“The Advocate” is out now at Eclipse! It’s a story about diplomacy theatre, some very small Martians, and accidental interior design.

Siphiwe lives in a bedroom suite on the fourth floor. The third floor is offices. The second floor is empty, the walls knocked out; they’ll be reception rooms, she’s told, by a contractor who comes by once a week and bangs around in the dust and the mess and promises he’ll be back next week to finish the job.

In the old dining room, with windows painted black and thick brocade curtains pulled tight, stands a glass case resting on a pedestal with a dehumidifier inside; there’s a dimmer on the wall socket that limits the light.

“I’m sorry, the Martian Embassy isn’t open to visitors at this time” is the first thing she says into the phone every day for six months, to someone from CNN or the Associated Press or the Times, because no one should walk through an embassy where the only piece of furniture is holding up the emissary.

Check out the whole thing over at Eclipse Online!