Chantry, a village in Yorkshire has a secret. A secret only known by elderly friends Harold McHale and Roy Browning. Ryan Waterman has returned home after the death of his mother. When children go missing again, Harold and a small band of villagers linked for generations are drawn together. Allied with Ryan, Harold faces the Dark Trinity for the second and final time. 97,000 words.
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We are in Chantry, a village in Yorkshire. It is prosperous for the most part.
Ryan Waterman, a thirty-nine year old ex solicitor has returned home after the
break up of his relationship and death of his mother.
Christine Pearson lives with her husband Dan and their nine year old son, Robert. From the outside things appear normal but tensions are building.
Schoolboy Richard Owen, bullied and reviled is busy trying to avoid the attentions of Martin Doyle, a boy his own age, determined to carry out a campaign of harassment and extortion.
Harold McHale and Roy Browning are elderly men who have watched and waited for over seventy years. As children, along with their friend Francis Marks, they faced true horror. Now Francis is dead and their vigil is about to end.
When Roy's granddaughter is attacked in her own home these people are drawn together by links that go back generations.
Children are missing again. Only Harold knows why and how many will die. When Robert Pearson is kidnapped, Harold realizes the child has a gift so powerful it will grant destruction or salvation to either side.
Streetlights were coming alive in the twilight. Martin Doyle unzipped his jacket, enjoying the cold. He felt strong. He had worked his muscles hard during the day but could detect little tiredness in them.
Lights were on at home. He went inside hearing the television and the subdued
murmurs of his parents.
His room was a neat rectangle. He lay on the bed, clasped his hands behind his head and stared at the artexed ceiling. The pattern was a crazy mix of curves, an apparent randomness that nevertheless followed a design. A plan.
Doyle tasted the illicit fag he'd shared with his stupid, wannabe friend earlier.
Plan. A good word. Comforting and exciting at the same time.
He examined his hand. The knuckles were skinned raw. He had been careful to hold back. Pulled his punches for fear of spoiling the campaign. Didn't want to crack Owen's skull. Not yet. Owen was a food to be savoured.
Martin Doyle had been honing his skills as a controller of others for more than half his life.
At five he had been wide-eyed and full of fear. Despite being a big boy, chunky like his dad, he had been frightened of everything. The world outside his warm home was crawling with traps. He had hidden behind his mother's skirts on shopping trips. He had ignored both the smiles of strangers and the kind words of family friends.
School had been the worst. He’d screamed and screamed on his first day. He had darted from classroom to cloak area. Skittered from hall to dining room. For the first fortnight of his education he had sat with the school secretary every playtime and cried.
At night he dreamed. He was somewhere indistinct. A place that was maze like with high walls that were untouchable yet still had the power to imprison him. The wandering corridors had no colouring because in this place colours did not exist. Nor black and white. Or grey.
He felt a sense of being led and pulled against it. Then it dawned that something was here with him. A terrible something, crafty and cruel. He would spin around and cry out for his mother. He always knew at this point he was being hunted. Stalked through the colourless labyrinth.
The thing that wanted him had no shape but was huge.
He ran on the no floor, groped at the mist walls trying to find an exit. He ran with his eyes shut and swore he would never turn to look at the horror. The walls were narrowing, a ceiling made of air and steel appeared above. He ran down the neck of a bottle, hearing the thing behind. It steamed through the shrinking space until he was trapped. He pressed his face against the non surface unable to feel it but powerless to go through. Finally he turned and the shapeless hunter fell on him filling his mouth ears and nose with something thick and murderous.
Then, wakefulness, gasping for air, convinced he was suffocating. Every night arepeat of the last.