A Story about Death

Sophie Phillips is eager to discover just what happens when people ‘die’. She meets Ben and the two of them investigate the death and disappearance of her landlady, only to discover a mystery surrounding the missing landlord. Together the pair must face new challenges and risk everything in order to discover just why people disappear. And why no-one knows about the ones left behind.

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1. Chapter One

So let me start this book by explaining that death isn’t the end. There is no end. Not anymore.

Nowadays, you don’t even die. You just… Disappear from life.

Both of my parents study death, in various forms. My father is a lecturer of science at a university, and my mum is a spiritual guru for the families of deceased.

We don’t talk to mum any more. Not since she tried to have me exorcized.

But that was more than a long time ago, by which I mean 12 years.  I’m 19 now. And finally moving out of my father’s apartment.

We’d been living there since my parents divorced, so around 10 years. It was quite an expensive apartment, with a great view of the city and really close to my school. I however, had grown out of it a long time ago, and had found myself a slightly less expensive old loft room being rented out by the elderly couple who lived downstairs.

My father helped me bring up the last box before stepping back into the room and stretching.
“Really isn’t a bad size you know, considering the price you paid!” he chuckled, giving me a hug and kissing the top of my head fondly.
“Well I had great connections. My father knows the family who are leasing from an old teaching job” I replied, grinning and gazing fondly at my new living space.

The ceiling was sloped, and there was a chimney breast running up one of the walls. The stairs leading up to it were extremely narrow and creaky, were covered in a moth eaten Persian carpet that covered the rest of my floor luxuriously. All of the walls were painted with a very thin white wash that cracked and faded over the brickwork beneath.

“Well, as much as I would love to help you unpack…” my father hinted, his eyes lingering on the boxes from underneath his glasses “I have an afternoon lecture to give. See you later sweetie!” he announced, giving me another squeeze and trotting back down the stairs. I watched him leave with a look of complete disbelief. It was so typical of him of him to disappear at the sign of laborious tasks.

I stooped down and began unpacking the boxes. Most of them were books about history or biology, the others contained pillows, clothing and a few sentimental objects like my first teddy-bear.

“So you’re Sophie?” a voice asked me from the stairs, I turned around and saw an extremely wrinkly little old lady.
“Yes I am, you must be Mrs Francis? It’s lovely to meet you!” I replied warmly, holding out a hand for her to shake. She looked at the hand as if I were offering her an unwashed pair of pants. “You’re a big girl aren’t you.” She commented bluntly after I withdrew my hand and she walked up the remaining two steps to join me.

I could only assume she meant my height, as I was an athletic girl. “Yes I guess I am” I replied in hesitation before the little old lady pursed her lips. “Well, you have your own little fridge in the kitchen. We will collect rent on the 24th of each month.” She instructed before turning back and making her way back down the stairs.
“Okay… Thank you then!” I called after her before continuing to unpack quietly.

Little did I realise that that was my first encounter with a woman who would inadvertently help to change my life forever.

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