“Are you comfortable, Mr. Vice?”
They had sat him in a small interview room that reminded Vice of a walk-in freezer. The seat was cold. The table under his hands was cold. The mirror that stretched across one wall had an icy sheen.
“I’m fine, thankyou. I just want to know why I’m here.”
“The officers didn’t inform you? I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Would you like a drink? Coffee, tea?”
“Am I being arrested?”
“God no, Mr. Vice.”
“Hot chocolate, then.”
The officer frowned. He was young, smooth-chinned, and his eyes were tight platinum irises with bright blue pupils; Nikon lenses, the sort only old money could afford. “I hope the hot chocolate will… relax you, Mr. Vice. Help create a mutually co-operative mood?”
“Absolutely.” Vice forced a smile. “One hundred percent.”
The officer scowled. He took a cloth from his breast pocket and buffed the service medals on his collar before vanishing through the single door. When it closed there was the echo of heavy bolts thudding into the walls. Vice counted to ten. Then he cupped his hands over his mouth and pretended to cough.
“Dial: Gordon Club.”
So Alpha Slip has hit a bit of a wall, because I've written everything that I know about and now the big middle of the story is yawning wide, saying "Stick 40,000 words in meeeeeeeeee..." And I would, if I knew what to stick in there. But I'm absolutely lost.
Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. The first draft of Weathermen took me 3 years, and I've gotten a third of Alpha Slip down in just over a month and a half. That's pretty good, yeah?
Anyway, to kill some time I started drawing portraits for the members of Warren Ellis's Whitechapel forum, which is an all-round great place to hang out. It was extra nice when one of the members there reciprocated and painted a picture of ME!