Charlie Thorne has never had a Halloween like this one. On the run from the police after being wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, his only desire is to make it back to the arms of his partner, Ellis.
He knows the risks. He knows the police will probably be waiting for him. But he can’t help himself. Weeks spent away from his lover mean Charlie is all the more desperate to see Ellis again, and to protest his innocence to the police.
Little does he know how his decisions will impact both of them, changing their lives forever.
Why can Ellis never seem to get warm? Why do large chunks of time seem to go missing? Will Charlie’s decision to escape impact their lives forever?
Time quickly became a meaningless concept to Charlie and Ellis. The only non-electric clock they owned had stopped working, and only God and the devil could say how many hours, days, or weeks passed while they slept. Half the time, they didn’t even know what season it was, for there were the occasional storms in summer, as well as the many that winter and autumn brought.
Over time, the house began to fall apart. On the outside walls, the paint had begun to peel and flake. Some of the floorboards on the porch had warped and a few curved up from the floor as though greeting the sun. The garden had become a wild tangle of grass, shrubs, weeds, and litter. And every now and again, a homeless person would take shelter in a corner on their porch. They always left it reeking of urine. Among other things.
Inside, the curtains had become faded, dusty, and tatty. Everything was covered in a thick coat of dust and the slightest movement sent grey clouds erupting into the air. Rats were frequent visitors, along with a host of other critters. There were mice in the kitchen and pigeons roosting in the space below the roof. There might have also been a possum or two, though the culprit causing the heavy shuffling noises was never actually located.
Charlie and Ellis spent most of their time between the lounge room and their bedroom. When they felt weary they went upstairs and laid down. When they woke up, they came downstairs. Once they even attempted to go for a walk around the block.
“Why not,” said Ellis.
Outside, slate-coloured clouds threatened rain. Thunder rolled in the distance, but the men remained undeterred. They left the house and walked to the footpath, hand in hand. Charlie couldn’t hide his excitement at finally being able to do something away from the house. The curious thing was they had taken no more than two dozen steps when they found they could go no further.
“What’s happening?” asked Ellis.
Charlie had no answers.
“Let’s try going the other way,” he suggested.
And so they turned around and started walking in the opposite direction. They hadn’t gone much further than Mrs Andersson’s garden gate when again they found they were able to go no further. It was the same if they tried to cross the road. They got halfway across and came to a dead stop.
“Very strange,” said Charlie. “What do you think?”