Chapter 6: eggs and bangers

NeighborhoodIn his dream, he was thirteen once more and back in his home town, back in a more innocent time. It was the Easter holiday, the sun was shining and the flowers were in bloom. He was cycling through the streets of quiet suburbia, away from the house in which he lived with his parents and little sister. Alongside him were his friends, Mickey and Tony, and his cousin, Ralph, each of them grinning from ear to ear. Continue reading

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Chapter 5: Gravethorn Wood

Gravethorn WoodThe road to Crowswick went up a gentle incline. He spotted the style up ahead, went over it and crossed the meadow. The grass beneath his feet glistened with rainwater and an autumnal breeze rolled down the slope from the west, causing him to shiver, while up ahead lay a line of dense woodland, dark and uninviting. Glad as he was for the change of scenery, to get away from the telephone calls, e-mails and deadlines, Arthur was somewhat reluctant to step into the wood, especially after what had happened yesterday. Continue reading

Chapter 4: old tales and rumours

Graveyard 2At the top of a hill on the other side of the village lay the Church of St. Morcar, its weathered grey stone mirroring the heavy, leaden sky above. The churchyard was dotted with decaying and neglected gravestones amid a sea of wildflowers. The property was sealed off from the outside world by a low stone wall and the covetous embrace of two large and very ancient yew trees. Passing through the lychgate, Arthur walked up the gravel path towards the buttressed church tower then stopped, overcome as he was by morbid curiosity, to examine some of the graves. Continue reading

Chapter 3: the road to Edgeharrow

It began to dawn on Arthur that this journey might take considerably longer than he had anticipated. In his head, he had pictured himself making swift work of the motorway, followed by a carefree jaunt through rural England. He had lazily assumed he’d be on his third pint in an Edgeharrow pub by six o’clock. It was now past five and for the life of him, Arthur could not get his bearings. Continue reading

Chapter 2: the last day of summer

“So I was, like, whatever. I said to him, ‘you’re not the boss of me. I do what I want.’ And he said to me, he said…” Kirsty had been prattling away in this fashion for most of the day. She’d had some petty argument with Bradley (or Stig of the Dump, as Arthur had nicknamed him) the night before and was now relaying it almost verbatim to everyone in the office. Continue reading

Chapter 1: a message in the dark

Was it morning already? Arthur opened one eye and checked his alarm clock. The digital display gave out an eerie green glow: it was half past three. Why had he awoken? He tried in vain to remember his last dream. Slowly, Arthur got out of bed, pulled back the curtains and looked outside. It was raining again; some August this had turned out to be! The heavy night sky reflected the streetlamps far below, while raindrops drummed their secret tattoo on the window pane. Continue reading