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Don't Fall Asleep

Don't Fall Asleep

Abhik Dasgupta

Update: 2022-05-11

Chapter 1

  • Copyright © 2019 by Abhik Dasgupta
  • Disclaimer: This is an original work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, actual places or actual events is purely coincidental.
  • The reference of ghosts, supernatural entities, black magic, occult rituals, superstitions etc. in the content are necessary elements for creation of plot and the author does not in any way endorse or promote the same. The readers are requested to enjoy the story with an unprejudiced mind.
  • Mental illnesses play a significant role in the story. Through the work, the author wishes to raise mental health awareness and tackle the social stigma associated with psychological diseases.
  • All rights reserved. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material including blurbs, descriptions, cover/ promotional photos, teaser, trailer etc. is prohibited. No part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including scanning, photocopying, recording, word of mouth or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission of the author.
  • Mature Content: This Story contains foul language, description of erotica, acts of perversion and graphic violence intended for mature readers. There is going to be a lot of brutality, blood and gore you are about to experience ahead which you might not be comfortable with. Reading discretion is solicited.
  • The series has its origins in Indian mythology with occultism, ghosts, black magic in the backdrop and psychological illnesses playing an important role in the protagonists' lives. Nothing is unsolicited - neither belief in ancient texts, rituals etc. nor modern scientific explanation, when survival is the only necessity.
  • Genre: Horror, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Setting Place: Places in Kolkata, West Bengal and a remote village in Dodamarg, Maharashtra are primary settings in the plot with occasional secondary settings being Delhi, Rajasthan locations, India.
  • Setting Time: December 2019, July 2009, 19th Century, 11th Century
  • Tone: Scary, action, romance
  • Season: One
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Rural Superstitions:
  • He is a fierce warrior who primarily dwells in charnel grounds and can take vague, shadowy or evanescent forms mingling with the darkness of night. His piercing eyes throw an ominous gaze. A gaping mouth reveals sharp fangs. A sword is held in one hand for slaying enemies and a skull bowl in another for drinking blood. A scorpion dangles around his waist girdle made of bells and serpents entwine as armlets. A garland of human skulls adorns his neck. Large circular earlobes swoops over his shoulders and skeletal body frame shows pronounced rib cage. Veetal - the protector of villages, the chieftain of ghosts rests in a dilapidated temple atop the Vetaal mountains in a remote village of Dadoka district of Maharashtra. The villagers seldom pass that way after dusk.
  • Hidden inside a secret chamber of the sanctuary is an ancient book. It is said that anyone who finds the book and follows the instructions will inherit the wits, wisdom and powers of Veetal - the knowledgeable, fortune-telling, paranormal entity who controls all spirits stuck in the twilight zone, between life and afterlife. An accepted disciple can become the richest or most powerful man on earth and can inflict harm upon his enemies remotely. No humans, ghosts, demons, monsters or any supernatural being can compete with a person who has won the trust of Vetaal. However anyone who invokes his wrath is sure to be doomed. He can drive people mad in sleep, kill children, and cause miscarriages in women. Being unaffected by the laws of space and time, he has an uncanny knowledge about the past, present, and future and a deep insight into human nature. It is impossible to escape the Veetal's army of undead unleashed behind anyone. They will never rest till they had found their prey out, killed and carried the body to be devoured by their master.
  • STORY:
  • 'Season One' starts with a Kolkattan philologist coming to Dodamarg, Maharashtra in search of an ancient book, but disappears soon after taking shelter in Vetaal temple for a night. His driver, apprehended by the police commits suicide in the lock-up before they could get anything out of him. A year later when the police had wiped her uncle's name off the records, a young girl visits Dodamarg in search of her missing relative. From a diary where he used to scribble notes, she traces the acharya on whose request her uncle had gone to Dodamarg to retrieve an old scripture which could open new vistas of research for hindu culture. Despite the acharya's warnings she sets out to explore the place from where her uncle had disappeared and is found to be brutally murdered the next morning behind bushes near the temple. Prima facie evidence suggested a wild beast, possibility a leopard but the local people had other interpretations.
  • Ten Years Later, Kolkata
  • Shivangi and Suparna, both sisters suffer from Narcolepsy - a psychological disease in which the patient has sudden attacks of sleep, regardless of circumstances. When Shivangi files a missing person report in the name of her sister who has disappeared from her apartment, the police is initially unconcerned. However when homicide inspector Arunava Sarkar learns of two similar disappearances and discovery of three mutilated bodies - cases which had been dumped as unsolved by his department earlier, he finds a connection - except that the killer seemed to be a magician too, who could make bodies disappear from closed rooms.
  • The signature and modus operandi of the killings pointed to 'The Mechanic' - a dreaded serial killer of the nineteenth century accused of having executed more than twenty-five horrific murders in and around Kolkata, hoodwinking the police everytime they closed upon him and to have committed suicide in the end. He'd pose as a plumber, electrician, mason or carpenter and gain entry into homes - hence the name earned. All his victims belonged to the upper class of the society and were primarily women. Police had traced him to an acclaimed ventriloquist whose shows ran to packed houses in the city . A photo of him clad in a black leather jacket, a red bow-tie with face covered by a puppet mask dominated page one of all leading dailies in those days along with the reports of his misdeeds. He was believed to be a practicer of black magic too and bodies of dead cocks, sindoor, pins, chillies and lemons were discovered from the chawl where his body was found.
  • The sisters lost their parents in a car accident long ago. Suparna had stayed with Shivangi and her brother-in-law post their marriage for sometime . Then following an altercation with her brother-in-law over their family property she moves on to an apartment in Saltlec. Suparna is an introvert who loved to thrive in an imaginary, make-believe world. It was peculiar that given her age her bookshelf still abounded with fairytales and childhood fantasy books. She derived the thrills from horror shows on television.
  • In her own life Shivangi is looked down upon by her husband for her inability to bear child. For her very first time Shivangi develops a liking for the handsome, helping and compassionate Arunava. Arunava who happens to be a loner reciprocate her feelings too. The duo comes closer after the young police officer goes a step ahead and rescues Shivangi from a terrible accident a second time.
  • The police in the mean time apprehends a puppet vendor, believed to be involved in the murder of the young girl and her mother - whose mutiliated bodies were discovered from a house in Joka. The father, a businessman had gone missing from the spot . Raghu, from whom the man had purchased an automatic doll for his daughter was the only lead in the Joka killings so far. But he was shifted to mental home soon following his arrest . When Arunava's informer apprises him of the death of Raghu's sick daughter who was in a coma since months, he immediately makes arrangements to meet Raghu at the asylum and blackmail him emotionally into speaking the truth without divulging about his daughter's death.
  • Raghu confesses to have raised Vetaal through an ancient book and sought his help in exchanging her daughter's soul with a young girl of her age. However as the experiment failed he'd try killing more girls, having grown powers from his master now. Arunava couldn't get any information about the location of the book from him. The very evening Raghu flees the prison after killing the janitor and a number of security guards. He is after Arunava now. Almost at the same time Shivangi gets pulled into the mechanic's parallel universe in her dreams, just like her sister.
  • Arunava has to go back into time now, find the mechanic and kill him in his time frame if he has to prevent Shivangi's soul being imprisoned by Vetaal forever . But how? If legends are to be believed Vetaal's undead soldiers carry their victims to their master by getting inside their dreams, travelling through space and time . The only other way to go back in time was to get hold of the ancient book and perform the rituals to please the chieftain. Arunava's flight to Dodamarg is delayed owing to bad weather and as he tries to bat an eyelid, settling down on the airport lounge at DumDum, he suddenly finds Raghu before him.
  • Abhik Dasgupta is a Civil Engineer, Author, literary, blogger and book-reviewer. His poems and proses are centred around the common man and the array of emotions brought out through life's unusual situations . His stories mainly fall under dark fantasy, paranormal, psychological thriller and serial-killer genres. He also writes contemporary romance and domestic drama. Abhik has two novelettes published on Amazon now. Besides DON'T FALL ASLEEP another of his novel BLOOD MOON is being published serially from Wattpad. Abhik has been associated with reputed media groups like Times of India and have been vocal on various social issues through his blogs.