New Full Book Trailer! For Rose Garden Sanatorium

Guys! I have some more epic news to share.

My friend, who made the teaser trailer, did a full length book trailer! I’ve posted it up on my website, go check it out!

thegirlwhowhispered.wixsite.com/pennyhooper

~Penny.

1. Rose Garden Sanatorium NEW (2)

If you’re new to the story, you can read the first few chapters on my blog. Click here for the first chapter!

Rose Garden Sanatorium Top 10 in the Cryptic Awards 2018!

… But I need your help to get to #1!

Yesterday I got a little notification from WattPad… how I love to see that little red dot on my WattPad account to tell me I have another notification!

And when I opened it up yesterday, I found my story; Rose Garden Sanatorium, had made the Top 10 in the Cryptic Awards 2018!

*Gasp*

I have a LOT of faith in that story, so I know it will do well, I just need people to give it the chance. ❤ And seeing it make the Top 10 really made my day yesterday (especially since I had a slightly crash because of my Fibromyalgia too, feeling better today though!)

WattPad has a lot of readers (and writers, like me) who love to read stories, but I see a general pattern with the *type* of stories that get read the most on there… they’re mostly romance. Now, I don’t mind, I write romance too, but for the stories like Rose Garden Sanatorium which doesn’t focus heavily around romance, they are harder to get seen. Well, to be honest, getting recognised on WattPad is hard enough as it is! So, Rose Garden Sanatorium, although it’s been my main project since January 2017, hasn’t been as popular on there.

I have submitted it to the Watty Awards, I have sent it to a literary agent, I have even sent it to WattPad Studios as I have faith it is a good story (the whole series is). And winning Top 10 in the Cryptic Awards is (hopefully) the first step into getting more momentum on the story!

HOWEVER… it seems that to win top spot on the Cryptic Awards means I need people to vote for it, so I am writing this in a plea to people to go on WattPad (it’s free to set up, if you don’t have an account) and vote for Rose Garden Sanatorium to be Number 1 and Best Dark Adventure!

Here’s the link to where you can vote: https://www.wattpad.com/616298631-the-cryptic-awards-closed-%E2%99%A6-the-choosing-%E2%99%A6

Voting closes on the 15th September 2018.

And here’s the link to the story if you’d like to read it before then:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/124077410-rose-garden-sanatorium

1. Rose Garden Sanatorium NEW (2)

The Girl Who Whispered – The Next Chapter

A few of you may already know about my history (and why I call myself The Girl Who Whispered), and I won’t bore you with the details now. But the jist is, I was a very shy girl growing up and as a result I was so shy at school that I became very quiet. I was bulled because I was an easy target and to communicate with friends, I would whisper quietly to them to avoid being heard by the bullies. This progressed into secondary school and I became The Girl Who Whispered.

Well, that shy girl has changed so much since then, she’s no longer shy and she certainly doesn’t whisper anymore. In fact, I am now more confident and willing to speak up for myself. I do so by proving to myself that I am not stupid, like my bullies told me, and I use my writing as a way to express myself and important topics.

Yesterday was my very last day as an Open University BSc Psychology student, I handed in my very last assignment (I actually handed it in on the 30th, as I was worried about the internet going down in this isolated village! But technicalities!). I eagerly and a little impatiently await my results.

I hope to gain a 2:1 grade overall, because if I do. I will be heading to my next chapter of my educational path… a Master’s Degree!

I also am progressing with my writing, I have had a few people comment on my published book (It’s My Mistake) saying that they really enjoyed reading it (I’ll add a link to the bottom of the post if you’d like a copy), I have also had comments about my first draft of ‘I fell in Love with a Psychopath’ which is up on WattPad (also at the bottom) and I am currently in the process of sorting a cover letter and 3,000 word synopsis to send my ‘Rose Garden Sanatorium’ series to a literary agent. I have one already picked out and plan to do more research to find others.

Someone said to me today, my luck is turning around.

I hope so. ❤
Here are the links:
It’s My Mistake (UK Paperback): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Its-My-Mistake-Penny-Hooper/dp/1985376709

It’s My Misake (US Paperback): https://www.amazon.com/Its-My-Mistake-Penny-Hooper/dp/1985376709

It’s My Mistake (Ebook): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/744287

I fell in Love with a Psychopath (WattPad Draft copy): https://www.wattpad.com/story/137106427-i-fell-in-love-with-a-psychopath%7E-complete

WattPad profile: https://www.wattpad.com/user/penny_bones16
(Where you can read my other written works)

Also, please check out my other posts for sneak chapters of Rose Garden Sanatorium).

Rose Garden Sanatorium – Chapter 3

Note: If you’re new to the story please read from the beginning here.

Chapter 3

Officer Jennifer Finley

“Sir, what’s going on?” asked a young woman with brown short cropped hair underneath a black army helmet that was strapped uncomfortably under her slightly pointy chin.

The young woman had rushed out of an official looking yet plain office-style building and out into the fresh morning air along with the rest of her team. She not only left the building behind her, but also the feeling of safety, as she hurried to keep up with her superior. Although the sense of dread didn’t stay behind, it was clearly following her and growing with every rushed step she took.

She dodged around her colleagues, as they were marching towards a large black van that was parked in the courtyard of the building, a few trees and bushes hiding it from the overlooking buildings in the vicinity.

She, and her team, were dressed in what could only be described as an official black tactical uniform, unlike the usual multi-terrain pattern combat clothing that the British Army wore. This uniform was specially designed for a different type of situation.

The trousers were modelled from the Viper Tactical Elite trousers but with a few adjustments, including the pure black colour specifically designed to be kept hidden in darker environments. Finley had once found it amusing to find out that even the colour had been tested to find the right shade of black. Like the Viper trousers they were modelled from, they sported eight different pockets; two deep hand pockets, two standard pockets at the back, two cargo pockets on the side and two thigh pockets on the front, with elastic adjuster cords for the knee pads hidden inside. However, the replaceable knee pads were specially reinforced with titanium and an aramid layer was added on the inside of the trousers for flame resistance.

The trousers were being held up by a black rapid-release belt which was supporting a utility pouch with a swiss-army knife, an air-tight box of ear-plugs, aramid rope, compass, and other items useful for surviving in extreme situations. Also on the belt was a 3W black aluminium LED torch and a magazine pouch with spare, full magazines for both the handgun and P90.

Around her right leg was a black adjustable holster holding her specially adapted Double-Action self-loading 9mm Glock 45-S. The S stood for ‘special’, which does not officially exist since it was adapted within the walls of building behind Finley. It had a specially adapted grip to not only hold a 31-round double-stack magazine, but a better designed grip for all weathers and situations and a specially designed UV light attachment underneath the barrel. The barrel of the gun, as well as the other necessary parts, had been tested to withstand larger forces, due to the specially adapted ammunition that had also been designed within the walls behind Finley, which not only had a specially adapted propellant but were expanding ammunition with a secret ingredient hidden inside. It also sported the usual 6-Goove right-twist rifling but with a higher twist rate for better accuracy.

The jacket was also designed off the British Army MTP Combat Waterproof smock, with two large chest pockets, two large fleece lined side pockets, a heavy duty two-way front zip with Velcro fastenings, Velcro adjustable cuffs, large external hood with adjustable elastic to shape and included the zips underneath the armpits to adjust airflow. However, the tab on the front for the rank slide has been removed, the large Velcro squares on the arms removed, an additional removable fleece lining for the changing seasons was included and it was sporting the same black colour design as the trousers. Also, unaware to the civilian were the reinforced pads stitched into sections of the smock, from the four chest pads, back supports and arms in multiple sections for greater flexibility and protection and an aramid layer much like the trousers.

Hidden under the smock was also a specially-designed reinforced body armour, both lightweight and slightly more flexible than the typical Osprey Assault Body Armour worn by the British Army, which is also designed in black with the rubber mouldings on the shoulders, but each body armour is specifically moulded and designed for the individual wearer rather than a single production-line fit. Underneath the armour is a simple black thermal and sweat-wicking t-shirt for greatest comfort.

The helmet protecting Finley’s head was also designed around the Virtus Helmet worn by the British Army, with under-chin supports that are easily adjustable, sculpted rear for neck protection, a layer of aramid throughout, fixed shroud for mounting night-vision goggles and can be fitted with a mandible guard and visor. The visor, however, was specially designed with abrasion resistance, anti-fog and mirror coating, photochromic and UV400 protected lenses, complete with a small hidden high-definition 1080p video camera capable of capturing infra-red and high-quality sound, and recently designed with on-display augmented reality with specially adapted data to help the wearer in particular sticky situations. The helmet also by default had a fully adjustable Personal Role Radio so teams could communicate more effectively.

Even the boots were specially designed, modelled off the All Leather Patrol Combat boots with Thinsulate lining, full leather with padded collar, removable EVA inner sole, PU sole and nylon laces. However, the steel shank and eyelets were replaced with titanium, there was an added titanium heel stiffener and toe cap, better grip on the sole with embedded cleats, and addition aramid sole and aramid stitched into the underside of the leather for flame resistance.

The gloves were also specially designed, with the same black used with the trousers and smock, with Sharktec FR palm, reinforced patches on the knuckles and fingertips, thermal insulation with sweat-wicking, highly durable aramid material making them abrasion resistant, blade cut resistant, tear resistant, puncture resistant and with overall flame resistance.

Accompanying her trousers, smock, armour, pouches, multiple pockets, belt, helmet and Glock, she also held her favourite item protectively tight to her chest with the use of a sling; the personal defence weapon; a FN P90-S. The submachine gun was also specially equipped with a customised infrared scope installed on top of it to give the agent a slight advantage in dark environments. It, like the Glock 45-S, had also been adapted to withstand the specially designed ammunition; a typical 5.7x28mm design, but expanding with a secret ingredient inside.

Finley rolled her shoulders up slightly to adjust the weight pressing down, while regretting skipping a few days in the gym. The tactical uniform looked odd on the young woman’s small and skinny frame, which gave her a few annoying sexist comments from her male colleagues, but she knew she was just as capable as them. She, like her comrades, were carefully selected from British Armed Forces and Intelligence Agencies.

Finley herself had served in the Royal Air Force, originally applying as an Intelligence Analyst straight after completing her A-Levels at college at the age of 18. She completed her basic training at RAF Cranwell, went on to complete a language course at the UK’s Defence Academy, becoming almost fluent in Arabic, and was moved to the Intelligence Analyst Linguist division, before being quickly promoted to an Intelligence Officer. She moved around a lot, having been stationed at many different RAF bases, including her favourite, RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus for a few months but she was unfortunately relocated back to England with no prospect of returning.

But aside from the appealing changes in locations, she was getting quickly bored of the work after a few years and began entertaining the idea of moving into a role within one of the Intelligence Agencies. She was adamant it was this that led to being approached by a man who was so shrouded in secrecy that it sent shivers down her spine. She wouldn’t admit it, but she wasn’t completely sure she knew what she was agreeing to. She was extremely excited to join the most secret service there was; so secret, only a very select few in the world even knew it existed. She scored just above average on almost all of her gruelling tests and training, and average on her physical fitness test.

She never in her wildest dreams would have imagined she’d end up where she was. She only recently, possibly in the last few minutes after hearing the dreaded alarm go off in the building and having a sneaky suspicion that it wasn’t one of Captain Stroud’s early morning drills, started to regret accepting that mysterious man’s offer. She wouldn’t admit this, not to her superiors; Captain Stroud, nor the Director General and most certainly not to her comrades. Nor would she admit how nervous she was. Especially since the Director General himself was leading this mission. It was one thing going through the rigorous training, thousands of different drills, learning about a rather unforgiving and almost unbelievable enemy, but another facing the real thing.

“What you are trained to do, agent,” replied a tall, handsome and greying man, also in the specially adapted tactical uniform and another P90 held to his chest, the Director General, Duncan Ryan. There were no markings on his uniform to suggest he was the Director General, even Captain Stroud had no markings. It was a safety thing; the enemies they faced were generally extremely intelligent, so they weren’t allowed any advantage. They even practiced T42 frequently; another member pretending to be the leader, just in case.

“Does this mean…” the woman started, but the man stopped his stride abruptly and turned around to look at her, giving her a stern look. The young Officer stopped herself and instantly fell quiet as her superior’s eyes searched her own.

After a few seconds, he spoke, “I suggest you leave the questions to me, is that clear?”

“Yes, sir.” She nodded, suddenly holding her posture authoritatively.

“Good, you will all find out soon enough what is going on,” the man said, and waved the woman and the rest of his team into the van. The door had been opened by Captain Stroud at the front of the group, who had a large black yet neatly trimmed beard to match his large dark sideburns underneath his own tactical helmet. “Briefing in the van.”

The woman climbed into the back of the van after the rest of her comrades, settling into a custom-made seat next to a man with bright red hair and a nervously worried face that could compete with her own. The Director General was the last to get in, shutting the van door behind him, plummeting the vehicle in eerie silent darkness and before her eyes were able to adjust to the sudden change, the van lurched forwards to take them to their destination.

The woman’s eyes fell on the outline of the man right by the door, clearly seeing he held his posture authoritatively himself, as he stared out into space. The woman wondered if he, the Director General, was just as scared as the rest of them, because she had a horrible feeling this wasn’t a drill.

Click here to read the next chapter!


If you liked this story, please check out my other works!

New Story Idea – “I fell in Love with a Psychopath”

It’s My Mistake – Chapter 1

Ender’s Love – Chapter 1

New Story idea! – Butterfly House

Check out these other posts about Rose Garden Sanatorium!

New Full Book Trailer! For Rose Garden Sanatorium

Rose Garden Sanatorium Top 10 in the Cryptic Awards 2018!

First draft finished…! Phew!

While I’ve been busy with university work, job searching, master’s degree applications… I’ve been busy getting the first draft another one of my books finished (I fell in love with a psychopath), as of yesterday I have finally finished the first draft! PHEW!

I know there is still a lot of work that needs doing to it before it can be print ready, but I’m so glad I’ve got the first draft done! I’ve really enjoyed writing this one too…

If you’d like to read what I have already written, I have posted a few chapters already on WordPress, but I prefer to keep my WattPad account more up to date. So head over now to check it out.

https://www.wattpad.com/story/137106427-i-fell-in-love-with-a-psychopath

Now that my first draft of this piece of work is done, I can finally get back to my other work; Rose Garden Sanatorium.

If you’d like to read a bit of that, here’s the link to it on WattPad:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/124077410-rose-garden-sanatorium

Rose Garden Sanatorium – Chapter 1

If you’re new to the story, please read the prologue here!

Chapter 1

Parliamentary Private Secretary Martha Dunn

The doors swung open suddenly making Martha jump. Her cup of tea splashed all over her white blouse and dull grey skirt. She was standing in a room off the White Drawing Room, one of the nineteen State Rooms in the building, when he bounded in; a tall, dark haired and magnificently handsome man.

She had never seen such confidence in anyone before, the man strode in with such authority that she wasn’t sure if he had more right to be there than the man she worked for; the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom himself. Accompanied with his confidence, came a sense of power and intrigue that sent shivers down Martha’s spine.

She realised that she had never seen this man before, normally she was good at recognising people who come through Number Ten. He wore a black peacoat with the collar up, a simple grey scarf tucked underneath to hide his neck from a cold that Martha wasn’t sure currently existed this time of year, supplemented with a pair of simple dark blue jeans and black shoes to match his look. Although Martha wasn’t sure what look he was going for, if he was indeed going for a look. People who walked through the office usually had either the; I’m an important person you must respect me or the I’m a rich person with a large bank balance look. The newcomer was hard to read.

Aside from his attire, he appeared younger than most of the people that walked through the hall. He had short black stubble framing his sharp masculine facial-features handsomely, his dark short hair looked windswept and interesting. Martha certainly thought he was interesting, but she also had a horrible feeling he was trouble. How did he even get in?

“David in?” he asked, as he waltzed passed her.

 “Y–you can’t g–go in there!” she stuttered, her confidence gone and she started to visibly shake. She held onto her now empty cup of tea in one hand and her work phone in the other, both currently forgotten about as she watched in shock.

He stopped, turned and gave her a smile, finding her reaction amusing. The double doors were only a foot behind him.

She suddenly looked around for the security guards. Where are they? she thought, ignoring the wetness on her chest as the tea soaked through her clothes.

“No?” he tested. He raised an eyebrow at her, holding his handsome yet devilish smile.

“No,” she said with a little more confidence, but then added; “un–unless you h–have an appointment?” She doubted he did, it was late at night. The only reason she was there was because a meeting was overrunning.

The man walked up to Martha and stared into her brown tired eyes. She felt suddenly inferior to him, he was much taller than she was and towered above her. Plus, her simple loosely fitted grey suit, greying brown hair with natural fuzzy curls and her slightly wrinkly round face was no match to him.

“And what if I don’t have an appointment?” he breathed.

The woman wobbled on her feet and silently wished there were more seats at Number Ten. She swallowed nervously and stared back into his piercing blue eyes. “Then I w–will have t–to call security.”

“You could try, but they’re all unconscious.” He smirked, then walked away. Without another moment’s hesitation he bounded through the big double doors to where the Prime Minister was holding a meeting.

The secretary stood wordlessly, her mouth slightly agape in awe. After a few seconds, she rushed out of the room towards the main staircase and peered over the ornate black and dark wooden banister to see one of the security team was led face down next to the large world globe at the bottom and gasped in horror.

***

Belphegor

David!” Belphegor bellowed, his arms wide open as he bounded into the extravagant White Drawing Room.

The room was too elaborate for his taste, white walls with gold decorations, gold trims on the high ceiling, gold frames around the paintings, even the sofas near the fireplace and the pointless chandeliers hanging heavily from the ceiling had some unnecessary gold. The only thing not gold was the large rug in the middle of the floor which was red with a few splashes of blue in the fleur de-lis. There was probably more money in this building than there had gone into running the whole of London.

The Prime Minister, who was standing and talking to a balding man in a chair opposite him, span round to see Belphegor stride into the room. Belphegor even heard the Parliamentary Private Secretary, Martha, rush in behind him.

David Stewart was a young Prime Minister, taking up the position confidently only last year—much to the dismay of many of the Members of Parliament in the opposing parties who disagreed that Stewart was fit for the position. Stewart was in his late thirties, described to be a ‘young hip Prime Minister’ by a local newspaper recently, a short man with a square face, although attractive in a boyish way. He was in the process of holding a private meeting with his Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; MP John Didcot.

John Didcot was a balding middle-aged man, with a heart-shaped face. He had little bags under his grey-blue eyes, which sat underneath a mess of unruly eyebrows that were currently furrowed into a frown. Unlike the Prime Minister, who was wearing a sharp black suit, Didcot was wearing a navy-blue suit which looked a size too big for him and a rather long red tie that appeared to curl slightly at the end.

“Who are you?” the Prime Minister asked, his face visibly falling and shifting into an unfamiliar nervous stare. “And how did you get in?”

Belphegor wasn’t surprised that the guy didn’t know him, they hadn’t formally met. But Belphegor had suspected Stewart had been given a file all about him when he first made it to office, there were bound to be pictures of him in there over the years. Of course, humans weren’t too good with remembering faces from pictures and some pictures were probably very old.

Didcot moved slowly to perch on the edge of his seat as if waiting to get up at an opportune moment if he needed to run for the exit. Belphegor walked further into the room, grabbed an apple from a fruit bowl on top of a rather elaborate oak dresser and leaned against it.

“I’m sure you’re aware of who I am,” Belphegor replied finally, as he carefully inspected the apple in his hand before looking up at Stewart. “My friends call me Bel.”

He was teasing them slightly; he doubted anyone in the room would recognise the name ‘Bel’, even if it was an unusual name. It was just a nickname. One of his more favourable nicknames. But he wanted to drag out this situation as long as possible. He wasn’t going to make it that easy for them. Call it punishment for the last seventy years he had to endure. Sure, this meeting was pressing, but it was pointless, the proverbial cat was already out of the bag. He was just doing his bit.

He also ignored the last question about how he got in. Although he could have told the truth, he didn’t do anything too out of the ordinary, the security practically let him in. Even if he did knock them unconscious to avoid interrupting his unscheduled meeting. But it was the wrong question Stewart needed to ask, so he wasn’t going to answer it.

“Bel?” the balding man spoke nervously. “What do you want? Are you going to kill us?”

Belphegor looked at Didcot and smiled at him. “Don’t be silly, John. If I wanted to kill you, I would have done so years ago!”

Belphegor had walked passed Didcot once as he made his way home. He knew Didcot, he made sure he knew all the Members of Parliament. He knew all the world leaders and important figures. In fact, he kept up to date with the news all around the world. He recognised Didcot easily when he passed him. He even made sure Didcot saw him as he walked deliberately close by and smiled playfully at him. Didcot wasn’t too pleased with this, giving him a rather rude comment and mentioned ‘the youth of today’. Belphegor thought it was highly amusing since there was a large age gap, but not the way Didcot had thought.

But Didcot not only wouldn’t know who Belphegor was by meeting him on the street, he would never remember as well as Belphegor that they had actually met briefly. His memory was naturally less superior than Belphegor’s.

Didcot suddenly stood up and made a run for the door, nearly tripping over his own feet before disappearing noisily out the doors towards the staircase. Belphegor just watched him and lazily took a bite from the apple in his hand. He had no intention of running after him. He wasn’t here to speak to Didcot. It was, in fact, better Didcot wasn’t in the room.

The Prime Minister stood staring at Belphegor for a few seconds before he looked over at his Parliamentary Private Secretary, Martha, who had now broken a nervous sweat. She must have seen the body of the security guard currently lying unconscious on the floor downstairs. He was alive, but Martha didn’t know that. She looked at the Prime Minister and then down at the mobile phone in her hand, and then back up at the Prime Minister.

“Shall I call the police?” she whispered slightly, trying to talk only to David, but Belphegor could hear her, he had better hearing than all of them.

“The police?” Belphegor snorted. “Not a wise idea!” He folded his arms across his chest, looking from Martha to Stewart, enjoying their discomfort.

“Are you going to explain who you are and what you want?” The Prime Minister tore his face away from his personal secretary and looked back at the strange man interrupting his meeting. His voice had risen angrily and authoritatively.

Belphegor looked at the Prime Minister, his smile faded and was now looking serious. “My name is Belphegor and it might be in your best interest to listen to me.” He then calmly and deliberately took another bite from the apple. At this the Prime Minister’s face fell. Belphegor knew he would at least recognise his birth name, he would have been undoubtedly told about him the day he became Prime Minister. It was all in that file; Belphegor’s personal file the government had on him. He’d seen it before, it was pretty big. Stewart probably even had a debriefing with Duncan himself, the Director General of the most secret government service there was. Belphegor wondered if he would have taken up the position if he knew about him before running for Prime Minister, his whole world would have been turned upside down upon learning about the secret world that had been hidden for decades. And one of the most fearful beings from that secret world was currently standing right in the middle of Ten Downing Street, right in front of him, looking very human.

Click here to read the next chapter!

~~~

If you liked this story, please check out my other works!

New Story Idea – “I fell in Love with a Psychopath”

It’s My Mistake – Chapter 1

Ender’s Love – Chapter 1

New Story idea! – Butterfly House

Check out these other posts about Rose Garden Sanatorium!

New Full Book Trailer! For Rose Garden Sanatorium

Rose Garden Sanatorium Top 10 in the Cryptic Awards 2018!

Rose Garden Sanatorium – Prologue

Copyright © Penny Hooper 2019

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without prior permission in writing from the author.

Penny Hooper has asserted her right under Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

This book is a work of fiction and, except in the case of historical fact, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

***

Prologue

Sam Chaudhary

A large swarm of pigeons suddenly flew up in a panic, disturbing the long since settled dust. Their wings echoed as they clapped in the vastness, as if they were applauding the perpetrator that spooked them. Most vanished out through the large hole in the roof, a few others nestled atop of an old door or the other side of the room bobbing along the floor in fear.

They were originally hiding safely in a derelict building. A building that many years ago once held many people; doctors once walked around in white coats, holding patient records while stethoscopes hung from their necks, looking important. Nurses would have rushed around with bed pans and other equally rudimentary items, wearing aprons with large red crosses on them and with their hair pinned back into tight buns. Patients would be seen in straitjackets screaming at the top of their lungs when they were due for more sedatives.

The building now, however, was eerily silent—yet if you listened close enough you would swear you could hear a distance ghostly scream. There were scattered red bricks from the broken walls, broken windows boarded up from the outside and graffiti clinging helplessly to the peeling walls. It was obvious the building was no longer in use.

The pigeons made the boy jump as he walked into the open hall. He had accidentally spooked them while he side stepped past a weed, a bit of nature that had decided to reclaim the building, his foot knocked a loose brick which had caused a loud noise to echo. He stopped to regain his breath and slow his beating heart.

The boy was young, his round slightly tanned Asian face still had a hint of baby fat lingering in his cheeks and his short dark hair complimented his dark brown eyes. He stood holding the zipper on his jacket, close to where his beating heart sat pounding in his chest. His jacket was slightly dirty from months of use and not seeing the inside of a washing machine. It was his favourite and deemed lucky jacket. It was dark red with black trim around the collar and cuffs, contrasting with the blue in his jeans. His jeans were slightly too long for his legs, evident from the fraying at the bottom, where his brand-new Nike trainers would catch them when he walked.

It’s just an old building, he thought to himself, hoping to calm his painfully beating heart as he looked nervously around himself. There are no monsters! he added, sighing deeply.

He remembered what his mother would say to him every night when she would tuck him into bed. That was when he was younger, of course, he was far too big now to be tucked in at night. He was twelve and a half, thank you very much. But his mother’s sweet voice automatically filled his head; ‘Monsters aren’t real, beta,’ she would say. ‘Beta’ being the Hindi word for ‘son’. She would do that occasionally, adding in Hindi words into sentences, she didn’t want him to lose his Indian roots.

After composing himself a little, feeling a little more confident no monsters were going to jump out and eat him, he decided to continue moving onwards and through the vastness of the open hall.

The quicker I get it, the quicker I can get out, he thought to himself as he climbed over a fallen wall, the broken red bricks threatening to pierce the skin on his legs.

He walked as quietly and quickly as possible to the other side of the hall to another corridor, the smell of urine potent in this part of the building, making him a little queasy. As he neared a door separating the hall from the corridor ahead, he also noticed another smell lingering in the air, yet he didn’t think much of it; he had a job to do.

The door, mould threatening to consume it from the bottom upwards, was leaning awkwardly against the corridor wall, only one hinge still attached. He was sure his friend told him he’d have to open a door at the other end of the hall. Maybe it just fell since his friend had been there?

The boy looked down the corridor to another door at the far end. The street light that was originally illuminating his way wasn’t reaching this far, but he could see the last door he needed to go through… he was nearly there. He walked slowly, side-stepping past an old chair left discarded and lonely in the corridor, while feeling proud of himself for getting this far.

But something made him stop. He could hear someone muttering, and it was coming from that room beyond the door. He realised that strange smell was stronger here too. He certainly wasn’t imagining it. He couldn’t place what the smell was, but it reminded him of his Aunt Mysha.

He stood still for a few seconds, in panic. He knew if he ran away now, he’d have his friend telling him he was a wimp for not getting the item he was supposed to get; that damn brick. But if he stayed where he was, and whoever was on the other side of the door was a murderer or something, he’d be dead.

The muttering started to get louder as he stood there, the person was talking louder now, and the boy realised it was a woman’s voice. His panic subsided slightly and was instead replaced with curiosity, he couldn’t help but walk towards the door slowly and quietly. Maybe, if he got close enough, he could hear what she was saying.

The closer he got, the louder the voice got, but not just because he was getting nearer, she was getting louder. Now able to hear her, he started to realise that she was repeating something. Although he could not work out what she was saying, as she was speaking a foreign language. The only word he picked up was ‘mammon’.

What is she doing? he thought. And what language is that?

He crept closer, his curiosity getting the better of him. He was now right by the door, if he just peaked through the gap, he’d be able to see into the room. He could already see shadows dancing across the walls and floor. There was some kind of light and a waft of that strange incense smell too.

The boy shifted his weight slightly on one leg, so that he could peer around the corner of the door, and the room slowly came into focus. There was indeed a woman; she was dressed in all black, she had one hand up in the air waving something burning. She was now shouting, which the boy was grateful for as he was worried she would have heard him by now.

He saw a brick laying in the middle of the room on the floor, it had a very delicate carving of a strange symbol on its side. It was the brick he was tasked to get. It was right next to a strange criss-cross of white lines and circle markings on the floor, directly in front of the woman. He knew there was no chance he was going to be able to go in the room and get it without being noticed. But before he could turn around and leave the building empty-handed, a strange cloud like object started to form before the woman.

Transfixed on the sight, he watched as it swirled and swirled, getting bigger and bigger, until suddenly it somehow imploded and vanished. But it didn’t vanish into thin air, it vanished into a crack, a crack that had formed in thin air. The woman stopped shouting now and the room fell eerily silent. The boy found himself going rigid, not just out of terror, but worried about making a sound.

Suddenly, the crack started to open, ripping like fabric, it was as if something was trying to come through. But he could see the other side, where the room was beyond it, there was no one or nothing there. The crack started to get wider and wider before suddenly a terrifying clawed red hand reached through. The boy’s eyes went wide. He held his breath instinctively as he watched a red hand tear the crack open in one swift movement. He watched in horror as a whole red body attached to the hand climbed through, horns, tail and black leathery wings included.

The boy accidentally let out a squeak of terror and covered his mouth with his hand. But it was too late, the monster and the woman turned around, both staring right at the boy, both with the same horrifying pitch-black eyes. Monsters were real.

Click here to read the next chapter!

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