Shushrut Devadiga, Batch of 2025, Kirit P. Mehta School of Law, Mumbai
Date: 14th November 2020
Tonight, I led 5 officers in a raid on a derelict and crumbling apartment in Byculla. Half an hour ago, we received a complaint from a hawker who had passed by the building which contained the apartment, claiming that he had heard the repeated shrieks of a woman. After breaking open the door, we came upon a shocking scene that I think, will be forever etched in all of our memories. In front of us stood around 15 naked cultists, swirling fanatically around a body.
The body of a young adolescent girl, hideously disfigured. Her head, upper limbs, and torso, had been flayed and these sections of this human graft were placed upon a burning pyre. Her face, still dripping with blood, was worn by the head cultist, who sang some hideous chant in an unknown language. We had recovered some items from the grisly scene, the strangest amongst them was a strange leather-bound book, “Necronomicon”. In it were a collection of gibberish words, written in a musty red ink. The head cultist, after having been interrogated, explained that they were attempting to resurrect a God, who they called “Our Lord – the Flayed One”. He stated that he was one of the “Old Ones”, a set of primordial deities who had lived from time immemorial that currently were in a deep slumber. On the way back to the station, one of the hawaldars fainted.
Date: 17th November 2020
We had sent the book to be evaluated by an expert, who we hoped could explain its origins and purpose. Today, I had been invited over by him to discuss the same. Dr Santiketan, a prominent professor and historian, said that the book probably dates back to the 10th-11th century and is purported to be written by an infamous Arab occultist by the name of Al-Ahazred. Originally called the “Kitab-al-Azif”, meaning the book of the Death, many copies are held by various occult groups throughout the world, who try to use it to summon the “Old Ones”. The occultists believe that resurrecting these gods would give them power that has been present since the dawn of humanity. Dr Santiketan stated that he discovered this book and the cult during his trip to Kathmandu for a guest lecture at the state university. The local police had solicited his help when they discovered a group indulging in the same rituals as indulged in by the one encountered by me. He mentioned that the purpose of this terrible ritual seemed to be an attempt to revive the Old Ones, especially the one colloquially known as “Our Lord – the Flayed One”. The professor also warned me to be careful, stating that these occultists have friends in high places and mentioned how the Kathmandu Police Department’s investigation was squashed by the government.
Date: 24th November 2020
Today, our station had received a surprise visit from the DCP, Robert Faria. He had asked to see me in private, so I took him to my office and closed the door. Once inside, he ordered me to stop the probe, stating that it is the CM’s order. I was completely shocked by the absurdity of this command and asked him if he was joking. With a stern face, he ordered me to stop the case and furnished an angry email from the Chief Minister, demanding an immediate halt to this investigation. He warned that both my job and my life is on the line. He then asked me to hand over the evidence and to release the prisoners stating that not enough evidence was found to incriminate them. He then told me to find a scapegoat and stated that this conversation must not leave the room. Once I reached home, I resolved to investigate this matter in secret.
Date: 1st December 2020
During my investigation, I managed to gain access to several newspaper articles, buried into secrecy by the editorial boards and the government about the cult. These reports were scattered all over South Asia in cities like Delhi, Kanpur, Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Mysore, Cochin, Dhaka, Chittagong, Kathmandu, Thimphu, Kandy, Colombo, Lahore, Karachi, and Kabul, to list a few. They all had similar practices of sacrificing the flayed skin of a young human to their terrifying ‘Flayed Lord’. But why did they do this? And why do the governments all around the subcontinent seem to protect these hideous criminals? God only knows.
Date: 3rd December 2020
I decided to visit the Professor, to enlist his help in my clandestine investigation. Initially, he refused, but I somehow managed to convince him. I had brought the copy of the Necronomicon that I was supposed to give to the DCP the next day. All night, we both attempted to decipher and transcribe what was written in this accursed book to understand what was the purpose of the books. As we went through each page, deciphering the jumbled Arabic into understandable sentences, we learnt more about the Old Ones, the numerous spells and the powers they granted. It seems that these cursed gods had been alive since the very birth of the universe and had commanded the early humans to worship them until their cult died down and was replaced by the plethora of pantheons that form the basis of today’s religions. Thousands of years later, these beings would start communicating with the learned Arabic Scholar Al-Hazred, who soon went mad after writing the Book of the Death. Though there were various Gods mentioned, we were confused about why the cult of the flayed gods was being found all over South Asia. But then we got our answer. We learned that the Flayed God granted incredible psychic power to his worshipers, including the power to influence people’s minds to do their bidding. Upon learning this, I developed a theory, which, if true, would be petrifying. What if our power-hungry leaders sought this power, to maintain control and force us to do what they wanted? The Professor dismissed it immediately, refusing to believe that anyone could be that savage.
Date: 7th December 2020
I don’t have much time. Santiketan has sold me out and I can hear the police banging at my door. I shall be compiling all my evidence and hiding it somewhere, for someone to read. I still hope that none of this is true, the cult, the things that are written in this book, and especially my theories. But by the looks of it, everything seems to point in the other direction. God, why have you brought this misery upon me? I can hear them ramming the door now. My time has come. If you find these manuscripts, you…
- “Great Old One.” The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki, <https://lovecraft.fandom.com/wiki/Great_Old_One> Accessed 23rd February 2021.
- Knight, Matt. “What is the Necronomicon.” Flame Tree Press, <http://blog.flametreepublishing.com/fantasy-gothic/bid/77585/What-Is-The-Necronomicon-Gothic-Horror> Accessed 23rd February 2021.