Mattreya’s claw-like left hand sank into the vampire’s neck

Mattreya’s claw-like left hand rose again and sank deep into the vampire’s neck. There was a collective cry. Those who had been standing too close to the stage were splattered with blood.

There was a second’s silence. Everyone started to clap in unison. A monster had been destroyed. Nobody seemed to care that it was another monster that had done it.

‘This is what iMagic can do for you.

‘Destroy all the evil in your path. Conquer the universe so that nothing can come in your way,’ said Vajrin

I couldn’t quite see the connection between killing a vampire and owning a device, but it definitely left the crowd on a high note. The Vama picked up the head of the vampire by its hair and showed it to the audience. They cheered and clapped.

‘Mattreya! Mattreya! Mattreya!’

The vampire’s body lay on the stage, wilting in plain sight as blood gushed from it. Someone behind me retched. I turned around to find Dakini throwing up over her stilettos.

‘Why the hell would someone do this in a civilized party,’ she bellowed when she regained her voice. She wiped the puke from her face. ‘I think I will leave right—’


‘INVITE SOILED, OBSCENE, RED FILTH HERE?’ Nasty stood in front of Vajrin, his right hand outstretched, staff pointed threateningly. Riju tried to hold him back, but Nasty was furious, his dark eyes burning in the dim light. This was going to be interesting, I thought, amused. First a Vama glory show and now a Kaula standoff.

The clans of Vamas and Kaulas hated each other’s guts. It had been murder, every time they met. The establishment of CAT had brokered an uneasy truce between them. At least no one had killed the other since, publicly that is. They could never trust each other completely because they just didn’t trust the other’s tantrism style.

Kaulas were White tantriks

Tantriks who used sexual energy to tap into shakti. They hated sacrifices or blood. Vamas, the Red tantriks, revelled in killing, choosing soulbeasts, sacrificing animals and hoarding the shakti created from those. They were completely different kinds of magic. And Vajrin had invited both to his party. He sure would make the headlines the next day. ‘Death-bringers like him should stay in the wild, which is where they belong, gorging on meat from innocents!’

Excerpted from Cult of Chaos, an Anantya Tantrist Mystery. Check out Anantya Tantrist’s (mis)adventures in Cult of Chaos, The Matsya Curse or The Rakta Queen. Out now.