#KeepGoing

I’ve written a book, called Keep Going. It’s a coming-of-age story set in the run up to the apocalypse, and I’m doing everything I can to get it in to your hands. It’s currently available to pre-order on Kickstarter with all sorts of cool perks! This book is real and ready and the best way to keep track of it is, again, to sign up to my newsletter. You get a free story for doing that too!

As a teaser, because I really like you, you can read here how the characters have the news broken to them:

It’s Wednesday September 17th, we’re live on Channel 1, and we’re about make some very lucky viewers very, very rich…

Christine looks at the television above the bar and can’t help but smile. The idea of the lottery always brings her back to the Saturday mornings spent with her grandfather, buying his ticket in their local town center.

She sometimes felt everyone else acted like one of those abandoned child’s rides that wait outside of supermarkets or in the corners of arcades, only coming to life once someone opted to feed in a coin. Not him, though. In fact, he made her feel like she was one of those machines – that when she thought she was being active, she really had so much more left to give.

And when he got in to bed on a Friday evening, the week just falling away from him now, Christine would be a room away. She’d try to keep her breath quiet as she listened to the bed creak and the beep of his alarm clock setting.

She found out, on the single occasion he slept to it, that it didn’t go off until 11am.

He would get the same numbers every time – so, she would think, he couldn’t even pretend it took so long because he was thinking of new numbers. It took so long because they would stop in the park, because they would go for brunch in an American-diner style cafe where the waitresses refilled your drinks the second the straw hit the bottom, because they could not get bored of spending time with one another.

And as they lazily paced through each Saturday morning they would challenge themselves to think of a new answer to the question of If we won, what would we buy first?
She would always assume they won the jackpot, that it was a multi-million rollover just for them, and that the infinite nature of it meant it didn’t matter if it was all gone in one day or if you barely scraped the top. He would encourage and discuss her ideas equally whether she’d spend £30 buying all of her friends ice cream for breakfast, or £5,000,000 buying an island. They don’t do this every week, but it’s not until Christine is around twelve that she actually says no.

“But I need to get the lottery ticket,” he says.

“Why can’t you go by yourself?” she asks.

And so he goes. On his own.

And though they’re back to normal the next week, it takes her many more years to realize it was all an excuse to spend time with her. And it takes her even longer to realize that he always gave her the jackpot.

Christine rests her hands on either side of her plate for a moment. Her husband, Paul, meets her eye and grins. There’s meat stuck in his teeth. She thinks back on her time with him, to the way they instantly lit something within one another. She thinks how they have always become something much greater when together, and she thinks this has never been better proved than with the birth of their daughter. April sits at the table with them too, blowing bubbles in to her lemonade. She’s fourteen years old now, and acts in this strange mix between adult and infant that, they suppose, is the way teenagers work.

And although April shrugs that she doesn’t feel like it sometimes; every Friday night as Christine and Paul climb in to bed, the week just falling away from them now, they set an alarm for 11am. And when she’s good to go, they eschew the lottery tickets for magazines and little treats out of the pound store and they sit together in another cafe that looks just like a diner.

And after a certain number of weekends and a certain number of following days, they all find themselves at their local pub on a quiet Wednesday evening, half-watching the lottery results as they make their way through their meals.

Christine, in her reverie, finds herself able to easily recall those numbers her grandfather would put on to the lottery. She hasn’t had a use for them for years, and they don’t matter now, but there they are. 1, 11, 14, 29, 35, 44. A small piece of her wishes she had a ticket, just for the enjoyable tension of sitting forward in her seat now, both hands clutching the paper, daring to dream of what could come.

She keeps watching as the first number rolls out of the collection. She can just make it out now – it’s a –

“We’re interrupting this show with an emergency broadcast. We stress that this is real, and we urge you to remain calm.”

April squints and makes some kind of joke about her Dad managing to sit on the remote.

“It is with great sadness that we must inform you there is an unstoppable, extinction-level meteorite headed for Earth.”

Christine laughs, because it’s the only thing she knows.

“We have performed studies which have confirmed out worst fears – there is absolutely no way of lessening the impact or diverting it off course.”

Paul is the only person who has stopped smiling.

“Judging from its proximity and current speed, the impact will be in four days’ time. Again, we’re bringing you the breaking news that mankind will be wiped out with 100% certainty this Sunday, September 21st. And, once more, at this time we urge you to remain civil, and safe.”

April stands. She looks from the screen, to her parents, to the top of the cycle, and back again. Christine takes her phone from her bag. She doesn’t understand why, but she presses her shaking hands to the screen and searches for the winning lottery numbers.

1, 11, 14, 29, 35, 44.

She can’t tell if she’s annoyed or not. She can’t tell what she’s feeling. She doesn’t even hear that she starts screaming.

Keep Going on Kickstarter