When you’re approaching the end of a book, sometimes its good to go back and remind yourself of the begining. With that in mind, here’s the opening section of The Delta Children for your delectation.
Tom’s eyes fluttered open at the sound of the buzzer, the piercing, braying noise cutting through the veil of sleep and jarring him from his dreams. He stared for a long moment at the pale, cream white ceiling of his room, then sighed, and swung his legs over the side of the bed.
He rose, his grey pyjamas no protection as the air conditioning kicked in, and walked over to the shower unit in the corner of the room. He pressed the button, and the pre-programmed unit began to spray down onto the tiles.
He took care of his business quickly, and scratched absently at the square QR code tattooed on the inside of his right wrist, then ran his hand across the stubble of his scalp.
The surfaces of the room were the same uniform creamy white as the ceiling, the sole splashes of colour being a screen on the wall, showing an undulating sphere, and a blue Everton football club poster tacked to the back of the door.
There were no windows. The outside world was not welcome here.
Tom spent a luxurious couple of minutes under the hot water, before the computer cut off the spray, the screen on the wall notifying him that he was expected in the canteen for breakfast. He sighed, and dressed swiftly in a pair of the grey scrubs from the wardrobe, pulling on socks and the plain slippers he had been issued, and walked over to the door. He pressed his hand against the palm reader.
The door buzzed angrily at him, and cursed under his breath. Turning back to the desk, he reached in and pulled out his badge. He slowly ran his finger over the laminated plastic.
Along with his name, that number had been his only identity for the whole of his sixteen year life. He slipped the lanyard holding the badge over his neck and headed back to the door. There was no resistance this time as he pressed his palm against the reader, and the door slid open.
Tom stepped out into the corridor to begin his day, the same as he did every day.