Marianne Rosen portrait



Moth Threlfall is a determined young man with a mission; to escape the image of an orphaned child and live the life he wants. All he needs is the means to do it…

Meet Moth at the beginning of the book…


It’s time to go.

His neck tingled with nerves, but Moth kept his head down. Trying to focus. Pulling back from the empty screen. Hearing the rising noise level. The café owner glanced his way, flicking the tea towel back over his shoulder. Clanked a cup in encouragement. He’d dragged out a coffee for longer than was polite. Kate would have glared him out the door by now.

You’re dawdling.

He was reluctant to leave. The café warm and full of life, reminding him of Kate’s bistro. The comfort of being busy, having purpose.

He flicked his way through the pages of the small notebook, looking for the page that separated past from present, spreading it open. The pencil, shaved down to a needle’s length, counting down the listed numbers. He halted on today. Day 257. 15th March 2013. His fifteenth birthday.

Big deal. Happy bloody birthday. This one doesn’t count, remember?

His hand counted another nine lines down. Scribbling beside Day 266, 24th March 2013. Hotel Castello, Lovere. Kit. His writing clipped on the narrow lines.

You are not thinking about this.

The words stared back at him, isolated, vulnerable. A black mark adrift in the empty lines. He filled them in at night. Blank lines forward, etched-in names behind.

You don’t put stuff in the future.

The future would begin exactly one year from this day. The future would begin when he turned sixteen. Until then, he counted the days.