Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Spellbinders: Chapter 18 - The Shadows Gather

We are a team called The Spellbinders who have been bound together by our team spirit, sense of humor and camaraderie. We are collaborating and writing a story for the Blogadda challenge "Game of Blogs". I feel we have successfully met the challenge of BA who asked 10 cooks to cook a broth with the ingredients they provided.  To know about us, join us here.

The story so far:

The Shadows Gather

Malik woke up sweating.  He, never in his memory, had such a horrible dream.  He got up from the chair he was sitting and moved painfully to his bed, but did not lie down.
He turned on the news channel on the television.  The reporter had a garish blue and red screen to her side where graphics of a group of hooded figures did a strange dance around a skeleton.  The ticker tape said, “Little Girl saved by divine intervention from Tantrics”.
He winced.  He knew the story, a girl had been lured away from a fishermen’s village in coastal south India.  She had been drugged and tied to a stake while she was being knifed, slowly and deliberately.  Her brothers had followed thinking it was some kind of a funny game. But the sight that awaited them was horrible. Alarmed one of them ran back and got the whole village to attack and rescue the girl.  Those freaks that were doing this had fled by then.  It had a dark, moonless night.  The brothers remembered that the people were heavily cloaked and their hands were tattooed.  The freaks even sang and danced like some scary shadows thrown by flames on a windy night.
“Mind Freaks,” Aryan had called his book.  Well, he did have a freaky mind and extremely weird taste in research.  What was more disturbing was that just as he found Aryan’s research, this case had been picked up by the TV news channels.  Coincidence?  Or divine design as the news reader called it.  He drank two glasses of water and shook his head.  Sleep was impossible now.  The body of the girl found in Mumbai had knife marks too.

He walked out where the police jeep was parked.  His driver was asleep in the garage.  He shook him gently and said, “Sorry, but we have to go.”
The driver grunted and got up.  Working with Malik even for a short period changed people.  They became used to erratic behavior from bosses.  He drove Malik to the hospital and once the man entered, he curled up on the back seat of the jeep and slept.
Malik walked into the ward where Aryan was resting with a book in his hand. For once Malik’s stoic face carried a gentle smile. Aryan Ahuja, the young bespectacled mischievous man was quite different from the serious book he held in his hand, “The Devil on the Doorstep - My Escape from a Satanic Sex Cult”. So far Aryan was the only person related to the case that Malik had some positive feelings for; the rest were rotten apples, in one way or other. Slowly in his mind, Malik did a serious evaluation of the people he had met during the course of his investigation.
His initial softness for Shekhar had broken when he found out how much he hated his girl and his peculiar response at her birth. A father of a loving girl, he couldn’t imagine what man would do that and for what reasons. The thoughts of his lovely Ruks made his heart feel so warm.
Tara was selfish woman who could step on heads to reach her goals. Though she was a mother who was undergoing the trauma of not knowing where her daughter was; for Malik, she was a pawn to be used to solve the mystery of not just missing Roohi, but also the murders of many 9 year old girls which had taken place in the past decade with some eerie connection between them.
Jenny was nothing more than a gold-digger.
Cyrus was just a spoilt rich brat who was studying law, but at the same time he thought himself to be above law. ‘God save his clients’ said Malik to himself with a chuckle that escaped his lips.
But here was a man who could help him in many ways to throw some light on the people connected to this case. Wasn’t it a blessing from above to find a neighbor to Datta’s and also childhood friend of Cyrus, who studies people? Malik considered Aryan his trump card in this game filled with dark mystery that brutally killed girls who had not enjoyed the world even for a decade. He wanted to put the killer behind the bars, to show him what pain is.

“Hi, couldn't sleep?” Aryan asked in his usual mischievous way, before adding with exaggerated wonder written all over face, “and how come they allowed you to see me?”
Malik shifted a bit uncomfortably.  “Um, how are you feeling now?” he asked Aryan.
“Oh, I see.  The policeman sneaked inside.  Scared of the nurses?”
“Very,” said Malik laughing openly now.  “You definitely are better.”
“I am on my way to recovery, but the pain is still bothering me” said Aryan wincing.
Aryan liked the gusty policeman who had what Aryan called the coconut personality, all hard on outside but soft from within. Cyrus hated this habit of his, to examine everyone, see through the exterior. He said it was like disrobing people in public. He had a talent for this, something that he did not learn on purpose. He could see people for what they are, unlike Cyrus. This was the reason why Cyrus found Malik to be a very annoying person. 
Malik took a seat beside him and peeked into the cover of the book, “The Devil on the Doorstep - My Escape from a Satanic Sex Cult”.
“More of the freaky minds for you Mister Aryan? Huh? I couldn’t believe that such people exist among us” said Malik as a chill ran down his spine.
“They do exist Sir,” said Aryan, as his eyes lost its mischievous look, “At present I am reading account of Annabelle Foster who was made to sleep with1800 men by her mother even before she was out of high school. Her freaky mom followed a satanic cult that had weird sex orgies included in their rituals.  Fortunately she escaped at the age of 18.”
“Her mother?” Malik almost shouted before checking himself by reminding he was in a hospital, that too late in the night, or was it early in the morning?
“Yes her mother” answered Aryan with deep pain resounding in his voice.
“Your book and research have opened up a world I had not known before and honestly I am sensing fear which I am not familiar with”, said Malik, remembering the nightmare that had woken him up.
“You have my research papers?” Aryan faked anger.
Malik though taken aback initially could see through it. “Yes” he confessed sheepishly.   “Your work is the reason why I am here at this odd hour”.
 “There are dark forces out there Mr. Malik, something that you haven’t seen in the people you have locked up behind those cells. Those are normal criminals with simple motives, here are the people who have more serious issues with darkest psyches we have ever seen”, Aryan was lost in some thoughts as the words escaped from him.

Something was amiss in the happenings of the past few days, but he could only sense it; there was no way he could pinpoint it. That made him very uneasy. It was like having something on the tip of your tongue but being unable to utter it out loud.
“I feel so helpless being unable to catch the killer who is mercilessly killing small girls so brutally that even Shaitan would shiver in his boots. Over the last decade I have seen connection between 8 girls killed without motives in a similar way. The evidence points at some kind of sacrifice taking place, which makes me wonder whether more than 1 person is involved”
Aryan was listening with intent and he again had that uneasy feeling of sensing the connection but unable to identify it.
Malik continued, “I think you can help me in this case with your extensive knowledge about such cults and their ways”.
“Sure Malik Sir,” Aryan said with all the assurance he could garner while being helpless on a hospital bed.
“But if you are to help me in this case, you are supposed to keep your personal relations of being the best friend or neighbor aside”, Malik said trying to measure how neutral Aryan could get.
“I will sir”, said Aryan imitating a soldier reporting to his superior.
They both relieved the escalating tension and laughed. But, Malik was serious once again. 
“You mentioned that some people are born with devilish trait and some with divine traits in your research. I cannot believe that. All men are born equal” said Malik, trying to recall some points from Aryan’s research papers.
“There are evidences that prove that to some extent. I am still doing my research on it”, replied Aryan.
“Do you believe in the Satanic Cults? In our era?” Malik still had trouble to believe about the shadowy figures that killed young girls.
“I have heard there are nearly 10 different cults operating from Kochi alone”, said Aryan.
“You must have heard about the girl we rescued last week”.
“Yes, I did. Hope she recovers emotionally from this trauma” said Aryan. He continued, “I was discussing the seeping of satanic cult into Fort Kochi with Cyrus few months ago. He took time to go there and get some photographs as well, but he did not find anything fishy”.

“What makes people worship Satan?” Malik was thinking aloud.
“That is not as complicated as you feel Mr. Malik errr Sir. No matter what religion you belong, your worship gives spiritual power to the good Supreme Being. But you need to follow a moral and chaste life to be in the good books of God. Satanic worshippers are people of dark mind. They cannot abide by the moral ethics hence they are trying hard to make Satan the spiritual authority”.
“Do educated people believe in such rubbish Mr.Aryan?” asked Malik not being able to accept this.
“Oh yes! There are many young, educated rich brats in the cult” answered Aryan; very sure of what he was saying.
“You mean people like Cyrus?”
“Yes ‘like Cyrus’, but not him”, and then continued, “Most of these people are pleasure seeking hedonists, who hold various memberships in their cult. They try to reverse the power of divinity by doing everything considered sacred in the reverse order or in a contradicting way. The prayers are recited backwards, they follow incest, cannibalism, drinking and many do many more activities which is forbidden in religious books”.
“Do you really think that normal people can become cannibals by choice Mr. Aryan?” Malik was finding it difficult to accept the dark side of humanity he was being exposed to.
“Drinking blood is a must in all satanic cults. How far is cannibalism from that?” challenged Aryan.
“I don’t know what to say. I can handle the toughest goonda on any day, but this is something I am not ready for”. Malik was looking ill at ease and did not want to hear more for today.  He felt sick but he had one more thing to request.
“Can you sign a slip for me?”
“Are you robbing me of my fortune?” Aryan asked his mischievous grin back on his face.
“Actually I took your books and papers to study.  I need you to okay that for me.”
“On one condition,” Aryan said.
“Which is?” Malik asked.
“Come and visit me again Malik Sir, and when you do, get me biryani and kebabs.  Hospital food sucks,” he said with a wink.
Malik laughed and said, “It’s a deal.”

Continue reading - Chapter 19 - The Rising Moon - By Bushra M

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.


  1. شركة مصر للمصاعد من أكبر شركات مصاعد وسلالم متحركة في مصر تقوم الشركة بتركيب وصيانة جميع انواع المصاعد والسلالم المتحركة داخل المباني التي تتكون من اكثر من طابق .

  2. تعد عملية الفتق الاربي بالمنظار إجراءً آمنًا وفعالًا يمكن أن يوفر الراحة من الألم المزمن المرتبط بالفتق الإربي. هذا الإجراء طفيف التوغل، مما يعني أنه لا يتطلب سوى شقوق صغيرة. عادة ما يستغرق الأمر ما بين ساعة إلى ساعتين حتى يكتمل ويمكن للمرضى توقع البقاء في المستشفى لمدة يوم إلى يومين.


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