Marion Eaton would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

When The Clocks Stopped

By Marion Eaton All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Mystery


When lawyer Hazel Dawkins decides to write a few wills while waiting for the imminent birth of her first child, little does she anticipate the dramatic events that her decision will set in train. But all too soon the dark and violent past collides with the sun-warmed present and Hazel finds herself pitted against an implacable ancient evil that has stalked the mysterious Romney Marsh for centuries. As she fights with every fibre of her to right a great wrong, she knows that her very life is at stake – and with it, the life of her unborn baby. Yet to succeed, she must also change the destiny of a young woman who lived 200 years previously – for Annie’s fate is interwoven with her own. And time is running out ….


The silver light of a gibbous moon shimmers on the new green leaves of the ash tree. The horse stamps and jerks his head, jangling the bridle. I sway with the movement, soothing him instinctively. The sweetish smell of horse is thick about me as I wait at the crossroads. Stiff as I am in every joint and sinew, my body screams for me to dismount and stretch my legs, but I cannot. Some intuition, some sense of impending destiny, holds me motionless. I am aware it will not be long.

I flinch as the expectant hush is broken by the screech of an owl, eerie in the stillness that binds me to the saddle. She circles silently above me, seeking her prey. I watch until she glides away into the blackest shadows, where the sacred ash grove huddles beneath the escarpment.

My eyes seek the hallowed place where the Earth Mother is still honoured by man and maid on the sacred feast of Beltane; the ash grove to which they come at dawn, clad in white, and garlanded in green. May blossoms wreathe their brows as they stand side by side under a living canopy for their hand-clasping, their ceremony of rejoicing in union, the celebration of life itself in dance and song. This is the seven-treed sacred grove to which my beloved and I came not long ago; there we swore an oath to honour our love and there later, alone beneath the moon-silvered leaves we became one in the flesh.

It grows cold now, and I shiver. The horse pricks up his ears, listening intently. A small sound trembles towards me; perhaps no more than a fluctuation in the air current. Then the nightingale’s exquisite song fills the air with beauty. It is the signal. Jack’s signal.

I fire my weapon into the sky and wheel about, pulling sharply on the reins. We race off into the night. Lying close to the horse’s back, my head beside his ear, I ride hard. For a moment or two, as we gather speed, I choose those places where the low light gleams through the covering of cloud. I catch the sound of hooves in swift pursuit and know I have been seen. Now I guide my good companion into the gloom of the darkest shadows, allowing him to choose his own footing on the causeway. He gallops on.

I risk a backward glimpse. Shapes pursue us; legless in the mist rising from the Marsh, centaurs ride hard in a bow-shaped line. The triumph and excitement of the men who chase me is almost palpable. How long were they lingering near the crossroads where I myself had waited?

I let the gelding have his head because he knows these levels well. His hooves drum into the earth and I crouch low in the saddle, horse sweat hot-smelling in my nostrils. As I cling to his mane, I chance another glance but see nothing. I am sure we are gaining on our pursuers, but have they ridden yet into the trap where the Marsh is quicksand and will swallow horse and rider whole?

The moon is hidden now and I have no bearings. All I hear is a thrumming, thrumming, thrumming — and I know not whether it is my heart beating in my ears or the sound of pursuit. All I can do is ride.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Ruby O'Keeffe: I'm only a few chapters in and I love this book! The writing style fits the setting and theme perfectly, and the descriptions of the characters, setting and more are beautiful! I would love to read to read more from this author!

Kayresia A. Bass: Loved it. Author did some insane research to bring this story to life. A little short for my taste, but an awesome story nonetheless. A few missing periods, and a few missing ending quotation marks, but not enough to take away from the story.Keep going. Add more detail to your future stories and ...

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...

katskousen03: This book was so good! It was so real and emotional. I loved all the ups and downs and it showed how they were never perfect and fought! One of my favorite books by far!!! This book is one that everyone should read, it’s funny and real and has a bit of romance. The author does a great job showcas...

spatiaangelus : Loved reading this novel. the intricacy of the storyline, the amount of detail and the development of the plot was amazing.Not only is it a unique read, I found it utterly enjoyable and cannot wait to read more

Jay: Love the book and only read the first chapter. I'm hooked.

larry: I’ m not a professional book reviewer, but this is a good one! I liked it enough to read it non stop!

Deleted User: I love your use of writer's craft and how you use figurative language to enhance your writing. It great how you didn't have any spelling or grammar issues.

More Recommendations

Keith: UNSCRIPTED is an excellent, well-told story of a woman who tries to find herself after the painful break-up of her marriage. She does so,intriguingly, by going to Cambodia to help supervise the first free election after the brutal reign of Pol Pot and The Killing Fields. I was drawn to this story...

Kevin Brand: My overall rating: 4.8/5 starsLoved. Every. Second. Everytime I came back to continue reading I got this overwhelming feeling of getting hooked on the first sentence... Over and over and again!The only things that were missing for me include more descriptions on what happens when Reuben touches s...

aoifecollopy22: I loved how the author had the conflict come back later in the story. Also how they passed time without going over anything. That really helped move the story along. This kept my up for a few hours. YOU SHOULD READ THIS

nehmeyasmin: It was the most heart warming but heart breaking story ever and I want the next part right away. It kept me hooked until the end even though there were a couple mistakes it was truly amazing. I think this book could go far if it wanted to

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

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 gre...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.