This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“Is this your first time dining at The Fern?” The maître d’hôtel asked. He was short, portly and bald. His head glistened in the warm glow of the dim gas lighting and candles on the tables.
“Yes it is,” replied Professor Bantam.
“A celebration.” The professor squeezed his wife’s hand. She gazed into his dark eyes behind their spectacles, framed by the dark curls that she said reminded her so much of her father and the Regency period. While he was not a tall man, she had always found his intellect and wit had lent him a strength and weight that she had found irresistible.
The maître d’ lead them to their table, not too far from the impressive wall of mirrors along one side of the restaurant. The table was set, the fine linen tablecloth laden with several different glasses and sets of cutlery.
They sat, and he ordered a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
“To Nikola Tesla!” he said, raising his glass.
“To Bantam’s Bulbs,” Mrs Bantam replied.
“And, of course, to Professor Frankenstein, without whom the idea behind Bantam’s Bulbs would never have existed.”
Mrs Bantam rolled her eyes, but smiled.
They both ordered the Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke soup to start. It arrived in fine white china bowls, delivered by a young man with dark hair and an unsightly scar across one side of his face. It was a pale green soup, thick and warm, with tiny flecks of artichoke.
“Let’s hope it tastes good!” said Professor Bantam, dipping his spoon in. Mrs Bantam smiled and gently scooped a little into her small mouth.
“Mm, delicious!” he exclaimed.
Then the lights went out.
A collective gasp filled the room, a group inhalation of surprise. As Professor and Mrs Bantam breathed out, they joined the other diners in muttering about how this was most unexpected, highly irregular. Gas-powered lights just didn’t all go out, without so much as guttering. Not in modern London. Not in the centre of the British Empire!
Lit only by the candles on the tables, the diners looked around for a sign that something was being done to fix the issue of illumination.
Then something began to move through the room, and the screams began. Candlelight did not shine on the creature, but through it. It was a black shadow, cowled and faceless. With wings, giant wings of black feathers that flexed and spread as it stalked across the dining room.
Women shrieked in terror. Most of the men shouted or cursed. A soldier drew his cavalry sword and slashed at the black presence as it drifted through tables and chairs, past men and women, towards the middle of the restaurant. His blade passed through the black-winged angel as though it were made of smoke and air. The spectre continued, inexorably drawing closer to Professor and Mrs Bantam.
Mere feet away from the couple, the winged shadow raised one arm and pointed to Professor Bantam. His face turned white, then a deep, dark red as he clutched at his throat. He tried to stand, but his legs gave way and he sank back to his chair. He gasped and wheezed, then fell forward, face first into his bowl of soup.
As Professor Bantam died, the winged shadow lowered its arm and, as if it had never been, vanished.
The lights burst back into life.
The screams began anew.
ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...
Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...
rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...
Tiffany Thomson: This story is not something I would normally pick up and read but I'm so glad I did, I wasn't able to put it down and my husband was yelling at me at 3am to put it down and go to bed (just waited for him to doze back off before picking it back up) I really hope Natalie brings out another book eit...
Alisha Tabassum: The story was so beautiful and I absolutely loved it. The only problem is the grammar and spellings. Other than that, its perfect! I think it deserves a lot more views than it currently has. Honestly, I've never read anything like this before.
genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...
re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...
Alisha Banks: You have me hooked! I immediately upon finishing the first book had to start the second. It is a captivating story and I can't wait to finish the other two book! I will definitely be recommending this book to others to read!
Sarah Luongo: My friend recommended this to me and I was hooked immediately. The images and voices of these characters come so clearly in my head, which I love. I love seeing from all of these characters points of view, and still the book has a continuous flow. There are some punctuation and grammar mistakes, ...
Jordi Roig Avellanet: The first one really took me up for a ride and surprised me really pleasently. This one, up until now, has been amazing too. The characters and their powers are very curious and I'd like to see where all this intense dark plotting goes. I hope it gets finished.