This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
It was a normal Friday morning.
Dangling from the hook of a rusting crane, Aiden vigilantly observed the street below to ensure any watchman on patrol didn’t detect him. The bitter air of London’s streets was just as unwelcoming forty feet up, but that didn’t matter anymore once the adrenaline kicked in. It coursed through every vein in his body, finally giving him the rush he’d been craving since the crack of dawn.
Another day of boredom was soon to follow, so he savoured every single moment he could get out in the open. He relished himself with each leap, vault and roll he took. His daily routine of morning parkour never felt so stimulating.
His focus shifted to a pile of old cars. The scrapyard always had a knack for vintage items, and Aiden plunged himself right in; leaping across in a single bound. His satisfaction was disrupted by the vague warnings of a guard yelling at him to come down. Like always, he merely disregarded the man’s instructions, and instead concentrated on the view that presented itself upon him. A row of flats, buildings and a beautiful skyline in the distance stared right back into his eyes, welcoming him home.
More obscenities were being hurled his way from the ground, but Aiden wasn’t having any of it. Not looking down, and putting his headphones back in, he immediately blasted some of his music, starting off with one his favourites, Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz.
He leapt over to a slightly larger pile, his fingerless leather gloves grabbing onto the top of the car. Swinging over as if it were a vine, he scaled down the rest of the pile and landed on some tyres below. Turning his face, he noticed the security guard panting towards him. Aiden sniggered, as it was probably the most exercise the guard had gotten in weeks.
He gave the guard one final wink before landing on his feet and running to the exit. He probably shouldn’t have gone there that day, or any other day for that matter, but he’d do it all again just for that feeling. The sensation that anything is possible, that the whole world was just a canvas waiting to be painted. Luckily, he was holding the paintbrush.
His fantasy was interrupted by his ring tone, which he stopped to admire for a moment. Pausing his music and looking at his phone in almost the same motion, Aiden was not at all surprised to see it was Alison Montgomery calling him again. He had noticed he had about three minutes to get to school and two miscalls from Alison, so he answered the phone.
“Hello, are you trying to reach Mr Malcolm? I mean, I’m sorry to keep you waiting, but he was a little bit occupied”
“You were listening your ring tone again, weren’t you? Anyway you got about three minutes left to get here, so please don’t be late again. You know I don’t want you to get in trouble”.
“Three minutes is nothing, don’t worry. I’ll be there in two”
Alison sighed and laughed over the phone. “Did you go by the junkyard again?”
Aiden froze up. “No…”
She sighed. “Aiden, you know you’re the worst liar in the world, right?”
“Okay, yeah I did, I might have scraped my arm a bit but hey, no pain, no gain right?”
“Well, that’s all fine but please don’t be late like last time”
“Oh come on, when was I late?” He knew exactly what she was talking about, but he liked joking around with her.
“Don’t make me bring up the dislocated arm story again.”
“Think I got a leeway on that, Alison.”
“Didn’t stop you running here, did it?”
“No, should it have?”
Alison laughed on the other end of the phone. Her cute giggle gave Aiden chills down his spine. “I got two minutes now Alison, don’t worry I’ll make it, I’ll bet you today’s drinks?”
“Sure, you know what kind I take right?”
“You seem pretty confident there, where’s the support? Come on.”
“Eh, I just could really go for a drink, to be honest.”
“Me too. Tell you what, give me one minute, and I’ll take a grape one after school”
“Okay, you got yourself a deal, see you...
…in a minute”
Shutting off his phone, Aiden ran a little bit faster to ensure the bet that he’d just closed. On the way to school there weren’t many obstacles, but he made the most of what he had, jumping over leftover cardboard boxes and sliding over car hoods, especially the one of the principal. He always greased his car, so Aiden slid right over with ease.
Alison was standing in front of the entrance of the school, waiting for Aiden. She had her dirty blond hair tied up in pigtails and was trying to make the most of what she could about the horrendous looking school uniform. Aiden walked up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder. “Ten seconds left, looks like drinks are on you this time”
“Oh come on dude, I got them last time” She brought out her secret weapon when she said this, her classic puppy dog eyes.
Aiden knew that with Alison’s bright green eyes and freckles, the ‘puppy dog’ face almost worked, but not today. He decided to ignore it for the better benefit of a good laugh later. “Deal’s a deal, Al”
Alison continued to pout, and then looked down, sighing. “Ugh, fine, thought I had you there with the puppy dog face”
“Gotta do better next time”
“You just gotta keep continuing to surprise me, don’t you?”
“That’s me, always a surprise, always on time”
The bell suddenly rang twice, that could only mean one thing. They had both missed registration. Aiden turned to Alison, trying not to laugh. “That’s umm...not supposed to happen”
Alison sniggered and flicked her little fringe back away from her eyes. “Life’s full of surprises, right?” Giving Aiden a playful shove, she ran past him as he looked on. Her blonde hair danced off her shoulders like a waterfall as she skipped along. Aiden smiled, and then ran somewhere quickly to change. Just as well he kept his uniform in his backpack.
Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...
CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...
ElNachoWOTC: The grammar is tight and easy too read while packing a great vocabulary and you use a lot of vivid imagery with your words. One of the biggest things I noticed right away is the gritty realism you managed to cram into this book while going into a lot of exotic fantasy material. Including issue...
EchoOblivion: I was hooked from start to finish - couldn't put it down! Excellent story, compelling characters, well-built world and just the right amount of mystery. I would definitely recommend if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic sci-fi, with a few zombies-like creatures thrown in for good measure. Can't wa...
Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!
idk956180: Great story with an amazing plot and wonderful characters with very interesting back stories ,didn't stop reading until I finished it.Has a few a errors but nothing detrimental to the story. I'm very much in love with with the plot , it's the thing I found most impressive about this story, anyone...
EchoOblivion: As an avid reader of sci-fi, this book really appealed to me, and it did not disappoint with its descriptions of a futuristic society and planet. I really enjoyed reading it, the only slight issue I had with it was there was not much of a overall plot - the whole book just hinged on the fact that...
Beloved Q Medina: At first I figured it was another genre fiction book and didn't have any expectations, but by the first few chapters I found myself engrossed in Sid's journey. Some say that genre fiction is predictable, or not as substantial as literary fiction, but this novel was anything but that. I found myse...
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...
JulieJeanette: I'm only on chapter nine, but so far I am loving this story!. I am on pins and needles hoping that they find good men in their lives by the end. I am American and so the British tone and lingo ('knickers,' 'sod it' ) of the book is very appealing. I had to find out how much '12 stone' was by goog...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."