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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

Using constructive critism… and not throwing in the towel!

I’m feeling 100% well lately, but I’m still going to attempt this blog post!

A couple of days ago I decided to reach out on a Facebook Group called ‘We love reading books.’ What better way to get advice on your writing but from book fans!?

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So I wrote a post asking if there would be anyone who’d be interested in reading a few chapters of my ‘Rose Garden Sanatorium’ so that I could get feedback. I was actually surprised that a LOT of people commented back jumping at the opportunity! So after sending out a load of personal emails with a PDF of the first few chapters, I’m starting to get a little bit of feedback.

Of course, my skin isn’t that thick to deal with negative feedback, not because I was shocked to hear my work isn’t perfect! But because I have low self-esteem in general.

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But after getting the feedback, I realised that- okay, so THAT person didn’t like it – Well, not the story, but the writing style, he did say he’d like to read more! I have had some ideas on how to improve it!

I also got a lovely reply back from another reader and she was very nice. She was a lot more supportive in the sense that she told me she loved the story and did give me some feedback on how to improve it a little too.

And what is interesting, is that, I actually feel all the more happier now that I have used that feedback and done a few alterations. It’s that little bit better than it was before I sent it out. 🙂

I did also, get some lovely comments on Twitter from some other authors, so if you are reading this and you were one who encouraged me, thank you for your kind words!

And no, I’m not giving up. I’ve spent ten months so far writing this damn book (well a series), I for sure am NOT giving up on it! And I do want it to be the best it can be. I’m proud of the story line and I love the characters (well, most of them).

determination

Moral of the story, take negative feedback with a pinch of salt. Not everyone is going to love it, but use the critism to your advantage, use it to make it better!

Plus, even famous authors have negative feedback! Just look at Dan Brown! Now his works are getting put into films! (I love his books!)

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