This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Rin wanted to see her grandmother one more time. Many in her village tried to talk her out of the idea.
“You must not open the gate on the other side,” the village elder told her.
“Why?” Rin asked one day.
“You will let in the evil among the humans,” he said.
“Why is that?”
“I cannot tell you that. Just don’t open the gate.”
Usually, the village elder’s words would sink into the young girl’s head. That urge to see her grandmother again led her to sneak out in the middle of the night down to the abandoned temple outside of the village. She stood before the large wooden door. Spirits seemed to cry out to anyone who would listen from the other side. Rin stood trembling. Still, she wouldn’t turn away. The young girl reached out and touched the door. The cold surface made her draw back instantly. Still, she wouldn’t run away.
I have to see grandmother again.
Rin took in a deep breath as she walked up to the door again. This time, she ignored the whispers from the other side of the door. She steadied herself and opened the door. Cold gusts of wind blew past her before everything went quiet. Her eyes lit up as she smiled and looked through the open door.
“Grandma?” she asked. Rin walked forward with her hand out.
Because of that late night visit, the village began to suffer. First, all of the crops began to die. The farmers couldn’t figure out what happened. They had a healthy harvest all year long and the conditions were perfect this year. No matter how much they struggled to get the conditions back the way they had it, crops still kept dying faster than they were planting.
Soon, the animals were getting sick and dying. No amount of medicine could cure them. It got worse when the fish in the sea and rivers were dying. Not only that, the fishermen complained around a foul odor coming from the water.
“It smelled like rotting bodies,” a young fisherman complained to the village elder. Only when the children started to disappear days later was when he put two and two together. He hurried down to Rin’s hut. He pounded on her door.
“Open it up!” the village elder shouted. “I need to talk to you!” He panted as the door the opened.
“Yes?” Rin asked.
“What did you do?” he asked. At first, the girl gave him a puzzled look.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“You opened it, didn’t you? Didn’t you?”
“The gate in the abandoned temple! You opened it and now the village is plagued with evil spirits!”
It took the girl-child to figure out what he was talking about. Her eyes widened like a frog’s. “I… did that?”
“Yes!” the elder cried. “You have to put them back before they kill us all!” It didn’t occur to how bad things had gotten until now. Her grandmother’s spirit had been keeping her alive and well-fed. She hadn’t left her hut to even know what was going on. It was the first time she had seen anyone else or been outside. A ghost-like patted her on the shoulder.
“It’s okay, darling,” her grandmother whispered in her ear. “You have to let me go.”
“But…” Rin said.
“Please. I can’t let you kill your village all because of me. Please, I had a good life in this world. You have to let me go.”
Rin lowered her head and closed her eyes. “What do I need to do, elder?”
“Follow me,” the old man said. The young girl followed him out of the hut.
The village elder led Rin to the abandoned temple. The girl had red paint painted her wrists, ankles, forehead, and neck. She clutched the white silk in her hands. The village elder walked up the stone steps.
“Do you know what to do?” he asked. Rin lowered her head.
“Yes,” she said.
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
The elder pressed his lips together. “And are you ready to do this?”
“Yes.” Rin moved to the center ground before the steps of the temple. The elder reached into his bag and tossed ashes into the air. He broke into a low humming chant. Rin closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She let her feet break into the ancient dance. Nobody had seen or done this for centuries.
“You cannot let yourself get distracted by the cries of the evil spirits,” the elder told her beforehand. “If you mess up the forbidden dance, your soul will be trapped in the Land of the Dead and the evil spirits will stay among the humans forever.”
“But how will I know how to perform the ritual?” Rin asked.
“You will feel it in your heart,” he said. Right now, the young girl found herself lost in the head rhythm in her head and the elder’s chanting. The evil spirits screamed as they were dragged back through the door. The more they wailed, the harder Rin danced. She could feel herself floating on air as she danced faster. The village elder took in breaths as he changed. One by one, the evil spirits disappeared into the door. Rin felt her body disappear into the sky as the ritual became intense. She didn’t dare open her eyes. The girl couldn’t bring herself to be distracted by her grandmother’s smiling face.
I am so sorry everyone. I only wanted to see my grandmother again. Rin vanished into the sky with a smile on her face.
By morning, everything returned to normal. The village was no longer in danger of starvation. However, Rin’s hut was empty. There was no grandmother and there was no Rin. It was the price that she had to pay to save her village from ruin. Maybe there could be a second chance? Maybe…
The village elder was out in the rice fields when he came across a crying baby in the shallow mud. He recognized the red marks on her wrists, ankles, forehead, and neck.
Heh, so came back after all, you foolish little girl, he thought. The village elder picked up the baby and carried her home with him.
Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...
Pille: I have never read a ... werewolf/urban fantasy/any other genre ... story with this brutal honesty about kidnapping and mafia. It was a chilling experience but you also managed to write it as the best thriller and also give it a happy end. I must praise you for the amazing writing skills you have...
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...
makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...
Grapes Are Juicy yes!!!: I give this novel FIVE STARS ! This novel is worth reading from the beginning to the end! The plot and conflicts in this story are very smartly integrated. The language facility is a little odd , but i guess this was done on purpose, given the novel's set era. Other than that, this should definit...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.
genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...
spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...