The Adjusters, by John Burke (epub/Kindle)

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Alun said: ‘Want to go anywhere special?’

She shook her head. They sat down in the localized warmth of an arbor, away from the frosty clarity of the cold evening. He put his arm around her shoulders.

‘It’s much nicer,’ she said dreamily, ‘just sitting here.’

Then she was gone. He was left sitting there alone, with his arm curved out at an awkward absurd angle.

He swore. This was the second time it had happened this month. He pushed himself up from the seat and stamped off towards the Ministry of Adjustment...