When strangers take part in a series of group suicides, everything suggests that a cult is to blame. How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?
Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.
That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.
Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.
How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?
225–226 – Lovers
For the last week, they’ve been telling each other one thing they like about the other person, every day. And it seems to have been working.
They’re fucking when the first child walks in. It’s the same morning sex they used to love before kids came along. When he would lie on top of her and they’d look at each other, pretending that they didn’t care about his sweaty, clammy skin and her stale breath.
But it’s passionless now. Forced. And they don’t look at one another. And they don’t bother with foreplay or kissing or talking.
They’re still spooning when that first kid walks in.
The little shit says, ‘Mummy’ in a half excited-by-a-new-day, half still-rubbing-his-eyes way. He toddles over to the bed and starts tugging at the covers that disguise his parents’ activity. They tell him that he has to stop. That they’re just having a cuddle. That he needs to go downstairs and put the television on.
But the little brat decides that he doesn’t want to go downstairs without mum and dad. That he wants to perch on the edge of the mattress, swinging his legs, until they get up with him. They are trying.
Desperately trying to love each other.
Again, they push, telling him that they’ll only be a minute or so, smiling like everything is normal, ruining the moment even further. In their heads they tell themselves that it’s not the kids’ fault. It’s theirs.
And they are still linked together when another child dodders around the doorframe.
The one they stupidly thought could save them.
Make them a real family.
They don’t want to shout at the kids or tell them off. Because neither wants to be the bad parent. Because they only truly love them now. And it doesn’t do those boys any good. They’re moments away from abandoning everything and letting the little pests get their way again.
This is how every day starts. Though not always with pitiful intercourse.
Then the letterbox slams shut downstairs and the mail crashes to the doormat. Two utility bills they won’t worry about, a pizza delivery leaflet, a free catalogue that arrives every month from a website that was only ever visited once, a card from the local estate agents showing which houses have been selling in the area, requesting to give them a valuation on their property, and one final letter addressed to both lovers.
It uses their names. Not their numbers. Not their job. Not their archetype. Not their clearest personality trait.
It’s their time.
Congratulations. You have been chosen. Your membership request has been accepted.
And they are still just hard and wet enough to continue when both children innocently race out of the door to collect the benign bills and junk mail and death sentence. The bed squeaks ferociously for another twenty seconds or so to mark the last moments of their frigid ceremony, their attempted intimacy.
They are both empty and unfulfilled when the two boys come skidding back into their lie with a plastic-wrapped furniture brochure and innocuous white envelope. They’re sitting up now. The boys make paper aeroplanes from unwanted flyers.
The lovers are shocked at the size of the bills they won’t have to pay. They don’t yet realise that gas usage and interest accrued means nothing to those who are chosen.
In the final envelope are two pages. Reading a few words ignites them into action. Both of them slipping out from under the sheets, both throwing on something to cover their modesty, both exiting the bedroom, descending the stairs with two contented children in tow, the furniture publication left resting on the quilt, both walking barefoot on the cold kitchen tiles and both standing in front of the stove, ignoring the children who are pulling at them from behind.
He holds down the button to produce a string of sparks and turns the dial that releases the gas they won’t have to pay for. Once the hob is fired up, she places the letter and envelope into the flames and they both wait, staring until it is flaking, brittle carbon, incinerating the evidence.
As they discussed.
As was agreed.
As the others will be doing right now.
What a team.
And they crouch down to be at the same level as the boys – it’s easier to think that they’ll be better off without them. And they kiss their children. And they tell them that they love them.
And they make breakfast.
This may be their last day, but it should be no different from any other.
Thank you, Will Carver and Random Things Tours
About the author
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.
Amazon Uk : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nothing-Important-Happened-Today-Carver-ebook/dp/B07QX36CM8/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2BZWTCKKFMZYE&keywords=nothing+important+happened+today+will+carver&qid=1572771293&s=digital-text&sprefix=nothing+important%2Cdigital-text%2C205&sr=1-1