Prologue 7

Aaron looked around the room in disgust. "Is this it, then?"

Joe nodded, his usual confident demeanour dented by the appalling state of the place. The flat, a dingy two room affair with combined lounge kitchenette, had not been cleaned in years apparently, and the dust, like the rank smell, hung heavily, tangibly in the air.

"For God's sake, Joe," said Aaron. "What have you got us into this time?"

Joe smiled sheepishly, then brightened, his undaunted optimism shining through the temporary setback. "We just need to open a few windows and tidy up a bit. It'll be as good as new. You'll see." He headed over to the lounge window, thick with grime, and tried to open it but it would not budge.

Aaron sighed and walked over to his friend. He gave him a gentle slap on the head before joining him in straining against the reluctant window. Eventually it began to move slowly and opened gradually, filling the room with the strong scent of the salty Bristol sea air.