Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Connor_Humphries would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Under Soil and Ash, Pt. 1

By Connor_Humphries All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Fantasy

The Passing

The robed man stumbled over roots and shrubs, his calloused feet dragging through the soil. Brittle bark crumbled beneath his bloody fingernails as he dug his hands into the unyielding trunks before him. His eyes were unseeing, glazed with medication, but his mind contorted in horror as he heard the baying of the hounds behind him. He thrashed out uncontrollably, trying to force his numbed body to put more distance between him and the jackals. Scratches and bruises marked his rough skin, but the medication prevented him from feeling anything but a dull ache. Low hanging branches whipped his dirt-caked face, stabbing his sides and tearing the robe hanging from his emaciated frame. An upturned root caught his ankle, and as he smashed into the ground, the brittle marrow of his ribs cracked and splintered. The nighttime canopy spiraled blurred and spiraled before him, and he lost consciousness.


Leiv held a bowl of crushed hemlock in his shaking hands as he entered the room. Silently kneeling at her bedside, he parsed a small clump of the hemlock from the bowl with his fingers, and slowly dropped it into her open mouth. Then, he gently gripped her jaw, and closed her mouth, forcing her to swallow the herbs. Once he was sure the herbs had gone down, he removed his hand, got up, and retook his position in the wooden chair near the window. The curtains, yellowed with age, held no life in them. Their laced patterns long undone, they remained stagnant in the gentle breeze. The room contained no color, only various shades of gray. Leiv sat, his gray eyes gazing from the lifeless body on the bed to the doorway, where a servant stood patiently, her gray hands wrapped around the doorframe. Leiv tilted the bowl so the servant could see it was empty.

“It is time,” he whispered. “She will pass within the minute.” 

The servant nodded, and left, her footsteps slowly fading upon the rotting gray floorboards. Leiv took the moment to hide the bowl within the dresser across the room. A minute later, the servant returned with a man dressed in black. He clutched a gray bible to his chest, and removed his spectacles as he approached the foot of the bed. The pastor opened his bible, and began to read. Leiv stood up, and took his place next to the pastor. The servant did the same. The man felt the air in the room leave, and the body on the bed shifted. Leiv did not flinch, and the pastor continued reading, no discernible inflection in his voice exhibiting that he had even noticed. The man continued to watch as the bedridden woman’s muscled gently tensed and contracted. Then, the woman’s body seemed to suddenly relax, and deflate before them. The pastor finished his verse, and closed his bible. They both stood in silence for a few seconds, before Leiv shuffled from the foot of the bed, to the side, and peered at the woman’s bony face. 

“Goodbye, mother,” he whispered, and for the first time, noticed among the black strands of her hair draping the pillow, a few wisps of gray. And as the woman’s spirit rose from her body, she gazed at her son, in despair of what was to come of him.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Diyfamilygarden: This is one of the best books I've ever read! The characters, the unique love and everything else in this book is so well written that it feels like you're there! Like you can see it with your own eyes! J.K.Rowling can watch out, this fantasy book is just as good as the Harry Potter books, maybe ...

Olivia N J Hamel: I want this book. I love it so much. It is so enjoyable to read and to have a copy of this always, I would be very happy, to always be able to come back and look at it again.

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

Thirdy T. Quiambao: Full of twist and unexpected events. I recommend it to everyone who loves creepypasta stories and will give you the night rush of stories that will keep you awake at night. Do you want to make a story.

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

More Recommendations

Schaelz: I was intrigued from the second I started reading, and it kept my interest the whole way through. Chelsea has a way with words that will enchant you until the very end. She is very poetic with the way she mixes genres and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is also very relat...

Dinzy: I actually liked it although I did not find it fit to be a horror story at all. It was a lot more mystery and fantasy than horror but it was very interesting and a good read.

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."