The Devil's Apprentice

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A small village in Punjab, Pakistan has been gripped by the murder of a beloved teacher. The crime was heinous, bloody, and bold. The residents of the village are at wits end with tensions flaring high between each other and the victim's father - Sakib, the one man who allowed his daughter to be educated and live independently. In the midst of such a bloody crime Director General of Crime sends in junior investigator Ayesha Khan, an American educated woman to lead the investigation into the murder. Ayesha needs to head a team that is not interested in taking orders from a woman, especially with all her years spend in the West. Not only is time ticking down for the hunt of the murderer before he strikes again; the country is becoming gripped in political tensions that is ripping Pakistanis apart.

Horror / Mystery
S. S. Tehreer
Age Rating:

Chapter 1- The Sacrifice

Darkness was seeping through every corner of the room. Every inch of the walls were covered with Vantablack plastering. You could put your hand through the door and it would look like it disappeared from your arm. The darkness of the room could immerse you like walking through a black hole or falling in an endless abyss. Once you walked in the blackness shrouded you, it was a place where you could not exist. It was emptiness, complete and utter emptiness. Thoughts no longer existed, time and space seemed to have vanished from reality in this room. And yet the presence of something vile lurked in the coroner. What seemed to be the very farthest wall in this pitch black box had a statue-bust that looked as if it was levitating. It had contorted faces made from white porcelain. Several indentations on the statue seemed to signify eyes, at least twelve of them spanning its forehead and most of its upper sulk. From its mouth came split serpent tongues. Attached to its right was the head of a bull and on its left was the head of sheep. This levitating bust was settled in between clay-lamps or “diyas” who were the only source of light. And yet they were unable to cut through the darkness, the light from the clay-lamps absorbed back into the dark walls.

A hooded man, cloaked in black jute, knelt before the bust and was chanting rapidly while rocking back and forth.

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

He brought forth a sickle from under his robes, wielding it over his head as he continued his chanting.

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

The sickle was brought slowly to his left wrist, he made a perfect vertical incision from his wrist to just below five inches of his elbow crease. Dark crimson fluid gushed hastily from the cut. He began to pour the contents of his arm into a small clay bowl, the size of a tea cup, right below the altar. Not once did he wince at the sight of his own blood or from the pain of inflicting such as large cut. Once the clay bowl was sufficely filled, about half full, the man took the sickle and began heating the blade up over the flames of several oil lamps. The blade began to glow a tint of a orange and heat stains were forming on the flat surface of the sickle. He picked it up from the handle and placed it over his cut.

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

The room began to give off wafts of mustard oil, smoke and human flesh. As he sealed his cut, with expert like precision, he moved the sickle toward the bust. Taking the sickle in between both his hands, he bowed before the bust clasping his hands with the sickle in between. The chants were growing louder, they were no longer just spoken under breath.

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

The cloaked man returned to his kneeling position and took out a wooden chest made of Indian rosewood from under the altar. The lid of the chest had engraved into the wood numerous trefoils, patterned on the entire lid. On the center of the lid was a carved set of bullhorns acting as a handle.

The remainder of the chest was decorated with carvings of scripts in repeating patterns.

He opened the chest, careful to reach in using his left hand, taking out a large flesh like object. It was thick and muscular, slightly browning over the top. The skin of the flesh was glistening in the dim lights of the oil lamps. The protruding vessels of the muscular flesh were sewn up to ensure that it’s contents didn’t leak. The cloaked man held up his object of fascination towards the bust. He sniffed it and prostrated to the flesh in his hand ensuring that his forehead met with its surface. Using the sickle in his right hand, the cloaked man cut an equally precise incision through the meaty flesh as he did to his own arm. It was a bit difficult as the flesh had cooled down and its walls were muscular and thick. But the dark crimson flowed through the flesh steadily, it was thick and dripped onto his hands. He emptied the entire contents of the flesh into his clay bowl, it was full now. Placing his prize back in the wooden chest, the man lifted the clay bowl towards the bust and continued chanting. He began rocking back and forth, side to side, and began whirling his upper body with the clay bowl cupped in both his hands. The man began to pour the contents of the clay bowl onto the bust’s forehead. This viscous liquid slowly travelled from the bust’s tip into the indentations of its forehead, down it’s split tongue before dripping into one of the open palms of the cloaked man. He quickly gathered the liquid and began to rub it over his own face. He then proceeded to drinking from the clay pot. He did this two more times one for the sheep’s head and for the bull’s. The pace of his chanting quickened.

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

“Moo jun dun zai-hun kaawarun arivaiun deshi deshi kannninun zai-hun!”

He downed the last of the liquid from his clay cup and smashed it at the base of the bust. As soon as clay hit porcelain the room went completely dark. A strong quick breeze with no point of origin put out the flames of all the oil lamps in the room. The room became a living grave, silence rippled through hitting the walls of the room, a chill came over and gradually it became even more chiller as if hell really has froze over. The cloaked man’s laughter erupted, it was deep and hoarse, it echoed throughout the room. Suddenly, a single flame erupted from adiya that was sitting in the direction underneath the bust’s bull head. The cloaked man looked up and nodded in acknowledgement. The time was coming near for when a live sacrifice must be needed. He prostrated before the bust’s bull head, pulling the jute cloak further down is forehead to shield his eyes. He rose from the bust and gathered his sickle and wooden chest, kissing the chest just before tucking it gently underneath his cloak. He walked to the entrance without turning his head towards it, instead his eyes were steadily looking at the bust as he walked backwards to the door, keeping the bust in view was top priority as it was time to get hunting again.

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