Sudeep shares his secret with us, how he became king of darkness:
I reached the fort at about six in the evening, it was yet to get dark but the wind was howling, all around it and through the broken walls, gaps of no longer existing windows and doors!
It had to be stormy tonight of all nights! The only night I could manage to sneak out from that jail. Dad’s face loomed in my mind! If only that slave-driver knew! I was not studying… was spending my night in “haunted fort”!
There was no chance of watching the waves kissing full moon, not tonight! This storm is going nowhere, with every passing minute it was intensifying, lightning was slicing the sky and thunder was adding its roar to howls of the wind.
Nope, sorry to break your heart I was not scared. I do not believe in ghosts!
I picked up a room with no door and windows and a roof to spend the night. I dumped my bag there and sprawled on the floor. It was close to midnight when I first heard it, the sound of moaning, very loud, as if a dog was moaning and its sound was amplified in hundred-folds.
I started looking around for the source, it was super cool! That sound was thrilling! It was coming from the basement, I started climbing down and suddenly flashes started to strike across my brain, like memories of a past life! Like scenes of a movie.
A young man in an ancient royal dress was climbing down the same stairs, he had a wand in his hand, the basement of course was quite moderately lit with torches and candles, like the old time movies.
He softly called out, “where are you, my sweetie?”
It moved! A huge dog, its head was almost touching the ceiling of the basement. That must be more than two stories high! He stood looming over his master, wagging his tail happily.
“Your food is outside! Go have your fill!” the man said.
The beast just vanished from there. I could hear screams coming from outside, blood-curdling screams and growls of a monster dog. The storm has stopped howling in a second, all I could hear was that dog and its victims.
I went back up to check out what was going on. The fort has transformed, it was no longer a ruin. Men in soldier’s attire were running about the fort, with middle age weapons in their arms. Bow, arrow, spears….
The main gate was right in front of the basement door, I could see the battle-ground from there! That giant dog was running from one end of those hills to the other! The soldiers of the opposite side were falling like match-stick men before it.
Then in one second, everything vanished and I was back to the howling wind and ruins of the fort. I went back to the basement. It was pitch black now, barring the small sphere of light my powerful torch was creating. A feeble heart would have fainted. But not me! I wanted to see my pet! Yes, I can feel it now, I have returned to my own kingdom.
I knew exactly where he was, so I went straight to him, the wand was lying at his feet I picked it up and touched his stone body with my palms.
“Wake up my pet!” the words came out of my mouth on their own and he woke up!
SPIRITS OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT
The Kindle ebook
Kev: My review of Spirits of Darkness and Light
Spirits of darkness and light is a wonderful collaboration of fantasy short stories with characters both brooding and dark while others are mysterious and beautiful.
Review: Sharmishtha’s stories are captivating. Her characters although purely original bring some of India’s mythological creatures to light with a style of writing that can only be attributed to that of a true mistress of story-telling. Nothing is what it seems as each incredible tale keeps you wondering what is going to happen next with endings that are in no way predictable. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
Due to the language barrier, there are a few issues with the translation of certain phrases, but they do not hinder the stories or the concepts being portrayed. Sharmishtha’s creativity is truly remarkable.