The room was scattered with strips. Paper. Sellotape. Ragged pieces of old bedlinen. There were nuggets of yellow foam lying like a blanket of toxic snow on the floor from where the upholstery of the sofa had been shredded.

Christopher sat in front of the monitor, slowly peeling away the layers, and adding them to the mess. When he walked into the King’s Arms that night, his friends would comment that the trip around Asia had done him good. He was an inch leaner and- as only some of them would know, and those who did would not comment on- an inch taller to boot. His face was a little more symmetrical, his hair an inch or two longer and- again if noticed, not commented on- thicker than it had been, and his hairline an inch forward from where it had started receding to. His eyes, too, were a little brighter- and of a colour unknown to the spectrum. If caught on CCTV or a webcam it would show up as white as the technology struggled to capture the hue and in doing so used all the colours in its databanks.

Of course the friends who didn’t recognise the colour likely wouldn’t notice- how often do we ever look in someone’s eyes in such a way as to see things like that? In other places, Christopher knew, such things were caught and held on to- such places were dangerous, and he and his friends shied away from them after the first foray or two. But not here, not this little blue and green world, so out of the way. They wouldn’t find them here. Not until it was too late, anyway. It was getting close to that now. He wondered who his girlfriend was, now. He’d hope she had chosen someone attractive but then it would be difficult to say. They all looked alike to him.

He removed the last layer- masking tape- from around his face, and looked at himself in the computer monitor. Yes. This was the new Christopher. He turned and looked down at the floor, where the old Christopher was. He sighed, went to the cleaning cupboard, and set to work.

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Writer of mainly spec-fic, I also play roleplaying games, particularly enjoying the shared storytelling.

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