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THE MIDNIGHT MAN

By robertarmstrong6 All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Thriller

Blurb

When brother and sister, Matt and Kate Stoker, after taking a late-night stroll, find themselves in the middle of kidnap, extortion and movie trivia, it’s as if a real-life boogeyman is stalking them, intent on not only material gain, but on taking their lives too. Although they both know things like this don’t happen in small towns, it seems that sometimes they do, especially when old sins cast long shadows. From the House of Creeps to the House of Fun, Matt and Kate must alternately confront and evade and their foe, until the final shadowy showdown when the masks are off, the weapons are out and the clock is about to strike midnight!

Prologue

The clown pulled a funny face, made another balloon animal, and all the children laughed. Especially the pretty blonde girl whose fourth birthday party it was. Her blue eyes sparkled with merriment. Her rich father laughed. So did her well-dressed mother, who smiled at all the children. Mr Giggles, as the clown was known, pulled one colourful scarf out of his sleeve, then another and another. Each scarf was tied to the next, and when he had enough, the clown used them as a skipping rope, tripping over his size-nineteen feet. Mr Giggles fell on his face! The children howled with delight.

‘Having fun, sweety?’ whispered the rich man. For once, he wasn’t thinking about his large house, palatial grounds, influential friends or the business he’d begun as a start-up that these days brought in nothing but money. He cared about his daughter too, and today was all about her.

‘Yes, Daddy,’ said his daughter. ‘I love the clown!’

‘We all do,’ said the girl’s mother, who sometimes wondered if her husband loved anything other than cold cash. Would he trade it for his family, give it all up and go back to square one as long as he could be with them? She didn’t think so. Not that their life together wasn’t comfortable. But it often seemed to lack warmth. She touched her daughter’s soft blonde hair.

Standing, the clown pulled Monopoly money out of his pockets and threw it in the air. ‘There’s some pocket money for you, kiddies - think of how much cake you could buy with that!’ The children went wild, trying to catch the fake tens and fifties and hundreds.

‘And now, my lovely assistant,’ said Mr Giggles, dusting himself off, ‘will bring on ...’ He looked around, scratched his red nose, and shrugged. ‘My lovely assistant …’ He pulled a string and his bow tie spun around. ‘Well, how do you like that? My lovely assistant, Annabel Lee, was going to help me with the disappearing cabinet. Maybe I should give her a pay rise to stick around, because it looks like she’s already disappeared! Jeepers creepers. Well, never mind.’ He bowed and the top hat fell off his head and into his white-gloved hands. ‘If I can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat, maybe I can manage to pull a hare out of my---’

Ahhhhhh!′ A dishevelled woman ran in from the direction of the swimming pool. Having passed the greenhouse, topiary and bird-feeders, she was almost out of breath. ‘Help! Quickly! I think she’s ...’ The woman started to cry.

The birthday girl’s mother went to comfort the weeping woman. The girl’s father, looking worried, ran in the direction of the pool. He hoped nothing had happened; he might get sued. If he did, maybe his powerful friends would help him. Where was the mayor? He was supposed to have brought his son today.

Mr Giggles also ran in the direction of the pool, pulling off his shoes so he could run faster.

But they were all too late. When they pulled the teenage girl out, she was already dead. Drowned.

The rich man looked at Mr Giggles, who started to sob. These were not fake tears or in any way part of his act; he was crushed.

The rich man squeezed the clown’s shoulder and wondered how much he earned in a year. If he was performing at birthday parties, it couldn’t be much. ‘Old man, we’ll make it right,’ he said. ‘I promise.’

All the clown could say was: ‘Annabel Lee ...’

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Donna J Rinas: I thought it was a great read! A real page turner. There were lots of surprising and unexpected plot twists. The descriptive writing was very well done and you could just envision the places in your mind. Could see this being turned into a movie! I really enjoyed it. Would love to read more...

William Elliott Kern: Long story, the plot uncovered midway through the story. From beginning, the story was fast moving. Then dragged on for quite some time. The Author was good in describing her characters, their clothing, etc. but a lot of that disclosure distracted from the story moving fast.Not withstanding, the...

Tony Hyde: This was a great book!It was a crazy ride to an insane ending! It kept me at the edge of my seat.I enjoyed the three timelines and how they brought the story to a fantastic peak near the end!If you like suspense with lots of twists and turns than this book is for you!

Nishant Jain: I felt as if i am watching a movie,not reading a book. The story was definitely interesting. It was more of action than horror for me. There are a few grammatical and spelling errors I came across and at times I found it difficult to imagine some things which the author is trying to convey, but o...

Nishant Jain: Plus points-* the story is quite interesting* well detailed(u can easily imagine andpicture what the narrator is trying to say)* huge twist in the endImprovements-- i feel the story unfolds a bit slowlyIt is definitely worth a shot. I have no regrets reading BREAKING POINT.

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