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Chris lives in Sheffield, U.K. Chris is a university administrator. He’s also worked in insurance, as a schoolteacher and in social services.
“The Reckoning” is closely related to John G. Hancock’s “Cerberus,” in this issue. Whilst “Cerberus” invites the latest entrant to Hades to choose his own version of Hell, “The Reckoning” implicitly enjoins its characters to consider carefully what they’ve been doing repeatedly in life.
A mysterious telepathic message ominously counts down how many time a bus driver makes change, how many drinks a drunk has left, how many photocopies a clerk has left to make, etc. before they drop dead. The voice from the outer darkness may be morbid, but it also has a dark sense of humour: it tells one lover she has ten times as many encounters left as her partner. It’s really hard to concentrate when a spectre is constantly looking over one’s shoulder and ticking off events in a virtual talleybook.
The spectral voice forces people to change their ways — good, bad or indifferent — to avoid receiving the dreaded telepathic message “One.” As a consequence, they have to live in the future. And the future has arrived when one can say “It’s too late.”
Chris Bailey’s bio sketch can be found here.
Welcome to Bewildering Stories, Chris. We hope to hear from you again soon and often!
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