Modern-day occult-mystery-crime-thriller based on a little known factoid about the funerary remains of occultist, Aleister Crowley (1875-1947)whom the British press dubbed "The wickedest man in the world".
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Ash: Return Of The Beast
Ash: Return of the Beast is a supernatural crime thriller, a tale of revenge steeped in the occult. ASH is a work of fiction based on a little known factoid about the death of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), the notorious occultist the British press once called "The Wickedest Man In The World". Crowley’s body was cremated but the whereabouts of his funerary ashes has remained a mystery… until now.
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This diabolical tale propels the reader through a series of curiously interconnected (and sometimes unsettling) events spanning the years from 1947 (and the death of Aleister Crowley) to the 1990s and the coming-of-age (and eventual stardom) of a "death-metal" rocker named Rodney Duckworth.
The time-line shifts to the present day where Brian Kane, a gruff and gritty, street-worn Seattle Police Detective, reluctantly teams up with the mysterious Rowena Ravenwood, an attractive female FBI agent. Their task is to figure out why good, healthy, God-fearing preachers in their fair city are suddenly dropping dead.
What is the meaning of the strange symbols branded onto the bodies of these hapless victims? Are they all part of some bizarre cult? No eyewitnesses. No fingerprints. Is it really murder? Where’s the evidence? And what is the disturbing secret that Detective Kane is holding so close to his chest?
The investigation catapults Kane and Ravenwood headlong into life-threatening situations as they wind their way through the strange, dark labyrinth of the world of the occult and find themselves battling for their lives against the powerful forces of ritual magick.
Under no circumstances can this case go unsolved. An unspeakably horrendous end to the entire human race hangs in the balance. Problem is, the clues to help solve the case are in desperately short supply. Worse yet, so is the amount of time left to stop the mysterious killer's reign of terror before all Hell really breaks loose. And – according to Special Agent Ravenwood – that’s not just a figure of speech.
"A riveting occult crime thriller. I couldn't put it down." - Rai Aren, author of Secret Of The Sands
"A close-the-drapes-and-hang-onto-your-seat-read. Highly recommend it." - Meredith Wright Hutchins, attorney, Olympia, WA.
"An ending you will never see coming! Highly recommended!" - Lila L. Pinord, author of In Time, Min's Monster, and Skye Dancer
"Fillied with magick... at times drawing one into the evil." - Ellen In Atlanta, amazon.com reviewer
"Plenty of atmosphere and a compelling narrative. A worthwhile roller-coaster ride." - Bob Freeman, author of The Descendant
"It's a tingly, spine-chilling little entry that belongs in any true horror aficionado's collection." - Wendy Potocki, author of The White Lady Murders, and The Vampire's Game
Caution: This book is intended for adult readers due to strong language and some implied sexual content of a deviant nature. Note: the sexual content is implied as opposed to graphic. It is not included as a gratuitous element. Rather, it is critical to the background of one of the primary characters, his personal development and the motivation driving his future behavior.
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Now, secure and comfortable within the Inner Sanctum, the urn at his side, his diary opened to the page upon which the inscrutable riddle was written, he consumed a copious amount of the Soma and waited for it to take effect.
As he waited patiently, he chanted his own bastardized version of a line from an ancient Vedic ritual.
“Oh drop of Soma, flow for Indra, flow for me. Oh drop of Soma, flow for Indra, flow for me. Oh drop…of…Soma, flow…for Indra, flow…for me. Oh…drop…of……Soma………..Oh…….drop….…”
His eyelids grew heavy. His head fell back. The room began to spin. Round and round it went and suddenly he found himself riding on the back of a beautifully sculpted white Unicorn on a carousel at a bizarre and glorious carnival of the gods.
He was soon overtaken by the sensation of leaving his body, his consciousness drifting, floating upward into a sea of bliss.
In the midst of this reverie he noticed a white glow filling the entire room, softly at first, but slowly increasing in brilliance. He seemed to be merging with this light as he transcended all sense of physical self.
After several minutes––or was it hours?––he became aware of another consciousness in the room and he knew, instinctively, he was in the presence of the god of the Soma.
A sublime feeling of ecstasy washed over him, through him, bathing him inside and out. Time ceased. He was eternal.
Then, abruptly, the ecstasy was gone, shut off like someone had thrown a switch.
The sudden change caused his body to twitch violently in a long series of nerve-wracking convulsions. He lurched forward then backward then forward again before flopping helplessly onto the floor.
A thick drool leaked from the corners of his mouth as he coughed and sputtered, his limbs flailing wildly like a fish out of water. A surge of terror rushed through him but eventually, mercifully, the spasmodic episode ended.
Breathing heavily, he pulled his heavy body back up into the chair, wiped the drool from his chin and, in spite of his near total exhaustion, he managed a grin.
The gift he’d so urgently sought had been given to him. He knew the answer to the riddle. The game was on.
After taking a few minutes to gather his strength and calm his nerves, he rose victoriously to his feet and stretched, feeling perversely smug as if he had just battled the gods and won.
He placed the diary and the urn, side by side, atop his father’s antique mahogany desk and exited the Inner Sanctum through the secret door.
In a somewhat perverse reflection of his father before him, he strode out into the library. He was energized, confident and ready to secure his place in the great Hall of Destiny. But his reverie was cut short. Something was wrong. Terribly wrong.
His stomach began to churn, he became nauseous, his bowels cramped painfully. He felt disoriented. His legs quivered, barely able to sustain the weight of his body and, in a matter of moments, they gave way completely and he toppled to the floor.
Retching violently, writhing in the warm soup of his own vomit, he slithered a few feet across the dark hardwood floor, one hand gripping his stomach, the other reaching out in desperation toward the bookcase behind which the diary and the urn now sat secluded and silent, closed up within the Inner Sanctum.
The word gurgled from his mouth, his eyes rolled back, his body twitched ever so slightly––once, twice, a third time––until finally the dark, billowing shroud of death settled over him, engulfing his beleaguered soul.
Michael J. Moorehouse, the would-be host of the infamous Beast, and the bridge across which the Antichrist would walk into this world, now lay dead on the floor of the great library within the confines of the dreary, deteriorating mansion.