This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Rain had been falling steadily all day long. But, despite the soaked clothes and dripping heads, the people had turned out in their thousands to gather at small town and village halls, scout huts and community rooms…
Daniel Barker listened as the thunder rumbled overhead. The terrific sound echoed through his dark drawing room like a gunshot caught on the wind. The very pictures on his walls seemed to quiver in fear and anticipation whilst the roaring fire beneath the mantle piece flutter back and forth as the wind whipped down his chimney.
A flash of lightning soon followed, illuminating the dark room for just a moment. As Barker turned back towards the two armchairs by the fire, the bald headed man sat in the farthest chair was bathed in light. Gripped between his fingers, a whiskey glass rocked gently back and forth, swirling the brown liquid around the crystal edges. Then, in the blink of an eye, the room was plunged back into darkness and the bald headed man disappeared from sight.
It had felt like hours…
Hours of standing by the window, staring up at the dark, lifeless sky overhead. Even the stars had vanished behind the wave of unforgiving storm clouds – their brightness no longer shining down on the noble city below…
Barker allowed himself a small smile.
Had this been a film or a novel, he might have taken these harsh conditions as a sign of an impending disaster or the beginning of some evil times. The atmosphere was perfect for the beginning of some relentless struggle that would eventually lead to the downfall of anything good and pure…
But this wasn’t a film. Nor was it a novel.
This was real life.
And the date was 23rd June 2016.
The day Britain voted whether they should stay in or leave the European Union.
Time ticked on and the hours slowly plodded by. With each passing minute, Barker could feel his heart begin to pound ever harder in his chest. With each passing second he could feel himself stood on the precipice of a cliff, staring out towards a brave new world…
A world where Britain would be Great again…
A Britain that he would lead into a new Golden Age…
The quiet tapping on the door made him almost jump out of his skin. As he turned towards the door, his private secretary stepped into the drawing room and cautiously moved towards him. In his hands, he held a small piece of paper, which he held out for Barker to take and said:
‘The count is finished. I thought you would like to be the first to know…’
Barker accepted the paper tentatively. He nodded slowly to his secretary.
‘Thank you, James.’
James gave a small bow and quickly retreated back towards the door. As he retraced his steps towards the door, his eyes scanned the dark area by the fire as he looked for the bald headed man. It was only when he reached the door that he dared to rip his eyes away and, in a few seconds, scuttled out of the drawing room.
Barker stared down at the paper.
It was folded but not sealed. Even as he held it in his hands, he could see the paper flutter up and down as his fingers quivered with dread. He had imagined this moment so many times over the past few months but, now that it was here, he was hesitant to open it up and see what was written inside.
He must have stood there for a good long for, out of the darkness, a low, brooding voice – not unlike the thunder itself – growled:
‘Well? What does it say?’
Fingers trembling, Barker opened up the sheet of paper and, in the light of a nearby table lamp, he read the final results.
He read it. And then he read it again to be sure. And then he read it once more so that there could be no more doubt. And then he read it for one last time before: -
Barker looked up at the darkness by the fireplace. The bald headed man’s head seemed to flicker with the flames of the fire, seeming to Barker almost like a Devil dancing up against the blackness.
He took a deep breath.
‘We won,’ he whispered, his heart leaping in that moment as though speaking those words had finally made it real. ‘The people have voted to leave.’
He screwed up the paper and tossed it on the floor, stamping his foot on the ground with glee as he turned towards the city beyond the window…
Laughing and beaming like a kid in a sweet shop, we rapped his hands together and applauded the faceless thousands out there who had made his joy possible.
‘The people have spoken,’ he roared, tapping the glass of the window feverishly. ‘We have them all.’
To his surprise, the darkness behind him stayed unnervingly quiet. In fact, it was only after Barker’s wave of enthusiasm had subsided and the room had fallen into a comparative silence that he began to hear the distinct murmur of a low chuckle emanating from the chairs by the fireplace.
As he turned back towards the room, he could see the figure of Tommy Haines climbing awkwardly out of his chair and slowly waddling towards him.
‘On the contrary, Mr Barker,’ he replied, almost jovially. ‘People are fickle. They will choose one thing today and quite the opposite tomorrow. We cannot leave anything to chance.’
He came to a stop in front of Barker and clapped him on the shoulder with his large, bulging hands. He half smiled and stared hard at Barker with his shark-like eyes.
‘We haven’t won anything yet, Mr Barker,’ he whispered through his toothy grin. ‘We’ve only just gotten started.’
Katy Rayne: i really enjoyed this book. i have to say i didn't know what to expect, but with every chapter that came something crucial to keep you reading happened. I was disappointed with the ending if this is for another book i will defiantly carry on reading the next book.
harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
Dessie Williams: WOW!!!! This is one great book. I was pulled in from the start. I laughed , got angry and plus I even cried. I didn't want the book to end. It's a must read and I hope it gets published, this book must be on my shelf with my other favorites .😊
Dina Husseini: I loved this story. It was so great that I did not expect it to be this awesome. I swear to you this deserves more than just 5 stars. Beyond amazing. Kept me wanting more and I felt exactly like Emma felt while reading. Although in the beginning I did not expect anything to happen. Then, when som...
M. Drewery: I did think I would be reading just another Atlantis archaeological adventure story when I came across this book. However I think it's fresh and very different to other approaches to the same historical mystery. The first chapter drew me in brilliantly. I'm not great at spotting technical writing...
Megan Loan: I've never before had the pleasure to read something so unique. It was so captivating, and so unexpected. I was surprised by the protagonist and the idea of a pizza shop becoming a post apocalyptic delivery system. Good plot and amazing story telling. There could have been many places for the st...
Marimar Amieva: Although I found the vampire thing a bit too much, I couldn't stop reading it. The story had a bit of everything: mystery, romance, a huge plot twist and relatable characters. I congratulate the author for this story and hope to read more of whatever he writes.
lopezmariana97: I loved everything about this book. I read it in a weekend because it was so hard to put down. I real liked that it wasn't a typical demon story and that It didn't involve vampires. I pictured the cast for this book if it ever becomes a movie. 100% love
TheGhostWritter: I enjoyed your book, great plot, random twists and great characters, Loved it, One suggestion is to keep paragraphs short, at one point I might have begun skipping paragraphs because they became a little to long, bit other wise great book, brilliant plot, and bloody amazing thriller.
Catherine Kopf: This novel has an interesting perspective on a broken mind that obviously the author took a lot of time into creating. The main protagonist is very fleshed out and complex, allowing the readers to root for and feel empathy towards him. There is enough in there to really give the reader an emotion...