“Sit down,” said the woman, in a voice that could be either a low alto or a high tenor. There was only one chair in the room, exactly under the sharp glare of the single light. Colleen hesitated, vaguely troubled by the etiquette of the situation.
“Are you sure you don’t want to–” she started.
“No. Sit down.” Colleen sat. She could just make out the men in the echoing emptiness of the warehouse, so many TRUTHs catching the light.
“Why’ve they got TRUTH tattooed on them like that?” There was always time for questions, always time for answers. She was learning, and her blood rattled the bars of her veins.
“I don’t know,” said the woman. “Is that what it says? I wondered.” The lie was tidy and polite; there was no curiosity in her voice, in her face.
Colleen tried to keep the new fear hidden, didn’t quite succeed. “Who are you?”
“Now that’s a story worth hearing.” The woman circled Colleen, her steps long and feline. “But there’s questions in that question, and questions in those questions, all the way down to the atomies; do you want my name, do you want my business? Do you want my history?” As she talked her voice quavered, now low, now high. Colleen started to stand up and there was a hand on her shoulder pushing her back into the chair. “I was born on the slopes of a mountain in Asia Minor…” Off in the distance a flute started playing, and a drum, and cymbals; the hand on her shoulder tightened and promised everything but the truth.