Excerpt - Beyond The Hallow Grave | Mithravathi - The Legend of Mussoorie (EXPLICIT)

Updated: Oct 30


Available on Amazon now!


Amazon US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MB3XQ18

Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08MB3XQ18

Amazon India - https://www.amazon.in/dp/B08MB3XQ18

Amazon Australia - https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08MB3XQ18

Amazon Canada - https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08MB3XQ18


Pari Tibba, the land of fairies is home to an ancient legend. Deep in the belly of its oak and pine forest lurks an evil, waiting to be unleashed.

Andrew Garrison is desperate. Driven with sorrow, he sets out to Pari Tibba to seek the very evil whose name must not be spoken of.

Disclaimer: Explicit Content. The story contains mentions of rape and non-consensual sexual acts, strong mature language, and graphic violence.


Book Trailer:


Prelude


November 25, 1995

Pari Tibba, Mussoorie, India.

Hiss…

The unsuspecting rodent never saw it coming. A squeak escaped its mouth as it took its last breath. The snake slithered through the bushes, satisfied with its meal, and blended wholly with the surroundings, but another hiss slipped out of its mouth when someone stepped on it.

The person in question cursed and hurriedly jumped out of way, barely avoiding its bite. “Shit, that was close.”

“Shh.” The other one silenced him, pushed to move forward. The two figures silently moved through the thick vegetation. The silver glow of the moon infiltrated through the gaps of the tall trees, guiding them through the darkness of the jungle. Dead leaves crunched under their feet; sweat coated their brows, their chests heaving. They had been walking for almost two hours now, trekking through the uneven path that stretched ahead.

The older of the two staggered when his foot caught on a fallen log. His free arm shot out to hold something for support.

“Careful, dad.” The youngest caught him.

“I’m fine,” Grabbing his son’s arm he steadied himself, his eyes darted from side to side as he caught his breath. “Are you sure this will work?”

“Yes,” His son’s determination rang louder. “Let’s keep moving. Time’s running out.”

Andrew Garrison nodded, and they resumed walking again. His fifty-year-old body couldn’t keep up with the twenty-eight-year-old’s pace. Heavy breaths huffed out as they ambled their way through the fallen logs, rocks, and slippery slopes.

As they went deeper, the sullen clouds covered the moon, drowning them in utter darkness. With only the dim flashlight and the sound of the chirping crickets as a company, they advanced toward their destination. Andrew had to stop several times to look around before walking again. The odd sounds unsettled his nerves. Something flew to Andrew’s right startling him for the umpteenth time that night. The flashlight fell from his hand as the oldest clutched his chest. “What was that?”

Jean Garrison, his son, hastily grabbed the flashlight, “Must be an owl or a bat.”

They were deep in the belly of the deodar forest. The sight of coniferous trees with the conic crown, level branches, and drooping branchlets in different shades of green would have been a treat to the eyes in daylight. However, at this time of the night, the permeating scent of cedar accompanied by the dark silhouettes of trees was nothing but ghastly.

Andrew nodded, calming his heart, only for it to thunder again when he heard something. His son moved closer, sensing his discomfort, and placed a hand on his lower back. “Dad, you okay?”

He eyed the towering trees around them in apprehension. No. He was far from okay. Shaking his head, he held his son’s hand, registering the slight tremble of his fingers. If Andrew had a choice, he would be at home in the comfort of his couch with his beloved wife. But that wasn’t an option. If the bastards were caught and punished as they deserved, he didn’t have to be here. If… if only the mother fucking monsters had stopped with his daughter—

Andrew’s mind reeled and he swallowed a sob. His left hand raised to pat the newspaper sat nestled in the safety of his jacket’s pocket. Three weeks ago, when he saw the mauled body of the barely eighteen-year-old girl, he knew it wasn’t a one-time thing. Later, Jean’s deep research pulled a list of five girls murdered over the past five years, including his daughter.

“Dad,” Jean shook him again. “It’s close to eleven. We have to be there before the clock strikes twelve.”

Andrew shoved the thoughts aside, turning his gaze to Jean. “O-okay. Are we close?”

“I think so.”

Darkness reigned as far as their eyes could reach. They started before sunset, stopping only to catch their breaths. Exhaustion slowed them, but determination kept them going. “Let’s go.” He patted on Jean’s shoulder.

“Water?”

Andrew grabbed the plastic bottle wordlessly and took a few sips, just enough to nourish his throat. “Are you sure that we’re not lost?”

“Yeah. We’re––” His demeanor changed when his flashlight fell on a tree.

“What’s that?” Andrew held his breath as Jean approached the enormous tree.

The flashlight illuminated something red. On close inspection, they noticed the sacred silk clothes, threads, and a few other items they didn’t recognize tied to its branches and trunk as some sort of offering. Vermilion coated the trunk as if it were a second skin. Jean reached out, touching the scarlet pigment, rubbing it between his fingers. Andrew recognized the powdered mineral cinnabar widely used by the villagers. He deduced it must represent something important to them.

“This is it. The sacred tree,” Jean’s words hauled him out of his observation. His son turned the flashlight off and secured it in his backpack. The moonlight illuminated the side of Jean’s sharp jaw, “It starts from here.”

They weren't allowed to use any form of light in these parts of the woods. It was the first warning from the villagers. With only the moonlight as guidance, they moved forward, unsure of the outcome, and hoping to find their destination on time. Fear gripped their hearts, but desperation kept them moving. It brought them all the way from a small town of Wyoming to this infamous village in India.

After what felt like an hour later, the trees thinned out leading them to a clearing. The temperature suddenly dropped. An ominous chill crept through his spine. Andrew bent, resting his hands on his knees overcome by fatigue, and beside him, Jean sucked in a sharp breath. Goosebumps erupted all over his skin as the sensation of something unknown crawled over him. Something moved around them. His heart beat faster. Jean latched onto Andrew's arm out of fear.

His breath hitched when his gaze noted the rocky structure in front of them. Now that he looked closer, he realized it wasn't just a pile of rocks, but more like a cave. The moon highlighted the ancient ruins that appeared scarier than the one they saw in the old paintings at the village.

“We're here.”

With a thundering heart, Andrew nodded, his grip tightening on the shoulder bag he carried all the way from his home. As they approached the ruins, the structure seemed to grow in size. His son marched forward with outstretched hands as he searched for the entrance. A couple of minutes later he called out, finding it hidden under a huge rock—a manhole.

“It's small,” Jean stated, inspecting its entrance. “We have to crawl inside.”

Andrew swallowed his fear with a bob of his head and crouched with his heart leaping to his throat. With a grunt, he followed his son inside. Darkness swallowed them whole. With only their senses to guide, they proceeded.

“Dad, hold my leg,” the young one whispered.

Andrew did as he was told. He gripped Jean’s ankle for guidance as Jean maneuvered through the tunnels. The rough edges of the rocks abraded Andrew’s knees, palms and scratched his sides. He hit his head on the wall a few times. Pain shot through his body, but he ignored it. The stale air and lack of oxygen made him dizzy. He struggled to swallow through his parched throat but kept going.

“We're almost there.” His son’s encouraging words drifted to him but only the dark tunnel stretched farther and farther.

Andrew swallowed a hiss of pain when something cut into his palm. His back bothered him because of his uncomfortable position on all fours but still he continued to crawl his way in. His eyes grew heavy and he didn’t think he could keep up longer. He fought the urge to surrender and give into his body’s demand for rest because they were running out of time.

Turmoil churned his mind. The bloody, broken image of his daughter flashed in his memory; the painful reminder still fresh like it happened yesterday. His baby girl never got justice. Most of the nights, he lay awake imagining thousands of ways to kill those bastards who ended her dreams. I can’t give up. Motivated by the memories he pushed his debilitated body forward, ignoring the soreness of his limbs and throbbing pain that continued to grow.

Just as he thought he was going to collapse, the cold air hit their skin. Their movements grew urgent as a dimly lit space came into view. They entered what appeared like a chamber. Moonlight seeped through the cracks of the rock from the roof ahead. The room was normal-sized, perhaps the size of his living room back home. He couldn’t tell the shape of the room, but his gaze traced the dark line of things littered on the floor.

Andrew squinted his eyes to get a better look and felt goosebumps erupt on his skin for the second time that night as something whisked past them. This time it was definitely not a bird or an owl. His body shuddered involuntarily. A sinister feeling crawled over his spine. With his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he thought he saw someone or something in his peripheral. His heart catapulted against his ribs, a silent scream leaving his mouth.

“It's okay, dad.” He felt a gentle squeeze on his shoulder, but didn’t miss the slight tremor of the touch. “Give me the bag,” Jean’s voice wavered despite the gentleness and determination.

Andrew’s gaze swept around as he handed his bag to Jean and closed his eyes on impulse when a gust of wind blew past him. Was that a whisper? The maliciousness he sensed right then was something worse than his nightmare.

“Please,” he whimpered as his knees gave up. He didn’t know what he was pleading for. Andrew knew it was foolish to beg a malicious entity considering their reason for being here at this ungodly hour of the night. However, he was desperate. The mourning father couldn’t care if he was selling his soul as long as his baby girl got justice. Tears stung his eyes as his son pulled out the materials from inside the bag. Jean hurriedly drew the pattern he had been practicing for over a week on the ground. He then arranged the items around the drawing.

“Give me your hand.”

He numbly extended his hand, only to stiffen when a small gust of wind blew in his hair. Andrew locked his jaw, trying to calm his hammering heart. His neck prickled with awareness. The small sliver of air moving along his exposed skin resembled the breathing of a person. His heart thundered in his chest.

The sharp cut on his palm shot daggers of pain into his system. He clenched his jaw and bit the inside of his cheek tasting blood, but didn't make a sound. Jean squeezed his hand causing more blood to fall into the clay bowl they brought. The son then proceeded to cut the inside of his hand, filling the second bowl.

A chill ran through their spine as a deep growl reverberated around the chamber. Andrew’s breath caught in his throat. Nothing had prepared the father and son for this. He caught his son's hand on impulse and held tight as he tried to remember the words of the villagers.

“The entity senses your fear. It relishes in it. Never show your fear.”

But he couldn't help it even if he wanted to. The pounding of his heart continued to grow louder as a sudden non-existent wind blew around them. He felt a squeeze on his hand and held his breath. It was his cue to start the chant—a four verse mantra taught by a temple priest. Together they chanted the prayer. They must chant for a hundred and eight times without any mistake.

Loud inhumane noises ricocheted across the eerie walls of the cave. Leaves and dust circled them, and the heavy wind tried to knock them off balance. Andrew shut his eyes tighter, chanting with a fervor fueled by his pain. Their lips never stopped the words. When the hundred and eighth chant left their lips, the chaos stopped. A deafening silence fell upon them.

Andrew opened his eyes, his breathing was coming out in pants. If the ritual was successful, the ancient oil lamp in the cave would light up. However, darkness still shrouded them. Did they do it right? He almost opened his mouth to ask his son when he caught a slight movement in his peripheral vision.

A dark, insidious shadow crawled toward them. He pursed his lips, his body trembling like a leaf. Beside him, Jean shuddered. Their grip tightened around each other as the shadowy figure, more apparent now stopped in front of them. Andrew didn’t know if he should thank the darkness because he didn’t think he would survive if he saw the entity in the clear light.

Andrew’s eyes shut on instinct, silently praying. The villagers never mentioned this part. A nasty breath hit his face with a slight accompanying growl. “Please…” he pleaded with a cracking voice. “My daughter… my Alina was only seventeen.” Words stuck in his throat as he whimpered. “Help us…”

The silence stretched for what seemed like minutes before he cracked open his eyes. The golden yellow glow of the old oil lamp in the center of the room greeted him. A small square-shaped stone painted in red stared at him. Several bowls and personal belongings littered the small room. He swallowed noticing the now empty bowls that earlier contained their blood.

The men cried in relief as they grabbed their belongings. Without another word, they hurried out of the cave hoping justice will be served soon.


Available on Amazon now!


Amazon US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MB3XQ18

Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08MB3XQ18

Amazon India - https://www.amazon.in/dp/B08MB3XQ18

Amazon Australia - https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08MB3XQ18

Amazon Canada - https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08MB3XQ18

0 views
  • Amazon Author Page
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Goodreads-icon
  • 361666-5b748351f4fe1e339c295b4fd2b12f0b-medium_jpg
  • download
  • Blogger Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

© 2018 by Catherine Edward. All rights reserved. Proudly created with Wix.com