This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“Whose silly idea was this?”
Wilson Bracewell had his waterproof jacket zipped up to his chin as he tried to hide from the cold air that was being blown in from the Atlantic Ocean. He was chattering his teeth together to make the strenuous point that he was freezing, while he let out a sound of brrrrr every couple of minutes.
After the fourth time of his lips vibrating together, and the constant tappity tap of his teeth gnashing, Marcus Robson had had enough.
“Will you give it a rest,” he said, as he slammed his hands onto his knees. “All night you’ve been saying about being cold, do you not think that maybe I’m cold as well? Do you hear my teeth chattering or me whining on about it every five minutes?” He looked at Wilson in the gloomy light. “And, while you’re asking,” he pointed at their fishing rods, “this was your idea.”
Wilson looked back at Marcus as he recalled in his head the chain of events that led to them being out beneath a blanket of twinkling stars on a freezing November night, and he nodded and smiled as he got to the part where he had asked his friend if he had wanted to night fish Blaise Pool.
“Oh yeah,” he said, as he laughed in realisation, “It was me wasn’t it.”
They both turned back to concentrate on their fishing rods that were pointing towards the water like a pair of javelins frozen in time, and they both laughed as they did.
Their breath was bellowing out in what could have been plumes of dense smoke, which evaporated into the fresh night air, and Marcus began making Red Indian noises as he blew his smoky breath into rhythmic bursts.
“Me Little Bear, you Running Scared, oh wa oh wa oh wa oh wa.”
Wilson looked at him as Marcus placed his fingers above his head to imitate feathers in his hair, and he shook his head slowly, disapprovingly.
“What are you doing?” he asked him, just as Marcus began war whooping with his hand over his mouth.
“Running Scared is weak man,” he told Wilson, in his deepest Red Indian tribal voice. “He run from woman with rolling pin if she making cakes.”
Wilson tried to hold on to his contempt look, but failed as he began to laugh.
“What the frick are you talking about?” He asked him, lifting his head as the laugh got heavier. “Run from a woman with a rolling pin, what the hell?”
He continued to laugh as he pictured his mother chasing him with a rolling pin above her head, covered in flour.
His laughter stopped as the bite alarm that his line was attached to, burst into life.
The beep beep beep made Wilson lurch forward and grab out to his rod, yanking it upwards and feeling the resistance as the line tightened with the sudden weight of the fish on the hook.
“We’re in,” he shouted, even though his friend who was sat next to him would have heard him whisper.
“Take your time, Wilson” Marcus said, as he dropped his Red Indian act.
He watched Wilson’s attempt to guide the fish from the murky depths of Blaise Pool, by keeping the line taught and then reeling backwards when it would make a fresh dart back to its home, and he grabbed the landing net as the dark green head broke the shimmering surface.
“It’s a tench mate,” Wilson said to his friend, even though Marcus could see perfectly clearly.
“Nice fish, Wilson,” Marcus said, appreciatively.
As the fish slid into the net, the boys both looked out towards the island, where the trees that were silhouetted black against the darkness shone with an aura of white around them, and they could hear a noise that bounced off of the trees, a noise that sounded like a hungry baby wailing for a bottle.
The aura was the only way they would be able to make out the shape of the trees that spilt the island in half, and the bright moonlit night illuminated the rundown church walls, that were barely still standing.
“What the frick is that?” Wilson whispered as he froze motionless.
Marcus shrugged his shoulders in reply, his eyes focusing on the island and scared to talk in case he was heard.
The slapping of the fish on the surface of the water broke the tension, and also stopped whatever it was from making the high pitched wailing noise from the island.
Marcus pulled the landing net into the bank and knelt down to unhook his friends’ fish, as it continued to break- dance on the ground, while Wilson placed his fishing rod back on to its rests and knelt down next to him.
“What was that noise?” he whispered, as he held the fighting fish motionless.
Marcus shrugged again as he picked the hook from the 6 pound tench, (something the two friends would normally be going wild with excitement at).
“It sounded like a baby,” Wilson said, even quieter than before.
Something just occurred to Marcus as he jerked his head towards the island.
“Holy crap Wilson,” he said hurriedly, “Maybe they’re sacrificing a kid over there or something.”
The sheer thought of that made Wilson take a sharp breath as his gaze leered towards the island, and they both stared into the darkness, with neither of them daring to breathe in case it made the noise again.
“What do we do?” Wilson finally asked; which made Marcus breathe deeply for the first time in at least a minute.
“Pack up and get the hell out of here,” Marcus said, not realising he hadn’t spoken since the fish had broken the surface. “I don’t like the sound of whatever it was.”
“Sounded dangerous,” Wilson agreed.
They both stood and went about packing their fishing tackle away, only using the light of the Moon in the clear winter sky to illuminate the area around them, and both glancing every so often across to the island; that seemed to be getting eerier by the minute. A slapping on the water from the island shore changed to splashing, and the boys felt the fear tickle the back of their necks.
What was that?” Marcus asked, as he stopped wading out to get his keep-net from the water.
Wilson felt a little scream of fear creep from him as he stared across to the island, and then felt a leak of urine escape as the dark figure began to splash even more in the water.
Marcus’s scream could be heard in the village, some four miles away, and he threw the keep-net into the water and began running (or wading) out of the lake, off towards his bike that was propped up against the fence surrounding Blaise Pool. He was soon joined by Wilson, who had reacted more to Marcus trying to escape the water than he had to the figure splashing on the banks of the island.
“Let’s get the frick out of here,” Wilson said as he grabbed his own bike, that was also leaning against the fence.
“What about the gear, Wils?” Marcus asked, as he began clumsily peddling away.
“Screw the gear, man,” he replied as he peddled past him. “We can get it tomorrow or something.”
The boys soon became two lights flickering red in the distance as they headed at full pace past Blaise Forest and on towards the village.
It was 2:25 in the morning in the middle of winter, and they no longer felt cold.
2. THE WARNING
Peter Robson tripped over the threshold mat and fell head first into the door frame that led out from the Duck and Goose pub, quickly stumbling to his feet as he checked around that nobody had seen him.
“Pissed then,” he said to himself as he straightened the collar on his winter coat, and he shook his head violently as he tried to focus on reality. “Get a grip Pete,” he said to himself, “We can do this, just one foot in front of the rubber.”
He stumbled forward as he began to laugh at his mispronunciation, and he only stopped himself from face planting the pavement by grabbing out to the thick wooden trunk of the pub sign, holding onto it as he giggled to himself.
“Gonna take me hours to get home me thinks,” he said, looking the fuzzy sign post up and down. “Hey, you’re a tall bastard aintcha,” he said to the swinging Duck and Goose sign, and then laughed as he hugged the trunk. “Come on Pete,” he encouraged himself seriously, “Get a grip.”
He pushed away from the sign and closed one eye as he walked steadily along the High Street of Blaise Village, unaware he also had his arms extended outward as though he was a tightrope walker and it was helping him balance. He tripped up the kerb and fell sideways into the window of the 8til12, where the pretty woman called Kristy Jones worked, and he stood upright, apologising to the glass.
“You will have to excuse me,” he said to it, in a posh voice, “I am very drunk.”
He looked through the window and closed one eye again as he tried to focus on the illuminated clock above the counter, and it flashed the time at 2:29am.
Pete stood on the kerb outside the 8til12, trying to focus on the two white lights that were bobbing towards him from the direction of Blaise Forest, and he wondered if it was a couple of fire flies that were sporadically flying straight toward him.
“What the hell?” he said as he moved from left to right, trying to dodge the lights, but his reflexes were very slow and erratic, meaning he only succeeded in splitting the two lights down the middle, and ending up spinning around as Marcus hit him first, and then Wilson soon after.
Pete laid out half on the road and half on the pavement as the wheels of his brothers’ bike spun with a buzz next to his head. His eyes were flickering and his forehead had a lump growing on it, which had a tiny ooze of blood erupting like a slow motion red volcano.
Marcus crawled toward him on all fours, ignoring the icy coldness of the asphalt on his hands, and he closed his eyes in dread when the familiar face came into his view.
“Crap,” he said, as he saw that it was his brother that they had just run over. “It’s Pete.”
The sigh and roll-over onto his back told Marcus that Wilson was relieved it was someone they knew.
“Is he pissed?” Wilson asked him.
“Smells like,” Marcus replied, as a matter of fact.
“What the frick was he doing trying to play hop scotch in the middle of the village in the middle of the night?”
Wilson had a look of bemusement.
“His head is cut,” Marcus said as he inspected his brother for damage. “Looks like his coat is ripped as well,” he added, pushing his fingers into the new hole just to be sure.
“Well, he will be pissed when he finds that out,” Wilson said with a giggle.
He knew how much Peter cared about the way he dressed, and how much money he spent on looking like he cared.
“Help me get him up Wils,” Marcus asked him with urgency, a little put out that his friend wasn’t taking the situation serious enough.
Wilson stood up and rubbed the remnants of the road from the leg of his jeans, tutting loudly as he spotted the tiny hole that had appeared in them.
“Just drag him to the side by the 8til12 and leave him there for the night Marc, he won’t know any difference.”
He carried on inspecting his jeans as he gave Marcus his proposal.
“And that’s supposed to be a serious option?” he questioned, as he stopped fussing over Pete and looked at Wilson.
A shrug of Wilson’s shoulders and a muttering under his breath made Marcus a little more annoyed with his friend.
“We will have to carry him,” Marcus decided, as he looked back to his brother.
Wilson’s attention was finally taken away from his leg, and he turned his head to look at Marcus.
“And that’s supposed to be a serious option is it?” he asked back. “I’m not carrying your brother man, he’s a dick.”
Wilson was shaking his head with purpose, just to convince himself that he was making the right decision.
Peter seemed to stir as Marcus lifted his head up from the kerb, and he blinked his eyes a few times as he let out a groan when the weight of his head caused a jolting pain to creep through his brain.
“What happened?” he asked, groggily.
Marcus opened his mouth to explain that he had been hit by their bikes, when Wilson jumped in and spoke before he could get a word out.
“We were riding our bikes out in the village and saw you lying in the road,” he lied. “We figured a car must have run you over or something, because you were out cold.”
Wilson was nodding at Marcus subtlety, encouraging him to go along with his story, and Marcus finally spoke when he realised what his friend was doing.
“Yeah, that’s what happened,” he agreed unconvincingly, smiling at Wilson as he carried on the lie. “We found you just lying hear with that bump on your head Pete.”
Peter lifted himself up onto his elbows and shook his head in an attempt to clear the fuzziness that either the bang on it, or the alcohol in it, had caused.
“Well I can remember two lights, which could’ve been headlights of a car,” he said to himself out loud, “But there was no engine noise?”
“Anyway,” Wilson butted in, spotting that Peter may be regaining some memory of them causing him to pirouette like a drunken ballet dancer, “We need to be getting on if you’re feeling okay Pete.”
Peter struggled to his feet and then rubbed his eyes with the base of his thumbs, stretching his back out in the process as he contorted his body in some strange rhythmic dance pose that he held for a second, and then releasing himself from it as his stretch subsided, when something occurred to him.
He turned to Marcus, who was stood to his left, and he stared at him intently, suspiciously.
“What are you doing out in the village in the middle of the night?” he asked him. “Does mum know you’re out?”
Wilson lowered his head so he didn’t have to make eye contact with Pete, but the way he whispered under his breath made Pete even more suspicious.
“Rumbled,” he had said.
“What it is Pete,” Marcus started, “Is that we were night fishing on Blaise Pool when I caught a Tench, and then we saw a figure splashing in the water on the island and it spooked us, so we left our equipment and rode away.”
He waited for the inevitable accusation of his lies from his brother, but he was stunned to silence when Pete jerked his head urgently, alerted by something he had said.
“Holy Island?” he asked.
“With the ruined church,” Marcus confirmed with an added nod.
“You two keep away from that place,” he told them forcibly. “You keep away, especially at night.”
Wilson had lifted his head and was now looking curiously at Peter. He had never really been his biggest fan, but he had never heard him warn them before either, especially in a way that sounded as though it was to protect them from something.
“What’s there?” Marcus asked, slightly confused but slightly intrigued. “Is it haunted or something?”
He laughed uncomfortably when the words he had said caught up with him.
“Just keep away,” Peter emphasised again. “Particularly in the wintertime.”
He rubbed the bump on his head and then inspected his hand to see the blood that had begun to dry in a bubble at the front of it.
“I need to get home,” he said with a yawn. “And you two do as well.” He pointed his finger at them. “No going back to the lake unless I’m with you, is that clear?”
“What is it out there?” Wilson asked him, “What did we hear, and how do you know about it?”
Peter straightened his coat, missing the new hole in it, and looked to Wilson.
“Wake me in the morning and we can go get your fishing stuff. I’ll explain on the way.”
He turned and took two steps, wobbling slightly as the effects of his drinking session in the Duck and Goose suddenly came back, but stopped to inhale deeply.
“Are you okay Pete?” Marcus asked, only a little concerned, as he had seen his brother drunk many times, but Peter just waved his hand over his shoulder as he walked on.
Marcus and Wilson picked up their bikes, checking for damages as they did, and then looked at each other. Both of them checked that Peter was out of ear shot, and then both spoke at the same time.
“What the frick,” they said.
“There’s something on that island,” Marcus whispered.
“Something that we aren’t supposed to find out about,” Wilson agreed.
“Tomorrow should be interesting,” Marcus said, as he climbed on to his bike. “Come on, you can kip at my house.”
The red lights on the back of their bikes bobbled down the road, with a wobbling Peter following after them.
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Sara Grover: Being that this is your first story and I assume first draft, a lot of little mistakes are common, we all have made them; little things like your instead of you're, missed capitalization, missing punctuation, etc. As for the plot, I have a lot of questions and I did leave comments on certain sect...
Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...
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Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
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