I N S A N I T Y 3
First Original Edition, December 2015
Copyright ©2015 Akmal Eldin Farouk Ali Shebl
All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author.
I Am Alive Series
I Am Alive (book 1)
Pentimento (book 1)
Prologue Part 1 * Prologue Part 2 *
Chapter 1 * Chapter 2 * Chapter 3 *
Chapter 4 * Chapter 5 * Chapter 6 * Chapter 7 *
Chapter 8 * Chapter 9 * Chapter 10 * Chapter 11 *
Chapter 12 * Chapter 13 * Chapter 14 * Chapter 15 * Chapter 16 * Chapter 17 * Chapter 18 * Chapter 19 * Chapter 20 * Chapter 21 * Chapter 22 * Chapter 23 * Chapter 24 * Chapter 25 * Chapter 26 * Chapter 27 * Chapter 28 * Chapter 29 * Chapter 30 * Chapter 31 * Chapter 32 * Chapter 33 * Chapter 34 * Chapter 35 * Chapter 36 * Chapter 37 * Chapter 38 * Chapter 39 * Chapter 40 * Chapter 41 * Chapter 42 * Chapter 43 * Chapter 44 * Chapter 45 * Chapter 46 * Chapter 47 * Chapter 48 * Chapter 49 * Chapter 50 * Chapter 51 * Chapter 52 * Chapter 53 * Chapter 54 * Chapter 55 * Chapter 56 * Chapter 57 * Chapter 58 * Chapter 59 * Chapter 60 * Chapter 61 * Chapter 62 * Chapter 63 * Chapter 64 * Chapter 65 * Chapter 66 * Chapter 67 * Chapter 68 * Chapter 69 * Chapter 70 * Chapter 71 * Chapter 72 * Chapter 73 * Chapter 74 * Chapter 75* Chapter 76 * Chapter 77 * Chapter 78 * Chapter 79 * Chapter 80 * Chapter 81 *
Epilogue * Thank You * Subscribe to Mailing List
Prologue Part One
The man with the rabbit stood in the middle of the circus while the children and their parents waited with anticipation. This was it! The Maddest Show on Earth, performed by the one and only magician who called himself the Hatter.
The man wore a top hat. It was black, elegant, and rather funny. Several teaspoons and watches were neatly wrapped around the rims. He was tall. Almost seven feet. And he wore ridiculously tall boots with silver pins and stars. The hat made him look even
But what the children absolutely loved about him were his goggles, which made him look like a huge bee. A crooked nose beaked out from underneath the goggles. Not an assuring sight for the parents at first. But the children still liked it. They knew it was meant to be silly, nonsensical, and absurd. Things the older folks rarely understood. Besides, it probably wasn't the Hatter’s real nose.
The Hatter had a double chin, so strong it squeezed an old shilling between its cheeks. Not once had he dropped it, as if it were glued.
He wore a tuxedo. It made him look a bit mature, compared to the absurdness of his face, hat, and goggles. But not really. It was a black tux, with spoons for buttons, sugar cup buttons for his sleeves, and teabags dangling from his upper pockets instead of a rose or a napkin.
The children, who had been coming every week for almost two months, also liked his glittering gold pocket watch. They knew the time on that watch was always six o’clock.
That was why the Hatter claimed he never aged. Also why he never grew hungry. More significant, it was why he had his sugar cups and spoons always ready. He had to always have his six o’clock tea, which in his case was all day long.
The Maddest Show on Earth always started at six o’clock.
It also ended at six o’clock.
Any time in between was, you guessed it, six o’clock.
Usually the parents would curse the watchmakers on their way out of the circus each night, whining about their malfunctioning watches while inside the circus.
The children would snicker, winking at each other. They knew the Hatter could stop time. But no parent would have believed them.
Right now, almost midnight in the outside world, six o’clock inside the circus, the show was about to begin.
Prologue Part Two
Today, in a small, almost abandoned circus at the outskirts of London, the Hatter had promised the kids the Maddest Trick of All Time. It included a rabbit.
But there was no rabbit to be seen. Not yet.
The Hatter took off his hat, a few teacups plummeting to the sandy floor of the dimly lit circus. Without saying a word, he waved the hat in the air.
Silence sucked off the breathing air. Everyone watched with anticipation.
The Hatter slowly approached the circle’s rim, showing the hat to the audience. It was empty. He summoned a couple of kids to show them the hat, allowing them to confirm it was empty. Then he made them sit back next to their parents, who had paid nothing for this show. The Maddest Show on Earth was for free.
Then the Hatter pulled out something that worried the parents, but made the children’s eyes widen with excitement. It was a
The Hatter’s lips twitched. He seemed worried too. The bomb could blow up any minute. The parents squinted, grimaced, and tensed. The children, well, they were about to merrily clap their hands.
Accidentally, the Hatter, posing like a magician, pushed a button on the wired bomb.
It began ticking.
A few parents shrieked, holding their children tighter.
“It’s just a show, Mum!”
“Be a man, Dad!”
The timer ticked on a countdown from 666. Hours? Minutes? Seconds? No one knew.
“Tick...” the Hatter finally said. He placed one hand behind his ears, waiting for the children’s response.
“Tock!” The children raised their hands.
“Tick!” The Hatter addressed the crowd on the other side of the circle.
“Tock!” the children screamed. Their parents laughing uneasily.
“That’s right,” the Hatter said, and sipped from a cup of tea in a nearby table. “Now, what would you say if I told you that no one can stop this bomb?”
The children clapped their hands on their mouths, their eyes almost going kaleidoscopic. The parents were utterly confused. Was this part of the nonsensical show?
“No one but a girl named Mary Ann,” the Hatter explained.