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  • Writer's picturetrevorcarterva .

The Realm of Shadows

Something has taken residence within the Harris Funeral Home, something terribly wicked.

The Harris Funeral Home hides a dark secret. Within its psychic domain lurks a malevolent entity that thrives on human suffering. When a mishap sets this psychic entity free from the body of a serial killer, the Harris family becomes its unwilling prey. Michael Harris, alongside family and friends, must enter the 'Shadow Realm' to face the malignant force that threatens to destroy them. In this immersive tale of the supernatural, they must confront an ancient evil that hungers for the grief that courses through the funeral home's doors.

My latest work of fiction, Shadow Realm, is a rework of my first novel, Psychoid. I had considered rewriting the story for months and then finally committed to doing it. The first iteration of the story was good, in my opinion, but I didn't think it captured the true essence of what I was attempting to bring across to the reader. This second iteration is much more refined. Most of the same characters are in this new story. And, of course, I changed the title. I thought 'Shadow Realm' was more fitting, considering the theme of the story: The exploration of the human Shadow.

We meet ourselves in a thousand disguises along the path. -Carl Jung



Under pale yellow light, a pool of crimson shimmered, surrounded by eight black chime candles, their radiance projecting fiery hues onto the concrete floor, revealing a circle of red enclosed around them. This dark space knew only desecration; unholy.

Kneeling before a sacred red fusion of innocence, a man was shrouded in a dark cloak, his eyes reflecting a mixture of blood and fire, glinting malevolence. In his blood-soaked hands was a pale bowl; sutures revealed its origin—a human skullcap.

A pungent odor perfumed the air: a mix of feces, urine, sulfur, and rotting flesh; a stench not even a maggot would endure.

Pulsing in the darkness was the sound of creation—rising and falling like the lungs of a man in the throes of death; languid. But this was not the breath of Brahma—the Hindu god of creation. There was nothing sacred about this scornful sound; it resonated with death and dark rebirth.

The man immersed the bony bowl into the radiant crimson pool, then brought it up to his lips. Like a man who had endured days without water, he consumed the vexed mixture of life voraciously until the vessel was drained. He spoke with a baleful tongue—words of a dark ritual.

The flames of the candles flickered and swayed.

From the depths of the man came a guttural moan. He removed the hood, revealing a tattoo of a snake consuming itself encircled on the top of his bald head—an ancient emblem known as the ouroboros—a symbol of the cyclical nature of life—death and rebirth—infinity. His eyes burned with the fires of Hell, luminescent, glowering, full of malignant desire. He gracefully shed his cloak.

Consciousness shifted into a hollow space; cavernous; earthy. The jagged rocky walls that guarded the room appeared to be self-illuminated, casting subdued yellowish-orange light.

Transmogrification began. The gravity in the room thickened; the man’s bones cracked and popped, squeezed by some nefarious force. His body twisted and contorted unnaturally. His bones, now breaking one by one, began ripping through his skin. He screamed in agony until his jaw unhinged, stretching beyond its natural capacity. His screams became nothing more than choked, gravelly groans. The skin on his face continued to pull taut until it split open, revealing fascia, muscles, bones, ligaments, arteries, and veins.

Standing before the man was a pallid creature with a gangly form. It was neither man nor beast—something else—nonhuman. Its elongated dark eyes looked down at the one who summoned it. From its circular mouth issued forth a gelatinous substance, the color of decay; it washed over the man’s wretched body.

The man’s broken bones reassembled. New flesh emerged, the color of moonstone. He was whole again but he was no longer a man; he was something else—a new creation born from a mind infested by wicked desire.

Although the story is essentially a supernatural tale of horror and suspense, it is also, at the core, a story about human desire and the search for wholeness. It's both terrifying and illuminating.

Shadow Realm is available on Amazon: Click Here.

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