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The Suffering
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The Suffering
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From the highly-acclaimed author of the Bone Witch trilogy comes this breathtaking and haunting companion to The Girl from the Well.The darkness will find you. Seventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is...
From the highly-acclaimed author of the Bone Witch trilogy comes this breathtaking and haunting companion to The Girl from the Well.The darkness will find you. Seventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is...
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Description-

  • From the highly-acclaimed author of the Bone Witch trilogy comes this breathtaking and haunting companion to The Girl from the Well.

    The darkness will find you.

    Seventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is to be powerless. But Okiku changed that. A restless spirit who ended life as a victim and started death as an avenger, she's groomed Tark to destroy the wicked. But when darkness pulls them deep into Aokigahara, known as Japan's suicide forest, Okiku's justice becomes blurred, and Tark is the one who will pay the price...

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Chapter One

    Tag

    I'm no hero, believe me. I've never rescued babies from burning buildings. I've never volunteered to save humpback whales or the rain forest. I've never been to protest rallies, fed the hungry in Africa, or righted any of the eighty thousand things that are wrong with the world these days. Heroism isn't a trait commonly found in teenage boys.

    Stupidity though? We've got that in spades.

    Stupidity is why I'm huddled behind a large sofa bed, underneath a heavy blanket, drenched in my own sweat despite the AC humming in what is otherwise silence. The television is tuned to the least scary show I could find: a Jersey Shore rerun-horrifying in its own way, but not in the way that matters, which is the most important thing. I stare at the TV screen-and not because I'm eagerly awaiting Snooki's next freak-out. I watch the screen because I want to know when it's coming to find me.

    Earlier this evening, I'd taken a raggedy-looking doll-its cotton stuffing already scooped out-and replaced it with uncooked rice and a few fingernail clippings. And I'd sewed it up with red thread. When you've done this as many times as I have, sewing becomes as good a weapon as any. Then I waited for three a.m. to roll around before filling the tub with water and dropping the doll in the bath.

    "Dumbelina, you're it."

    The name was not my idea, but it was what I had to work with. Using the same name that Sondheim and his girlfriend used in the ritual they started and never finished-that's how it knows you're singling it out. Just to ensure there were no misunderstandings, I said "You're it" two more times.

    The doll, like most dolls, said nothing. It gazed up at me from beneath the water, a drowned, ball-jointed Ophelia with synthetic brown hair and plastic eyes in a yellow broadcloth dress made in some sweatshop in China. The doll was common enough, the kind that could have been a knockoff of a knockoff.

    The air changes. Then that invisible spider crawls up my spine, tickling the hairs behind my neck. I have come to know this spider these last couple of years. It whispers there's something else in the room, breathing with you, watching you, grinning at you.

    I hate that damn spider.

    For one moment, the doll's stringy brown hair glitters a shiny black under the fluorescent lights. For one moment, the doll's glassy gaze takes on the faintest tinge of malicious self-awareness. For one moment, that thing's head breaks through the water's surface and looks at me.

    I switch off the lights. I back out of the bathroom and close the door. I hide.

    It sounds pretty idiotic, playing hide-and-seek with a doll. It's not. It's part of the rules I gotta play by.

    The first rule is this: I have to finish the game. No matter what happens.

    I've taken a mouthful of salt water at this point, and I begin counting in my head. One thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three, one thousand and four...

    On the TV screen, an orange-skinned, heavily built Italian guy with gravity-defying hair is arguing with another orange-skinned, heavily built Italian guy with gravity-defying hair.

    ...one thousand and five, one thousand and six, one thousand and seven...

    I briefly wonder where Ki is. She's often been quick to turn up when I've done other harebrained rituals like this one. At the moment, she's nowhere to be seen, which worries me. It's not like she's got something else to do.

    I'm no hero, but I do have a...

About the Author-

  • Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and a travel blogger but now makes things up for a living. She is the author of The Girl from the Well, The Suffering, The Bone Witch trilogy, and the A Hundred Named for Magic trilogy. Connect with Rin at rinchupeco.com.

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