Fiction | Exhibit A

A Short Story

By day thirty-seven, he’d broken dozens of rules, so what was one more? He went up and introduced himself to the woman in front of the Soyuz space capsule.

“My name’s Phil,” he said. It wasn’t. He extended a hand.

It took a moment, but she extended hers, and gave her name, which he immediately and silently replaced with “Amber,” because he wasn’t about to break that rule: Never use visitors’ real names.

His was Elliot and he wrote the museum’s “Above and Beyond” blog from a twelve-foot-diameter glass sphere suspended near the Tesla coil. He’d lived there for weeks now, having won a fifty-word essay contest. Every day at eleven and three, he opened a hatch and descended a ladder to answer questions and use the bathroom.

At night, he was to stay put.

So, too, special-event attendees.

They were both breaking the rules.

Nighttime events were always held in the Hall of Flight downstairs, a room that was only becoming more vast as the struggling museum sold off various historic aircraft. But sometimes guests wandered beyond the ropes, and sometimes Elliot watched them. Sometimes he hid from them. But no night visitor had ever wandered this far into his wing, the Hall of Wonders.

He’d overheard more than one curator...

To read the rest of this article please login or become a subscriber.

About the Author

Liam Callanan is the author of the novels The Cloud Atlas and All Saints. His new short story collection, Listen, will soon be published by Four Way Books.