Continuing the adventures of Rachel and Danny, a pair of mismatched History students who stumble upon an old gravestone that catapults them back in time.
Dealing with the catastrophic fallout of their previous encounter with Amy Parker in 1912, they now race to locate Amy during the 1940 Blitz and become caught up in the nightly German bombings of Birmingham and their chilling aftermath.
Touchstone explores a city’s dark past: a gritty world of real danger where every action has an unforeseen consequence that can ripple through generations.
This 20,000-word novella is the second part of the Touchstone story - a self-contained adventure set during the 1940 Blitz.
LENGTH: 20,000 words / 100 pages
WARNING. Touchstone is suitable for ages 14+
Despite being categorised in 'Juvenile Fiction' by the publisher, it has somehow ended up in the Amazon Children's Fiction chart. We would like to stress again that Touchstone is suitable only for ages 14 and above, as it contains some disturbing scenes of death by bombardment and fire, including the death of a baby, plus minor discussion of adult themes, such as illigitimate birth.
There was a sound that didn’t quite fit. It simmered under the roar of fire, the drone of bombers above and the distant crump crump crump of ack-ack guns probably shooting from the city centre. It was like a million rusty doors squeaking but never stopping, echoing, and growing louder.
‘What is it? Just drive, man!’ said Charlie.
‘The road’s moving,’ said Davies.
They all tried to peer ahead in the gloom. The road was liquid, bubbling, teeming, as if a shockwave were running through it, heading towards them, and she wondered for a moment if it were an effect of the bomb blast, like an earthquake tremor heading for them in a wave. The eerie sound grew louder.
‘What on earth?’ said Charlie.
He opened his door and stepped out onto the street, peering through the blackness.
‘Oh my sweet God,’ said Davies.
‘Charlie! Get back in!’ shouted Rachel. She had no idea what it was but she sensed the odour of death on it.
The black wave hurtled towards them and she saw Charlie’s face go white with shock. He jumped back inside almost as the wave hit them and Davies shouted
She saw it now. A tidal wave of rats that filled the entire street and was about to engulf them. Someone in the car screamed and she thought it might be her. The rat wave hit the car and they felt it bumping under them, banging at the car’s underbelly, trying to get in, the squealing deafening them. She had climbed up onto her seat before she realised it, every inch of her skin crawling. She could see them all around the car, the entire street a swirling, teeming broth of rats.
Danny was kicking, squirming, shouting, ‘Let me free! Don’t leave me locked up like this! Please!’