closest you’ll come to seeing the show itself; the tickets have been sold out for months, amid rampant speculation on what the show will contain. And yet here you are, an Upper Haller, the first to know the full programme.

Imagine if you took this home, leaked the contents on to the internet. It’d be an instant hit. You’d be famous. All that speculation quashed before the show has even started. And there’s hundreds of programmes here — nobody would miss one if you took it.

What do you do?

* Take a programme.
* Leave the room empty-handed.

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