Chapter 1

Arrival in London

Patrick Wakefield looked out of the window on his left. There he saw the clouds below, in great billows and domes and pillars. It was as though they were making a landscape of their own, high in the sky. He had never seen anything like it before. Every once in a while he could catch sight of patches of green through breaks in the clouds. He knew this was England. Patrick looked over to his right.

Beside Patrick, a young woman slept comfortably in her seat. Her name was Lynn, and she was the one who had talked Patrick into taking this whirlwind trip to Europe with her. At first it took some convincing on her part, but looking down at the wonderful new country below, Patrick was glad that she did. The excitement was welling up inside of him, increasing the closer they came to London.

They were on route from Toronto to London, and the flight had taken close to seven hours. This was going to be their summer: a summer without responsibilities, without restrictions. Lynn had been trying all year to convince him to come on this trip with her, and finally he gave in. It was time to let loose, to travel the wonders of Europe, and he was very excited. They would be landing soon, and so would end Patrick's first ever flight. He was leaving Canada for the first time.

They were going to spend a few days in Britain and then head south to backpack on the mainland. All in all the trip would last two and a half months, which was by far the longest Patrick had ever been from home.

He was excited to see England. His family was originally from England, from both sides. His grandfathers both moved to Canada early in their life. His father's side was a long line of hard and respected workers, and his grandfather came to Canada to work on the railroad long ago. Patrick didn't know as much about his mother's side. It always seemed to be rather like a mystery and not talked about a lot. Patrick wasn't sure what his relatives on that side did for a living before the move overseas.

The plane was almost at London before Lynn finally woke up.

"Are we there yet?" she asked sleepily.

"Almost," Patrick answered, "Lynn, I'm glad you convinced me to go."

She grinned at him. "Getting excited, hey?"

"Yeah, especially now that we're so close."

"Hey Lynn," Patrick looked over at her, "Thank you for talking me into coming with you."

"No problem," she smiled, "I knew you would eventually. It's going to be fun, trust me."

Patrick and Lynn were friends from back home in Canada, though Patrick had to admit he didn't know her that well. They were not close friends, and only really knew each other through work and school. He was nervous to go with someone he barely knew at first, but they grew closer in the days leading up to the trip and he soon felt at ease. He was now very comfortable with her as they flew in the jumbo jet above the great isle of Britain.

Finally the pilot announced that they would be landing at Heathrow and called everyone to their seats. Patrick would soon be touching down in a whole other continent.

Patrick could feel the plane's decent as he sat in his seat holding onto the armrests. But as they came out of the ring of clouds and the vastness of Heathrow airport snapped out before him, Patrick got a strange chill in his body. Lynn looked at him shiver with some concern.

"You alright?" she asked placing her hand on his arm.

"Yeah," he answered dreamily as he shook out of it. He couldn't help thinking what a strange feeling it was. Lynn still looked at him in concern.

Another strange thing happened as the plane pulled onto the runway. Patrick could feel the gravity pulling inside him as the wheels touched the ground. He looked out of the window and was sure he could see some kind of large shadow coming in over top of the plane. Panic struck him at first, believing that perhaps there was a mix-up and some other plane was landing there at the same time. But the shadow passed right over and was suddenly gone.

Finally the plane had come to its stop and they left their seats and headed into the terminal. As they entered the airport, Patrick was stunned at the size of the line up for Customs. However the line moved fast, and he and Lynn were checked over without any problems at all. They wandered through the large airport looking for the bus depot which would take them to downtown London.

After walking to nearly the other end of the airport, they finally came outside to the bus terminals and found the right one. "Finally," Lynn sighed as the bus pulled up to take them away. As they boarded the bus, Patrick looked back across the runways and saw another large shadow passing along the ground. It seemed to be shaped like a giant bird, with a huge wingspan. Yet when he looked above, he saw nothing but the clouded sky. He shook his head and got on the bus behind Lynn. But something didn't sit right with him. This was a subtly strange way to start off the trip.