Catherine G. Lurid

Страна: Великобритания

Catherine G. Lurid — современная писательница в жанрах мистика, ужасы, детектив. Родом из Беларуси, Катерина начала писать относительно недавно в 2019 году. Творческая карьера Catherine G. Lurid стартовала с серии мистического фэнтези «Мемуары Ведьмы», которые вышли под псевдонимом Кати Беяз и публикуются на русском языке от издательства ALFABIA. Позже были написаны еще 5 романов и сборник коротких рассказов. Помимо постоянной работы над новыми творениями, Катерина самостоятельно переводит свои работы на английский язык, тесно сотрудничает с зарубежными редакторами и книжными блогерами.

Country: UK

Catherine G. Lurid, a contemporary writer in the genres of mystery, horror, and detective fiction, hails from Belarus. Her writing journey began relatively recently in 2019. Catherine G. Lurid’s creative career took off with the series of mystical fantasy novels titled “Witch Memoirs”. An eight-volume sequel is currently in the process of writing, two books of which are published under the pseudonym Kati Beyaz and released in Russian by ALFABIA Publishing. In addition to the sequel, Catherine is an author of five full-length novels and a collection of short stories. Relentlessly working on new creations, Catherine herself undertakes the translations of her books into English. She closely collaborates with international editors and book bloggers.

Отрывок из ужаса ”The 13th Peak: The Whisper of Death”

He was the one who conquered 12 mountain peaks over 26,000 feet in height. But it wasn’t that which made him a madman, it was the fact that he conquered 9 of them alone and without supplemental oxygen. By the time he reached the world’s highest summit, six of his toes had been amputated. He lost the tip of his ear, and still felt the fused fractures on his ribs, which throbbed relentlessly during every storm.
The bodies at the bottom of the Khumbu were far from the last living monuments of Mount Everest. At different altitudes, frozen daredevils served as grim landmarks for climbers. For instance, at 27,800 feet above sea level, an Indian named Tsewang Samanla, known as “Green Boots,” was frozen solid to the rock. Wearing green boots on Everest is considered a bad omen because if such a fashionista was to fall ill at this altitude and get stuck in the snow, no one would come to his aid. Everyone would mistake the poor soul for a corpse without noticing the difference. Nex door with Tsewang, for the past 50 years, on one of the slopes just 2,000 feet from the summit, Hannelore Schmatz has been sitting. The German woman conquered the peak but remained there forever. For several years, her gray hair streamed in the wind, and the glassy gaze of her lifeless eyes sent shivers down one’s spine. Relentless storms had done their work, leaving behind Hannelore’s bare skull and her body frozen in an unnatural pose.
Needless to say, it always wasn’t without reason that the attitude above 26,000 feet labeled as Death Zone — the zone where you’re basically dying. At that level the air is so thin that even with supplemental oxygen every minute that you spend is killing you. The brain becomes confused and even small movements require Herculean efforts.
As a mad addition every climber carry an astonishing amount of equipment with him. It’s important no doubt to stay in touch with the family and loved ones. But most of all — with the television crews, to secure the moment of fame. Many perish due to the weight of their gadget-filled backpacks, but they can’t be blamed for it. Fame is a normal desire for human beings. It’s the driving force that pushes people towards the capricious slopes of Jomolungma, the power that makes them risk their own lives.
This would be true for the vast majority of peak conquerors, but not for Daniel Hoff. He enjoyed being where no human foot had trodden. And he prefers that fewer people knew about it. That’s why no one has no idea where he was or what he was doing at the very moment. To some extent, Daniel did it to spare others unnecessary worry. In another hand, he simply didn’t care about the accompanying benefits of personal achievements.
The merciless Everest claimed the lives of 304 daredevils. Needless to say, the official statistics hardly reflect the reality. If Hoff never returned to the base camp, he wouldn’t become the 305th victim. Daniel haven’t registered his route, didn’t inform the journalists of his intentions, and he couldn’t manage to hire a Sherpa. If he was destined to get lost here, no one would go looking for him.
The tingling sensation on his skin had a calming effect. It was like acupuncture, administered by the snow-laden winds. The tent tarp darkened and sagged. After hastily consuming the warmed soup, a pleasant heat spread throughout his body, lulling him to sleep. His eyelids grew heavy, and his hands fumbled with the zipper of his sleeping bag. With a little more effort, Daniel would immerse himself in his down-filled kingdom. Fatigue triumphed over his remaining senses, and Daniel closed his inflamed eyes.
The wind outside grew stronger, but it didn’t disturb his slumber. Was there any point in worrying about the storm when it had already begun? Nothing could be changed. The tent might be buried in snow, an avalanche could sweep down from the slopes, the glacier could crack and rupture. In four out of five unlikely scenarios, Daniel Hoff would be a dead man. It was always better to fall asleep and never wake up than to die in agony, waiting for help in this place that had been visited by no more than 10,000 people in the entire history of mountaineering.
Slowly, viator consciousness returned from a brief sleep. He had trained himself to awake in three-hour intervals, which meant that after assessing the situation, he would be able to sleep again for the coveted 180 minutes. Without opening his eyes, Daniel could clearly hear that the storm persisted. The green glow of the night lamp seeped through his eyelids, while the gusts of wind continued to tug at the left side of the tent. What did it mean? He wasn’t drowsy; there was a chance he could tackle the thirty-minute task in the morning, clearing the debris. Suddenly, amidst the monotonous howling of the wind, a prolonged moan reached his ears.
“Wolves!” Daniel opened his eyes and freed his hand from the sleeping bag.
He twisted the dial of the camping lamp and hunkered down. The mountain gathered strength and unleashed a new gust, depositing an extraordinary amount of snow onto the tent. The howling winds gave way to a guttural groan that seemed to emanate from very close by. Hoff knew what animal sounds were like—the bark of a dog, the howl of a wolf, even the growl of a bear. But what approached his fragile tent couldn’t easily be attributed to any of them.
Steps. The crunch of snow as someone slowly made his way through the storm. Daniel was momentarily paralyzed. His body lost its tone, while his heart, on the contrary, beat like a toy wound up on the floor. Someone stopped right at the entrance and shuffled in place.
“Is anyone alive?” came the voice from outside.
Climber let out an audible exhale. He leaned forward and switched on the nightlight.
“Yes, yes! I’ll open it now!” Daniel bent down and pulled up the zipper.
The tent tarp helplessly fluttered in the wind, and in the green glow of the lamp, a smiling bearded face appeared.
“Greetings! Can I come in?” the stranger raised an icy mitten into the air.
“Of course!” the mountaineer squirmed in his sleeping bag, as if a caterpillar inching away.
The giant squeezed himself beneath the low roof. His hefty frame occupied no less than half of the space. For a moment, Daniel recoiled, regretting his act of hospitality. But someday, it could be himself asking for shelter, so it was better not to provoke fate.
“Boris!” The burly man extended his hand, still concealed under a glove.
“Daniel!” Hoff shook the firm, ice-cold palm and glanced at the camping stove. “Would you like some tea?”
“Only if it’s from the thermos,” Boris smirked. “Haven’t you heard about the poisoning? Everyone at the 20,000 feet camp fell ill. Every single person!”
“Poisoning?” Daniel furrowed his brow. “Well, what could you possibly get poisoned with up here?”
“Snow, my friend, plain old snow! First, we noticed a strange smell as we melted it, and then there was an ammonia taste in the water.”
“Ammonia?” man’s eyebrows shot up beneath the edge of his knit hat.
“Feces, dear colleague. Those masses don’t just disappear. Tons of excrement flow down the slopes during the thaw. Well, we have nothing to be proud of. Humanity has poisoned even the most remote corner of the planet with its own excrement.”
Numb with disbelief, Daniel could only swallow loudly. If this was true, he would have to turn back. The preparations, the training, and most importantly, the journey through the Khumbu—all would be in vain.
“So, you came down seeking help?” he broke the silence, suddenly noticing that his companion had shrunk in size.
Daniel blinked. What a strange mirage. Just a couple of minutes ago, Boris barely fit in the corner where he sat, and now… now he was deflating like a balloon. Moreover, a puddle had formed beneath the man, and a droplet fell from his beard with a resounding thud. However odd it all seemed, the visitor was thawing, sitting there at Hoff’s feet.
“Are you alright?” Daniel asked, observing the limp gloves and the withered trousers.
Boris’s stomach gurgled. He didn’t turn around. Now he sat completely still, seemingly lost in thought.
“Boris!” Daniel leaned forward, but his voice was drowned out by a dreadful gurgling sound emanating from beneath the visitor’s jacket.
“You know, everything fades away: pain, sadness, misunderstanding. But this… This remains forever,” at last he spoke.
“What?” Daniel furrowed his brows.
“Cold! This infernal cold. It stays with you forever… ” Boris’s voice came out in a raspy whisper, barely audible over the howling wind.
“What are you talking about?” The mountaineer touched Boris on the shoulder, causing him to jerk and turn around.
The first thing Daniel Hoff noticed was the foolish smile on the bluish lips.
“Are you al… ” He suddenly fell silent, noticing the vivid corpse-like patches on the man’s face.
“I’m fine, really”, Boris revealed his bloody gums.
His eyes had slightly clouded over, and strips of thin skin detached from his cheeks. He wiped his damp nose, the tip of which promptly fell off. It didn’t seem to bother the visitor at all — he continued to wear his horrifying smile and stared at Daniel with lifeless eyes. New rumblings erupted in his abdomen, and Boris recoiled, releasing a putrid fluid from his body.
Ask anyone what smell is the most unbearable, and every living person will answer: nothing compares to the stench of death. There is nothing more repulsive than the rotting flesh of a human being.
In a daze, Hoff emerged from his sleeping bag and immediately bolted out of the tent. The storm was subsiding, only sporadically tossing remnants of snow. But in his terrified state, Daniel failed to notice any of this. He ran blindly away from the walking dead that had dropped by for a visit in the middle of the night. The snow quickly clung to his woolen socks, slowing his pace. Before long, gasping for breath, Daniel found himself mired in a snowdrift. From behind, he heard the familiar, haunting moan. It was a cry that did not belong to an animal but to a human. And this time, the traveler realized: the screaming figure was the risen dead, just like Boris.

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