Someone must have been saying terrible things about Godwin G because two men came to take him to the Committee.

“But I haven’t done anything” he said. “I’m just a public servant”.

It was true. Godwin G worked in the basement of the Fadden Building in the Department of Apple Polishing. An apple would come down the chute and he would polish it and put it in the other chute.

He did not know why they sent him apples to polish or where they went when he had polished them and he did not ask.

It had been this way for forty years.

“Come on” they said, the two burly men. “It isn’t anything at all. You only have to tell the truth. And the truth will set you free.” They were at the door of his lodgings, a garret in the Sydney Building, above a Ripcurl shop.

“But I have no power whatsoever.”

“That’s why we want to see you most of all. Bring your valise. You may be sometime.”

Godwin G got up dizzily from his iron bed. He had not been feeling well anyway this morning. Was he getting smaller? Everyday he seemed to be getting smaller. Or rather, his body was getting smaller in relation to his head.

He examined himself in the back of his one spoon. His head was definitely bigger, his nose enormous, his glasses like soup plates. Was he disappearing altogether, from the neck down?

“I only polish apples. I’m not sure I can do this” he said. But when the words came out they sounded like squeaks to him. The men looked at him strangely. “Come on” they said, “come on”.

At the Committee he was made to sit with the Superior and was spoken to by the Advisor.

“Just tell them what you know for certain.”

“But I don’t know anything for certain.”

“That’s exactly why we want you here.”

The Senators, when they began to question him, were hard to understand too. One, Abetz, moved his mouth, but when he did only appalling insect like squeaks came out, worse than Godwin G’s. Godwin G looked down at his body while he spoke. It was disappearing before his eyes. He was all head.

“Just answer the question Godwin G and the truth shall set you free” Abetz squeaked. He had dozens of little arms and was a smooth white maggot.

“I think I’ll answer that if you don’t mind” the Superior said.

Afterwards, they walked him out past the media.

“You did very well. The truth shall set you free,” they said.

“But I didn’t get to say anything. I only polish apples,” Godwin G said.

“Then I guess it won’t go well for you,” they said.

Later that night, he watched the Committee on a TV in the window of the Pye Retrovision store, while drinking his ersatz soup. They were saying terrible things about Godwin G.

When he came back to his lodgings they were waiting for him. He had known they would be.

“You should have told the truth Godwin G,” they said.

“But what is the truth?” he squeaked. His body was no more than a few centimetres long now. His head was all nose and glasses.

“That depends which side you’re from,”

“Which side are you from?” he asked.

“You’ll never know.” they said. Then they killed him and threw him in the chute.

In a basement somewhere someone polished him and put him down another chute.