The Whisperers

Faye is a teenage girl with mental health issues, who becomes involved with a creepy demon worshiping cult. Can she escape them before they take everything she loves?

This is a sample of the second part to the Susurris series, The Demons' Box is the first and was written for NaNoWriMo. Originally it had nothing to do with The Whisperers, but somehow it became amalgamated along the way. The story is set some time after the events in The Demons' Box and is told from the view of the protagonist Faye. The book should be ready for publication by December and will be around the same price as The Demons' Box.

The Demons' Box is available on Amazon, Kobo books, Smashwords, Scribd, B&N, Apple and Sony for around £1 or $1.55


1. The Whisperers - 25 page sample

Life? What about it? Most people have a view on the subject; some can even argue eloquently on it and carry out flowery discussions. I however have very little to say on the topic, as I never really enjoyed much of it and tired pretty quickly of the other people in mine. That is to say, I did until about 12 months ago. Prior to this I pretty much despised everything and everyone, I'm not claiming that some earth shatteringly spectacular event has changed my feelings, but it certainly has dampened them a little. Life is more bearable.

I'm nothing spectacularly special in my opinion; my parents seem to think otherwise. They are the mollycoddling, overbearing, protective kind. They pushed me to excel and work hard. I hated them for it for a long time, I knew why they did it, but couldn't see the potential that they saw.

At the time, I was a fairly average 5' 4", larger than average about the middle, but not fat, dark brown with a red cast, shoulder length wavy hair (my best feature in my opinion; my parents always say it is my smile). I was 17 and in my second year of college, having decided not to stay on for sixth form on account of my hating the entire populous of the school. You would think that from my brief description of my outlook on life, that I would be dressed all in black; a Goth or emo. This was certainly not the case.

I was a good (for a teenager) church going girl, in the choir, brightly and fashionably dressed and studying theology and philosophy. I also was recovering from depression and had previously regularly cut myself. The feel of the razor blade gliding across my skin, that sweet sting as it kissed my arm, the release of worry still haunt my thoughts to this very day. I’ll never do it again, but it’s still there inside me, pushed to the back of my soul.

On the day my life started to change for the worse (or better depending on how you view it), I was sat in class, the tutor a dull, middle aged divorcee with a monotone drawl was stood talking about cults. The rest of the class were less than enraptured by her obvious lack of effort to enthral, I was busy avoiding my newly ex-boyfriend, Jake’s, puppy-eyed gaze. We’d broken up two days ago after I saw him with my best Girl friend, Jess, just coming out of the cinema. This wouldn’t have normally bothered me but when they stopped at the corner at he started sucking on her neck like hooker on her John, it pissed me off just a little. My natural reaction was to go over to the pair of them, kick him in the nuts and scratch her pretty green eyes out. I didn’t follow my gut; I walked away and sent him the photo Adam had taken as we went.

Our tutor was droning on as usual, I tuned out for the vast majority of the class, preferring my very own mind chatter. I picked up as she mentioned we had an assignment, “Compare and discuss two different religious groups. One of which should not be mainstream.” She scrawled it on the whiteboard in her almost illegible handwriting. Due date was 4 weeks time, it was 3000 words. There was an audible groan and a palpable tension from the rest of the group. I was just pleased that it would be the final assignment of the term. I was fed up of coming in and seeing the same dull faces day in day out. I needed a change and restlessness was not my friend. Yet another thing I’d be discussing in therapy next week.

The library that evening was virtually empty, it being a Friday, most students had left on time to get ready and go out partying the weekend away. It was a massive library; shared with the University it had hundreds of shelves on 3 floors. The overall effect was overwhelming, the shelves an ancient deep mahogany, the walls a deep red and the floor dark red. Reminding me more of my dad’s description of the gentlemen’s club he frequented than of any library I‘d visited before. It managed to remain modern and functional with a group study area, a segregated quiet study room, IT facilities and a little café at the far end of the ground floor. At the time, having no idea which two religions I wanted to use, but figured on would probably be Christianity as that was what I was and made the work a little easier. I wandered along the theology shelves half attentive to what I was looking at. A large red leather-bound book stood out from amongst the other regular dry reading matter. This was certainly no ordinary textbook. It looked so obviously out of place that it was as if it had been just pushed in there for me to find, or to irritate the librarian. There was no title on the spine and no library index number. I pulled the book from the elderly shelf; it was a particularly weighty book, heavier than it looked. Turning it over in my hands, it seemed an old book the title on the front simply stated that it was called “Libro Susurris” in a plain silver font, there was no author’s name. It intrigued me, such a plain old book being shoved amongst the bland modern textbooks. Flicking through the pages as I looked for a cubicle in the quiet study room, the intricacy of the illustrations was what stood out most. It was certainly some form of ritualistic religion, definitely not mainstream. They focused on weird altars, highly decorated knives, amulets of dark woods and ivory and phials of red liquid; which I assumed was blood.

Sitting in the first vacant, liver-red, leather padded swivel chair I could find, I thumped the Libro Susurris down onto the table in front. The text on the yellowed pages inside was an old style print, gothic looking on the title page, but plainer further through. There was no author or print date on the inside title page, just the words “Libro Susurris” and underneath “The Way of Whisper Worship as Commanded by the Rushkin and Xenophon.”

Scanning through the pages of the book, I noticed that it ran through a theme at a time, three main ones stood out each ending in rites and trials for the initiates. The first was called, The Rise of the Soul, from what I could gather, it involved meditation and opening of the 3rd eye. The second was called, Speaking to Our Within, and seemed to be a peculiar practice of talking to oneself and allowing the inner you to emerge. The third was split into two parts; it appeared to pertain to soul merging but had the ominous title of Mortem Cultus. Part one was called Freeing the Spirit and part two Binding in Twain. The entirety of this section I couldn’t quite understand, it was mostly Latin, it seemed complex and it gave me a headache which made me drowsy. I just knew I didn’t like the content of the illustrations. They seemed to mostly be about death and sacrifices, there was a lot of what looked like blood, that didn’t bother me as much as the pair of frolicking characters in the background, the male of which seemed to have an abnormally large erection.

Despite my disgust at such disturbing images, it would make a good contrast to Christianity, besides I was intrigued and wanted to know more. Since anything that interested me was a rarity these days I decided to check it out.

Slamming the book shut, the dust rose to cover me in a thin layer across my hands and tickled my nose. I wandered over to the shelves on religion and theology intending to search for more books on Whisper Worship and some on Christianity also. Christianity was easy to cover, starting with The Bible and a few textbooks researching its origins and suchlike. I scanned the shelves over several times searching for books on Whisper worship, but could find nothing. I gave up on searching manually after 20 minutes my eyes were sore and neck aching off trying to read the titles on the higher shelves. The library kept all its books catalogued on the computer network, I would also be able to search the other campus libraries. The search was unproductive, several terms used and nothing turned up, even the book I had didn’t exist in their catalogue according to the computer database.

I’m not sure why I snuck the book home in my bag, without taking it to the check out desk; I suppose I guessed they wouldn’t miss an unregistered book. I didn’t want to chance it being taken as lost property, I wanted it for myself, it was anything but mainstream.

Anyway the librarian, a hot 20-something guy with blonde hair and a badge that displayed the less hot name of “Gary”, didn’t seem to notice it there when I quickly shoved the other 3 textbooks I’d found into my already stuffed bag.

The walk home after missing my bus because I’d stayed so late in the library, was long, uneventful and painful. My shoulder ached by the time I reached my house and I had a deep red indent where the bag strap had cut in. The pain was good, I still liked pain then.

My parents were still not home, they’d left a note on the sideboard in the lounge to say they were out shopping and would be back by 7pm; dinner was in the slow cooker. I threw my bag onto the vast brown leather corner suite and thanked whoever cared that my mum wasn’t in to see it. She hated mess and she hated that I left a trail of it wherever I went. When the olds were out I did as I pleased without reprove. I crossed over to the television, turned on the Sky box and put the loudest rock music channel I could find on. Papa Roach were on, singing about Scars, it came wailing through the surround sound speakers at a deafening volume. The neighbours would complain when mum and dad got home, but I didn’t care I’d be out at Adam’s by then and they’d be in bed by the time I got back. I strolled through to the kitchen munching on a bag of malteasers I’d found on the coffee table. The smell of curry greeted me; Friday night was always curry night. I hated curry! It smelled of sweat and looked like cat puke. Screwing up my face and trying to suppress the vomit that had began to rise in my throat, I decided to make a cup of tea and skip food, too lethargic now to make something else. Home always made me feel lethargic. The heating was always on a slightly too warm setting, mum was forever afraid I’d catch a chill. The walls through the whole house were painted a mind numbing collection of magnolia, pale rose, lemon and eau de nil. An attempt to calm the mind of their once deranged and disconnected teenage daughter. A further breakdown of my mental health worried my parents more than a breakdown of my physical health. I saw a psychologist monthly these days, he was nice, my next appointment was the following Friday and I had lots to discuss regarding my recent levels of boredom. Boredom was not good for me, whilst routine helped me, life becoming too humdrum started my mind ticking and the memories and feelings that took me back to my earlier teens would drip insidiously into the forefront. I truly didn’t want to self harm again, but like I said before, it was still there, I missed the relief of that coping mechanism. I had new ones now of course but the intensity of those outlets was far reduced in comparison.




I left for Adam’s house shortly after finishing my cup of tea and tidying my bag away in my bedroom. The walk to his house wasn’t so bad; it was a little over 2 miles across open fields. It had been warm and stuffy inside and the breeze was a welcome relief. They sky was a stormy dark grey and looked like the clouds were thick with rain. As I hurried through the freshly cut field I noticed an odd group of people huddled at the far end, they appeared to range from 10 to 60. All of them simply dressed and smiling, I guessed they must have been naturalists or some such club gathering out on a walk together. They seemed friendly enough when they waved at me as I passed, but there attention toward me didn’t seem to shift focus. They weren’t staring, but it still felt like their gaze was upon me. A short, pretty girl with long raven black hair gazed at me for longer and with more intensity than any of the others. A look of lingering want. It creeped me out, weirdoes! Only when I’d managed to put another field between them and myself did I feel less unnerved by them.

Adam answered the door of his parents’ 3 storey modern townhouse. It was on a recently built housing estate, all the houses were of the same sandstone fasciae, only the superb individually sculpted gardens and multi-coloured doors to tell them apart. An unsightly blip on the landscape of the beautiful northern countryside as Adam described it.

Adam was 2 years older and devilishly handsome, the type of guy whose smile makes girls hearts melt and their shyness evaporate. Dark haired with a touch of red in there, his hair fell over his ears but not quite to his shoulders, just brushing in front of his eyes. He was dressed in old faded blue indigo jeans and a white t-shirt that showed off his deliciously sculpted chest as he stood  bare footed with a faint growth of stubble on his chin and looking fabulous. It was just a shame he was attached and I’d known him so long it would be uncomfortable to be anything more than friends. So best friends we would remain.

“You’re earlier than I expected, what’s up?” he asked waving me in and closing the door behind us.

“Nothing much, it’s curry night so I just had a cuppa.”

I followed Adam down the narrow, sparsely decorated, bright yellow hallway and up the stairs to his room, waving at his parents as we passed the lounge.

“You’ve skipped dinner again? That’s three times this week. Your mum will freak if she finds out.”

I plonked myself on his bed, whilst he disappeared back downstairs. Adam’s room was a brightly decorated, cluttered mess, rather like he’d just not bothered to unpack when he moved in last year. His electric blue walls peeked through from behind old posters of rock bands and bulging bookshelves. He was massively unorganised, preferring to spend his time on more interesting pursuits. Adam was an avid reader, played drums in a band and was a student of theological and pastoral studies at the university. He wanted to become a clergyman.

Adam returned a few minutes later with a cheese and tomato sandwich and a freshly made banana milkshake.

“Eat up!” he said as he thrust the plate and glass into my hands. “You’re not coming out with me until you eat something; I’m not having you passing out on me again.”

“Thanks” I replied as I stuffed a sandwich corner into my mouth, I was famished having also skipped lunch. “You don’t need to look after me though; I’m a big girl you know.”

“Ha! As if you can look after yourself, I bet you skipped lunch too.”

Adam knew me far too well, my blush and lack of eye contact gave me away as I shook my head in denial.

He smirked, shook his head and pushed his drumsticks into his back pocket.

I finished off the sandwich and gulped down the shake.

“Okay, I’m ready. Anything you need? Is Maria meeting us there?” I asked.

“Nah! I just need me and my drumsticks. Maria isn‘t coming, she‘s ill with a stomach bug. Just be me and the band for the night, sorry.” He shrugged nonchalantly.

“Shall we go then? I want a pint first.”

We trekked off down the road to the pub just as the rain started to fall in large splodges. I was admonished by Adam yet again, for forgetting to fetch a coat or umbrella at the very least. Thankfully the pub was only a short walk from Adams House. Posters plastered the notice board and the nearby lampposts outside the doors. All of them with Adams smiling face, joined by 3 other just as delicious young men and the caption “Friday Nite Only - 8Pm Doors - Priests and Pillagers - £5 entry.”

Diggs, Brett and Wazzer were all waiting in the lounge when we arrived; they were all slightly drunk too. Diggs and Wazzer were the loudest, they were the bass and rhythm guitarists and were also studying law, hence the Pillagers part of the band. Brett was the singer and previously aspiring priest turned teacher, a devout catholic and very quiet when he wasn’t singing or teaching. I was convinced he was gay; it wasn’t something he’d ever admit to though or anything to be proven. I didn’t really care; he was a good guy and an excellent friend when I’d really needed one. He’d been there through my breakdown 2 years ago, before he became a teacher. He’d introduced me to Adam, hoping we’d be more than friends, but I really wasn’t in a place for anything more at that point. I regretted it now of course and every time I saw him with Maria I felt like I died a little inside. I was happy for them both, she was great, but it still stung that he didn’t wait for me to heal and chose her.

Grinning, Wazzer shoves over to let me sit between Diggs and himself.

Wazzer, also known as Michael Piers Waterson, rich kid. He hated people knowing his family was well off and stomped around in frayed jeans and dirty, old converse sneakers that were de-soling with every step.

“So, Faye, I heard that arsehole loser messed you about. How about taking a chance on a proper man?” He said grinning.

“Yeah! You find one, let me know.”

Wazzer Grinned in his easy going way, it was infectious and I was soon sat between Wazzer and Diggs with a pint and looking more like the Cheshire cat by the minute.

We had been at the pub well before the start of the gig and the lads put away quite a few pints in the wait.

Kim and Lexi, two old school friends of mine turned up to watch with me. Thankfully Jess had the good sense to keep well away.

As the band played their soft punk; jumping up and down on stage and swinging the instruments around, I suddenly felt very nervous and naked. I had that ‘someone just walked over my grave’ shiver down my spine and the feeling of eyes boring into my skull.

Turning, I saw the dark haired girl from the field eyeing me with a look of sadness, curiosity, and hunger almost, rather like the way Adam looked at me when he was drunk. It made me deeply uncomfortable. On closer inspection I saw she wasn’t quite a girl, she was probably a little older than myself. Realising I was staring back, she had the courtesy at least to blush and turn away.

The band finished playing to a fairly reasonable round of applause. Not as quietly reserved as they often received, but no standing ovation either. People came over to tell them how “brilliant!” and “awesome!” they were, it was girls mostly and Diggs and Wazzer left with one on each arm.

Kim and Lexi left shortly after, getting into a taxi with Brett as they were all staying at the same Halls of Residence.

Adam and I staggered back to his parents’ house holding each other upright and giggling like a pair of school kids. We stopped outside the pizza shop along the road from the pub. Adam turned to me all seriousness and bleary eyed.

“I’m glad you turned Wazzer down, he’s no good to you, you know. You deserve the best, Faye” He slurred.

Laughing I pushed the door open and hot fresh pizza smell, herbs and garlic hit me making my stomach growl.

“I’m serious, Jake was and arse and Wazzer would treat you no better.”

I turned and pulled Adam into the shop a little more enthusiastically than I’d intended and we tumbled through the doorway, knocking over the people waiting in the line. Our half hearted apologies weren’t quite readily accepted, especially as we were giggling away again.

“I miss you when Maria is home, I don’t get to see you nearly as often as I’d like, you don’t visit.” Adam looked at me in that sad, curious wanton way he always had when he was drunk.

“You know I don’t like to intrude on your time together, Adam. You only get a few weeks a year and I can see you any time in between.”

“But that’s a few weeks a year when I can’t see you!”

I laughed and turned back to the menu rolling my eyes at him. He was always the same after one drink too many. We’d walk back to his house; eat pizza while watching the late night rubbish on TV. He’d go up to bed and I’d crash on the sofa, it’d be all forgotten by the morning. By him at least. Last time he’d told me he loved me and tried to kiss me, I’d turned him down, telling him he’d regret it as he loves Maria. He went to bed crying how much he loved me and always had. The next day he acted like nothing had happened, obviously having no recollection. I on the other hand remembered every painful moment, how much it hurt me to say no, every tear he shed cut me worse than any blade ever had.

That night was no different to any other.

That was, until 3AM. I was violently shaken away by Adam, his parents stood behind him, horrified looks on their faces. I was cold and wet. Adam told me I’d been screaming for a full 30 minutes. They’d tried all ways to wake me, including a cold wet flannel, but I just kept on screaming. Over and over I shouted for them to stop, stop feeding me blood.

After I calmed down (and Adam’s parents) I had a hot cup of milk and changed into some dry night clothes, lent to me by Adam’s mother. Adam Lay next to me on the sofa and I fell back into the nightmare. I was laid on a stone alter, the cold hard surface uncomfortable on my back. I was in what looked to be an old abandoned church. So lucid was my dream that I could smell the faint metallic tang of blood mixed with dust, human heat and another scent I couldn‘t quite place. Fear gripped me as the girl from the fields appeared at my side. She was smiling sweetly, but still that lingering look of want in her eyes. She held up a plain, but sharp looking knife. Bringing it swiftly down, she sliced through my bonded wrists one at a time. Pain seared through me, not like the times when I’d done it to myself. This was deeper and harsher and I’d not wanted it. My blood poured from the gaping wounds into chalices by my now lifeless, unfeeling hands. As she sipped from one chalice she poured the still warm and sticky blood from the other into my mouth. I gagged at the coppery taste and as I was laid down felt choked and couldn’t swallow properly, my eyesight began to waver and blotch as I was drowned in my own blood. I noticed as I slipped out of consciousness, that other people stood about the room, they were naked. I then realised what the scent I could not quite place was, they were all masturbating.

I woke suddenly, alone and cold. Adam had gone, the dream just lingering on the edge of my consciousness, waiting to be forgotten. I felt uneasy, a sense of foreboding settled heavily in my stomach.

Rolling onto my side I saw a hot cup of tea had been left for me on the occasional table. I sipped it, milk and one sugar, perfect.




After breakfast, Adam and I discussed our plans for the day. My night disturbance went unmentioned, as did Adam’s closer than necessary cuddling through the night.

Despite his insistent coaxing that we should spend the day at the beach with friends and then go to the cinema that night, I decided that I had better get a start on my assignment. I needed to ensure I didn’t let it lapse into becoming the usual victim of my procrastination that my work often became.

With a quick hug and a promise that I’d be coming out to the cinema that evening, I left.

I decided to avoid the fields on my homeward Journey, the thought of that group of weirdoes creeped me out enough that the longer walk along the bypass was rather welcoming. It was a muggy day the air along the road was suffocating and oppressive; the heat and dust mixed with car fumes.

When I reached my house I needed a shower, I was so sticky and drowsy from my previous poor night of sleep. My parents were in the garden, as was their habit every fine, dry weekend. Mum was weeding the flowerbeds and dad was trimming the hedges and had a gate to re-paint. Mum, immediately started her usual fuss over how tired I looked, why I hadn’t called when I got back to Adam’s after the gig, she worried and so on. After deciding I looked peaky and needed more food, a cool drink and some rest, she released me from her inspection and went into the house to rectify this. I took advantage of this brief interval and headed up to the bathroom for a shower.

As I scrubbed away the sleep and clamminess I realised my wrists felt rather tender. Looking at them, the scars from 6 months of abuse from the razor greeted me. The usual faded line was a livid red, raised and swollen. I ran my thumb over the old incision on my left wrist. It tingled and stung with the pressure, like it had been inflicted only a week ago. Healed on the surface but not the lower layers. Rather like my subconscious I thought.

I wondered what had irritated it so that it stood out and burned as it did. The nightmare came back to me full force and I had to shake my head to rid myself of the vision. The coppery taste on my tongue caused the remnants of breakfast to rise in my throat.

I stepped gingerly from the shower, my legs suddenly weak and shaking. I tried to push the too real feeling thoughts from my mind and only my mum knocking at the bathroom door brought me back to the present.

“There’s a glass of lemonade and some lunch on the kitchen bench love” She called through the door.

“Okay, thanks mum” I replied somewhat more shakily than I realised as my mum enquired “Are you okay? Are you ill? Hangover? You don’t sound well at all, I’m coming in” all this without breaking a beat and then she was there with her hand on my forehead and that worried searching look in her eyes. I barely had time to grab my towel to cover myself.

“Mum, I’m fine. Just a little tired that’s all. I had a long night and little sleep” I said brushing her hand away.

Immediately, she had my hand in hers, having seen my wrists. Her face a picture of horror and worry.

“When did you do this? Why?” She had both hands now, inspecting every inch of my wrists and arms, tears in her eyes.

“Mum, I haven’t, they just came up like that I swear, don’t cry, really I’m okay. They’re just really itchy.”

“You’ll have to see Dr Anders. I’ll get you an appointment for this afternoon, he has an emergency clinic for breakdowns, he’ll see you.” Resolve set her features now as she pulled herself away and swiped the tears from her cheeks. She started to ramble about how they will probably have to admit me again and it’ll interfere with my studies, yet again. I tried again to plead innocence, I hated when she was upset and worried about me like this, but she wouldn’t listen. I was led to my bedroom, she stayed with me until I dried and dressed. Gone was my privacy until the Doctor cleared or admitted me. I was physically taken to the kitchen where I was sat at the breakfast bar in front of my lunch. Mum stood watching me eat my salad listlessly, my head buzzing with the wonder of whether I really had harmed myself. Perhaps I was losing my mind and simply blocked it out and created a dream to cover it. But the scars were still old, not new, they were just rather more livid than usual. She phoned my doctor whilst eyeing me like I was a ticking bomb, ready to detonate at any moment.

Dr Anders came out to see me that same day, my mum’s panic fetching him more than my apparent state of distress she told him I was in.

Thankfully Dr Anders agreed that they looked fresh, but were not, they were simply irritated. I had been rubbing them in my sleep it seemed. I had some form of nocturnal agitation brought on by the stress of college work and my relationship break up. He concluded that it would clear as my distress dissipated. That was it, he was gone and mum was back to her gardening. Crisis over, she went back about her weeding, which seemed to offer her some form of catharsis from her stresses.

I trudged up to my room, now thoroughly exhausted by my evening and mums emotional, overbearing afternoon. I pulled out the heavy book from out of my bag, laid it on the bed then flopped down after it rolling on to my front. I got comfy, opened it, got covered in dust and started to read whilst sneezing.

“Whisper Worship - Our gods lay in wait to bless those of our most precious and faithful believers. Those worthy will receive great knowledge and wisdom and will be granted favour in the kingdom of Caelum.”

So far the Libro Susurris was sounding much like many other religions, be the way we want you and we'll let you into heaven. I read on.

“We are of shadow and of light; we look into your soul and split it in twain, making you whole.”

Okay, so now they were just sounding silly, how can splitting something apart make it whole. I pondered this for a while but gave up, my head was hurting and I could hear the blood rushing through my ears.

“We can make an unworthy individual pure and wholesome. The worthy receive the benefits of our love a hundredfold”.

This is all rather benevolent and excessively promising I thought, if they start offering virgins in heaven I wouldn’t be surprised. I read through the pages of the first chapter, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, no alarm bells rang, no stomach churning images like the ones I’d viewed while flicking through it in the library. So far it seemed very much like any other religious text, except easier to read and slightly cult like.

The sun had started to set and I continued to read in the half light filtering through the window.  The next section, described methods of meditation and relaxing the mind in preparation for opening the 3rd eye. Okay, not so sure about the opening of the 3rd eye, I didn’t believe in this psychic tosh, but the meditation might help with the headache that was starting.

Following the instructions on the page I lay down on my back and started to relax each part of my body by focusing on it individually and feeling the blood flow through it, massaging the veins and muscles, flooding tissues with life.

I had just got to the part of relaxing my mind and opening the mind’s eye when the shrill ringing of my mobile caused me to start suddenly. My heart rate suddenly elevated from the shock of being brought from a relaxed state to wide awake, I answered with a shaking hand.

Adam’s voice was terse and sharp.

“Where are you? Why aren’t you here? You said you’d come out!” He sounded pretty pissed off, rarely ever getting annoyed with me. It was usually the other way round, I suffered horrendous PMT, well I got PMT and other people suffered. I had mood swings that could give you whiplash.

Shit! I’d completely forgotten after the events of that afternoon and the previous night. Looking at the clock, I realised it was after 7pm, it would take me until at least half past to get to the cinema. We would miss the film we had intended to see. The small country cinema had limited screenings.

“Aw! Don’t be mad Adam; I just got caught up with other things.”

I explained the events of that afternoon and how I’d just ended up crashing out with my studies to empty my head of mum’s stresses.

He calmed minimally, but only out of worry for me, he wasn’t entirely pleased that I had forgotten and hadn’t even ‘phoned or text.

“We’ll go into town tomorrow and catch it on at the Odeon if you want to see it so badly, Adam.”

“It’s not the film I wanted to see, I really needed to see you.”

“You saw me this morning, I haven’t grown extra limbs, the only thing that’s changed is my clothes. What’s the rush?” I laughed.

There was silence on the line, he wasn’t happy. I didn’t get it, it was just a movie and I’d only left his house less than 8 hours ago.

Adam took a deep breath and sighed.

“Look, can I come over? The lads have gone in; I really don’t feel like sitting through it now.”

“Yeah, of course you can. I’ll put the kettle on.”

“Ok! I’ll be there soon.”

He hung up sounding rather less moody and despondent than earlier.




Adam arrived at my door fifteen minutes later with a bag of nacho flavoured tortilla chips, a large bag of Malteasers and a brighter mood than fifteen minutes previous. He sauntered past me smiling and went straight through to the lounge. Sitting down on the sofa, he stretched out, his long legs crossed at the ankle looking delicious as usual and completely off limits.

“Where are the folks then?” he asked looking rather pleased they weren’t there. Especially since they quizzed him on his love life and studies every minute they got.

“Out at a salsa class, I think.”

I dropped into the matching recliner opposite, throwing my legs over the arm so I was sat sideways in it.

“So what was so incredibly interesting about your homework that you completely forgot about little me?”

Adam smiled raising an eyebrow as he reached for his mug of coffee that I’d placed on the table between us.

“Nothing really, it’s just a weird book I found in the college library. I got quite into it.”

I slurped at my large mug of tea.

“I’m intrigued! How can a book possibly be more interesting than me and watching a group of undersexed teens killing vampires? Is it a dirty one?”

I laughed, hopping up off the chair.

“Hardly! It’s supposed to be a religious text, but so far it’s more new age, meditation and stuff. There are some creepy bits further through though. I‘ll go get it.”

I dashed upstairs and returned only moments later, dropped the book into his lap and sat back down.

“It’s well creepy in the later passages, but I just flicked through those briefly, I haven’t read them yet. The meditation bit’s good though. Anyway, I got it to contrast Christianity in my essay.”

Flicking through the pages, stopping ever so often to read bits, Adam’s face betrayed his thoughts, lips pursed then nose wrinkled and lips curled and sneering.

“Yes, I can see the contrast. This is horrific! It’s not a religion; it’s a creepy weirdo cult. I don’t like the content.”

I shrugged.

“Me neither, but I don’t like the content of most religious texts, so who am I to judge? It’ll make an interesting essay all the same.”

Adam merely raised his eyebrows.

“Fire up your pc will you? I’d like to Google them.”

I got up and waved my empty tea cup at him as I crossed the lounge to the stairs.

“Put the kettle on then, I’m dry.”

I was joined in my bedroom a few minutes later by Adam baring two fresh cups of tea and the bag of Malteasers.

He squeezed onto the swivel chair beside me and wrapped one long muscular arm around my waist to keep us both on.

Adam typed keywords into the Google search bar. ‘Whisperers’, ‘The Ruskin’, ‘Xenophon’, ‘whisper worship’, nothing came back with any relevance. He tried ‘Libro Susurris’, one page returned in Italian. After translating the page through the search engine we found it was an essay by an Italian professor of Archaeology. It started as describing the book as possibly fictitious in the earlier days of his research. A book rather like the Necronomicon, a book that only exists purely in reference within stories, but no actual copies exist. He went on to further describe how he found a single copy of the Libro Susurris, a dusty leather bound set of journals, written in Latin and discovered in the walls of a small Methodist Chapel in Somerset, England. He had uploaded translated copies of the original journals and his notes, plus his own personal journal of his attempt to find the Whisperers. The site the pages were linked to were owned and administrated by an anonymous person. The email address on the contact page actually belonged to an A.N. Onymous.

Adam scrolled through the digital copies of the work of Dr Marcus Alonso. He appeared to have dedicated a lifetime of study to the cult, following the disappearance of his fiancée, whom he believed was ‘indoctrinated and kidnapped‘; Alba Denum.

He detailed every encounter with the Whisperers and the activities he had witnessed. He had even joined them to find her, only to have her removed and hidden when he came close to finding her. There were some pretty gruesome accounts of dismemberment, rape, murder and weirdly, vivisection. The final accounts were poorly written and appeared to be hastily scribed. They told of Alba’s murder and his inability to evade them for long. Our thirty minutes of scanning quickly through the journal culminated in Adam declaring I was not to research the Whisperers any further. I was to find another religion; he didn’t like the subject matter contained in their ’holy’ book and didn’t think that they could possibly be classed as a religion. They were definitely a cult and as such couldn’t be used in my essay.

I grudgingly agreed that I wouldn’t use it in my essay, but thought I’d read through the Libro Susurris anyway since I had it and darker cults and practices intrigued me., especially the reasoning behind joining them.

After shutting down the pc we went back downstairs and on went the DVD player. We sat through three movies, all horror and spent the night snuggled up together on the sofa. My parents returned half way through the first movie and went straight up to bed after a quick hello to Adam. I was happy and content for the second time that day. It was a different kind of content to that which I’d experienced whilst meditating, but it was satisfying all the same. I drifted off to sleep before the third film finished, cuddled up and cosy.

I woke up screaming at 3am, with the entire household stood over me. I’d had another nightmare. Adam calmed me and my mother, then carried me up to my bed as I was too weak to stand. The scars on my wrists had risen to red welts and stung more than ever. Adam left to sleep on the sofa after making sure I was comfortable

He was at my bedside when I woke that afternoon, running a finger across my wrist.

“When did you do this?” he asked.

I was confused and angry at having to explain it all over again, especially after yesterday with my mother.

“They’re old, the doc saw me yesterday, he agrees, it’s just minor irritation. I told you yesterday… don’t look at me like that Adam!!! I’ve not harmed in years!”

Adam was taken aback at my abrupt manner.

“Babe! Don’t shout but, these aren’t old. I’m no doctor but, I’d say these were less than a week old. They’re scabbed, look.”

I looked down at my sore and itching forearms, silver crisscross patterns trailed up them, but it was the red welts at my wrists that my eyes were drawn to.

“Maybe, I scratched them in my sleep!” I offered, not believing it myself.

“Hey, unless you have razor blades for nails, it’s doubtful.”

Adam tried to pull me to him in a hug which, although I desperately needed one I was far too pissed off to accept. I pulled away, tugging the sleeves of my jumper down over my hands. I was confused and scared by these wounds that I hadn’t inflicted myself and I didn’t want to see them, nor did I wish anyone else to.

I began to cry and turned to Adam, shoving him away from me and out of my room; I shut the door on him.

As I lay on my bed weeping, I could hear Adam downstairs, discussing my ‘condition’ with my mother. The pair of them were conspiring against me, I was sure that they were determined to get me locked away in that ‘hospital’ with the rest of the nutters. It was too much to bear, I lay flat out on the floor and began to meditate, trying to clear my mind and refresh myself.

The doctor visited that day and gave the same conclusion as before, whilst they certainly looked fresher than before, having seen them himself the day previously they couldn’t be new. He merely impressed upon me the importance of applying the cream four times a day and not to scratch them anymore.

Adam tried to apologise, but I refused to see him. He was supposed to be my best friend and yet he wouldn’t believe me, he accepted the doctor’s conclusion, but he didn’t entirely believe it.

I took to my room for the rest of the weekend; I barely ate in my rage for everyone. I wanted to punish someone for the way I felt and I figured that the best way was to not eat. It would tear my mother in two. It was irrational, and I know that now, but I wasn’t entirely myself. I had sat and read the Libro Susurris the whole weekend and became deeply engrossed in it. So much so that by Monday my rage was over and fury forgotten. I was like a new person, I felt cleansed. I had tried all of the meditation techniques in the book except for those that were in the later sections, those involved imbibing blood and that put me off a bit. I found the exercises deeply relaxing. They were intended to put you into a receptive hypnotic state so that you could open your 3rd eye and interact with the spirits of the netherworld. I sat thinking it was utter bullshit of course, cult babble intended to draw in fresh followers. It did, however, send me to sleep, a very deep and dreamless one. I woke feeling energised and pure. The wounds on my wrists had begun to heal over and I hadn’t had another dream since.

I’d left for college that morning feeling invincible. I had even managed to complete my assignment in less than 24 hours, so the book seemed no bad thing to me.

I continued to read the book in all the spare time I had. I completely severed contact with Adam. I wasn’t angry with him anymore, but I was still hurt that he hadn’t believed me. If he had no faith in me then he wasn’t good for me, which was something the book taught me. He would be a negative influence on my life; he would hold back my enlightenment.

The more I read, the less I hurt, and the happier and more relaxed I became. It was euphoria without drugs, it was bliss. Who knew meditation and a good night’s sleep could do so much good. I wasn’t tired anymore, despite the lack of food I ate.

Weeks passed and I grew very fond of the book, still never going further than the end of the first section.

By the time I realised I was addicted, it was too late. My weight had plummeted to an unacceptable level; I was unbelievably skinny, so much so that my mother had threatened to hospitalize me again. I didn’t care, I was happy, I had more energy than ever, I was relaxed, I was focused. I could only see positive from the book. Adam had stopped ‘phoning me, I felt nothing for him anymore, I was freer than ever.




College was getting easier for me; I was well ahead of the rest of the class now that my concentration wasn’t shot.

The summer had well and truly set in, it was the last day of the term, we had finished classes early and the sun was high and beating down glorious heat. I sat alone in the gardens that surrounded the college, just to sit and soak in some of the warmth. For all the day was hot, the classrooms were like ice boxes, whitewashed, natural stone walls, they retained little heat.

I had been sat in my secluded corner by a sycamore tree for barely five minutes when a shadow crossed over me. The chill I got when the sun was blocked from my body was like being plunged into a pond in winter. It wasn’t entirely due to the shade. Had I been my normal wary self, I would have ran from the eerie sense of foreboding that chill had presented me. But, I was a more confident and relaxed me and the little cavewoman in me that harboured that inbuilt intuition that told you when something dangerous was stalking you and to run like hell… well, she was on a holiday it seemed.

I looked up to find the owner of that ominous shadow and thief of my sunshine, was a little less ominous and not at all thief like. A short, thick-set girl stood over me gazing sullenly down through her long dark tresses. Her eyes were a deep chocolate and fixed on mine with the striking intensity of a predator hunting its prey and daring it to scarper. I vaguely recognised her, but couldn’t think where from.

“Book’s late, return it before five.” Her voice was light and slightly squeaky, with a Cornish accent.

“Book? What book? I returned all the ones I borrowed weeks ago.”

She squinted down at me a while considering this and replied.

“The book is due back, return it and make up your mind. We don’t like to be kept waiting.”

With that she turned on her heel, hair swishing behind her and stalked off back toward the main building.

Utterly confused and perplexed at the encounter, I barely noticed the sun re-warming my cold skin. She could only be referring to the Libro Susurris, how did she know I had the book?

I decided to walk home and grab a bite to eat whilst I collected to book from the loose wood panel behind my bed. I had decided that with my mother on high alert it was probably the safest place for it. She was searching my room daily when I left for college, the amount of weight I had lost alarmed her, she didn’t know what she was looking for and neither did I for that matter. But it seemed that she knew something was amiss and needed clues to why and what. If she’d found the book then, I would never have gotten where I am now. I’m not sure now whether that’s a good thing or a bad.

I ate a small ham and lettuce sandwich while I walked back to the college with the book in my satchel. I ate purely for the sake of eating, I wasn’t hungry, but knew I needed to eat.

I arrived at the library just after three. The sullen girl was stood at the desk chatting to Gary, the hot blonde that worked there. They both turned to face me as I approached, Gary smiled warmly, the girl looked me up and down impassively.

“Have you finished to book then? What did you think?” Asked Gary.

“Ready for the next step?” Asked the girl.

Puzzled, not knowing what they expected of me I replied.

“Erm! I’m not finished it yet. I only took it out to complete an essay. I really don’t know what you expect of me here.”

“Only took it out for an essay and yet you took it illegally, that’s stealing! You don’t steal on the basis of college work.” Said the girl, rolling her eyes.

I shrugged and took the book from my satchel.

“Look, it wasn’t on the catalogue, it interested me and I’ve brought it back now so no biggie.”

The girl gave a humourless smile and took the book from me, sliding it into the rucksack she’d just slid off her shoulder.

“No biggie, huh? I see. Well I think you’ll find that more dedicated followers may have strong opinions on exactly how much of a biggie it apparently isn’t.”

I raised an eyebrow and smiled. “Large waiting list is there?”

The girl merely eyed me with contempt. “Huh! Loan is by invite only; you should think yourself lucky to have been chosen to view it. We don’t make the same mistake twice; you shan’t see the book again without faith in our Gods.”

The girl turned on her heel, flicking her hair over her shoulder and left the library through a door behind the counter, leaving me with Gary. He smiled uncomfortably.

“Sorry, but Millie doesn’t take to kindly to people not giving her religion as much respect as they would to the more mainstream ones. She had hoped you’d show more interest.”

“Oh! Well I only really chose the book because I needed it for an essay.”

Gary laughed; it was light and full of mirth, not unpleasant. “You really think you chose the book? Hmm? The book was planted, we have been watching you for a while we knew you would be drawn to it. It feels you and wants you to believe.”

“Seriously? You make it sound like the book is alive.”

“Huh! Well maybe it is. You think that’s cow hide that covers the book? Anyway there’s a guy waiting there for you. We’ll see you around, I’ve no doubt about that.” With that he winked and walked off into the shelves.

I looked over my shoulder toward the main entrance, Adam stood leaning against the doorframe.

“Hey! Can we talk please?” He didn’t smile when he spoke; his eyes looked dead and sullen. It disturbed me to see him looking that way.


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