Okay, people: I think the time has come for an overdue update on my current work in progress which goes under the title of ‘Haunted at 4:12.’ I have already touched on this under the menu selection ‘My Horror Updates,’ but that was in a very general way. Now I would like to deal with specifics. I believe this novel is working itself up into a pretty engaging tale, made all the more memorable for me in that it is a theme which is quite new to me as a writer and offers up an interesting new challenge in the way I go about the task of writing a novel.
So, come with me to the quaint English coastal resort of Southend and the adventures of Paul Bradley as he finds himself caught in the middle of a series of events which is quite beyond his understanding.
I mentioned in my original blog on this novel that there is a portal which Paul can cross so he can move from his own world into the alternate world which is inhabited by the island people who are going to play a leading role in everything that goes on within the pages of the novel. But how will he find this portal? Well, in actual fact he does so via his dreams. This is the only way he can cross over into this other world. He does so with his good friend Tom, but the results are not quite what either man was looking for. Paul, in particular, is fortunate to come out of the experience in one piece.
The title of the book stems from something which occurs early on in the book. Paul is awoken at 4:12 in the morning and feels the urge to look out of his living room window. When he does so he finds to his astonishment that there is an island which has magically appeared on the far horizon. There are bright lights shining from this island moving in a variety of directions. This reminds Paul of a number of rock concerts he has been to in the past. Later that morning he goes for a jog on the beach and discovers a strange object jutting out from the sand. It turns out to be a prism and when he takes it back to his flat he finds it starts to shine brightly just like the island did formerly. He then finds a middle-aged fellow appearing within the confines of the prism who turns out to be one of the island people who seeks his help.
The story goes that a number of people from the island were taken away on a ghost ship. This tallies with something Paul thought he saw as he looked out at the island. There did seem to be a ship which docked by a quayside. He saw people appearing and then disappearing. But this was not a holiday they were going on. They were being kidnapped. But to what end? This is a question Paul will have to find his own answers to as the plot thickens. As it turns out the 4:12 aspect of the book’s title does not only relate to the time Paul is woken up. It soon transpires that 412 souls were taken on this ship. But why were they taken?
Paul soon finds himself going through a whole variety of circumstances which first points him one way and then another. At first he thinks the island people are a group of put-upon individuals who have had the misfortune to lose hundreds of their number without any apparent cause. However, it is not long before he takes a new slant on proceedings. The ship contains a crew of haunted seamen who are seeking revenge for a crime which had been perpetrated against them. It turns out it is the ancestors of the present island people who did them wrong and they have kidnapped these latest island people so as to draw them out.
At first Paul thinks the island people murdered the seamen. After all, what greater incentive could there be for a ship full of ghosts to exact revenge other than murder? But no: it soon turns out this is not so. Paul finds this out from one of the seamen themselves. But he leaves it in some doubt as to what their revenge mission is all about. It is left to a talking sea creature to fill in the gaps for Paul. This is where I am branching out into fantasy with this book. It might be verging ever so slightly on the whimsical, but I thought it would make an interesting departure for the book. Anyway, it turns out the seamen and the original island people were business partners. The seamen fished and the island people provided the financial acumen to drive the partnership forward. But something happened to change things. Despite building up a successful business venture, the island people took it into their heads to cipher off part of the profits and to turn to another group of seamen or fishermen to start a new partnership going with them. As a result the original seamen found they lost a lot of their customers as they were taken over by this new partnership. They decided something drastic had to be done to recoup their losses so they set out one day in a raging storm to try and achieve a big catch. However, their ship was caught up in the storm and sank to the bottom of the ocean and there were no survivors.
So, the seamen in their ghostly guise are out for revenge for what the island people, their former partners, did to them. They are determined to square things off with them and will do whatever it takes to achieve this.
In my latest burst of ideas for this novel I have come up with a notion as to why the island people might have turned their backs on the seamen and that there could be a rational explanation for what they did. I believe this next section of the novel could prove to be quite illuminating and exciting and I look forward to sharing this latest phase of the book with you in due course.
Categories:My Horror Updates