Life’s not easy when your father’s an idiot. And after six-hundred years this can become quite wearing. The day Young Alfred’s father signed the contract with the smiling stranger, was the day his existence changed forever. Endowed with a particularly shoddy form of immortality, he is condemned to pursue a never-ending quest to gather the souls of the recently deceased. Now times are tough, a six-hundred-year-old caravan is no place for the modern world and souls are a rare commodity, their very existence dangling on the thinnest of threads. Things could not get any worse, or so Young Alfred thought. The night he failed to save Amy was a life-changing one. And he hadn’t had one of them for six centuries. Amy also considered it life-altering and demanded Young Alfred do something about it. Pursued by a veteran policeman and his hapless sidekick and a mysterious auditor, Young Alfred is forced into a journey of discovery as he confronts the modern world and all its pitfalls. A journey watched closely by a dead scientist with a grudge to bear and relentlessly stalked by a platoon of ghostly cavalry. And then there was the day job, souls needed gathering, the quota must be met or the consequences… Well, Young Alfred didn’t even want to think about that. And to top it all off, there was always his father’s boundless stupidity
Young Alfred only felt like screaming. He should have noticed something wrong with Ralf Wyndham, but he’d taken the soul anyway. Perhaps it the was the guilt of not gathering many souls. It had been a long night, the likes of which he hadn’t seen for decades. Not since the flying machines had bombed London. Tonight, he’d ended up spending less time soul gathering and more time assisting the trapped and wounded. As a result, he’d only gathered six souls, seven if you counted Ralf Wyndham. But still, he should have noticed. He sat in a sullen silence and listened to his father arguing with the spirit of his victim. It had been a vindictive act to release the soul, and for a time he’d taken some enjoyment at his Pa’s discomfort. But now the constant argument between Old Alfred and the recently bereaved had begun to grind. “...Delayed whiplash, is that what you’re telling me?” the spirit of Ralf was asking him. “Ah yes, very common occurrence you know. See it a lot in our line of business,” explained Old Alfred. “And what exactly is your line of business… Hey wait a minute, I remember now; you leaned in and grabbed me. You broke my neck.” “Ah no, that’s when your head fell off. I was merely trying to catch it; I was only wanting to pop it back upon your shoulders.” “It fell off?” “Indeed, it just fell right off. It must have been balanced just perfect. You probably weren’t even aware your neck had been broken. As I say, a delayed whiplash…” Old Alfred paused as lightning flashed. “Happens especially often on nights like these, must be the moisture softening the bone. True fact that is!” “You’re full of sh...” Ralf, stopped, and everyone watched as a little car sped past them.
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