As July is Summer Sale month for Torc of Moonlight – 99c / 86p – I thought I’d step back to allow the characters to introduce themselves. First up is the lead, Nicholas Blaketon. C’mon Nicholas, put down that beer and chat to these people.
Oh, pleeeze… Nick, the name’s Nick. I like Real Ale, playing rugby and shag— female company. Not necessarily in that order, eh? What can I say, a young man’s healthy lifestyle.
When I opted for uni – college some of you might call it – I gained a place at Hull up in Yorkshire with half an eye to the distance. Home is way below London on the south coast, and I didn’t want the parents checking on me every weekend, did I? A few texts and the odd phone call keeps them happy and off my back. Phew, peace.
I’m doing an English/American Studies degree. It looked a fairly safe bet in the brochure and I’m into the second year now. My mate Murray’s doing Law and you should see the tomes he carries about! Mind you, he’s built for it. That’s how I met him, at a trial for one of the uni’s rugby union teams. Rugby? Think American football without the armour. We play for speed and manoeuvrability, not bulldozing. The warrior spirit, y’know? Fast and sharp. Adrenalin, camaraderie, alcohol. Tempered aggression. The sheer elation when I drop the ball between those posts. Yeah.
Except…except I wonder, sometimes… if that wasn’t what drew it. Him. The Other. If we weren’t somehow broadcasting and…
But I shouldn’t be talking about that, I should be telling you about Alice. My ex had dumped me over the summer and I met Alice on the rebound. Well, I heard her first. We were in a crowded seminar. I wasn’t well, had some bug or other, and it was the timbre of her voice that caught me. Oh, but she’s a looker, too, don’t get me wrong – hair that dances like a fall of russet leaves, and a scent… I was smitten from the off. It wasn’t reciprocated, though. Sheesh, did I have to work at it. Of course, I didn’t know about that lecturer then. Harkin. Settled him, though. One fell swoop and I settled him.
But Alice, she’s a History major and is obsessed with finding a Celtic water shrine. I ask you, we’re talking 2,000 years here. A village pond is a village pond, right? There are dozens of the things, hundreds. But I was willing, of course I was willing. On my own with her among all that lush vegetation… Did it pay off? Ooh, did it pay off! Hey, don’t crowd. I might brag a bit to my mates, but I don’t kiss an' tell, okay? Certainly not here.
The thing is, the more I learned about the history she was into the more odd … things… began to happen. Or maybe they were happening anyway and I just started to become atuned, I don’t know. But who to tell? Alice seemed oblivious and I didn’t want to wreck our relationship. I mean, would you? And what to say? I’d have been carted off to a looney bin. And then… and then it all got out of hand and… it…him…The Other…