The Devil's Compass
by Jason Dookeran
The compass needle spun around and around, not settling on one direction, just turning around and around. At random-seeming intervals, the direction of spin would reverse -- clockwise, counterclockwise, clockwise... but the needle never stopped moving.
"I'll make you a bargain," the old man said to Terri. "Give me ten dollars and I'll give you the compass."
"But it doesn't work anyway," Terri complained. "How about I give you five dollars and take it off your hands?"
The old man rubbed his fingernails on his dingy lapel and looked at them in the bright sunlight. "Price is ten dollars young miss. You're not getting it for a dollar less."
Terri looked on at the compass spinning around and around and her mind started spiraling. She didn't want a compass. She never went outdoors and was never a brownie or a camper. What on earth would she do with it, even if it worked? Still, something about it tugged at her, a nagging thought like a fishhook embedded in her head. The compass needle spun, catching the light from the sun and reflecting it back to her eye. Her heart leaped as the shard of light flashed over her left eye and sunk into her soul.
"You drive a hard bargain, Mister..." she paused. Had the old man given her his name? She couldn't remember.
"Name's Oscar," he said, reaching out to shake her hand. He had a firm and steady grip, quite the opposite of what she was expecting. "So missy, are you buying the compass?"
"Please don't call me missy, and why would I want a broken compass anyway?" Terri queried again.
"If you offered me a name, my dear young woman, I wouldn't have to call you missy," Oscar replied, rubbing the back of his head. His eyes shifted upwards to take in the blue sky above them.
Terri looked at the compass again and once again that strange pull arose in her. She must have that compass. She must possess it. She pulled her eyes away with some effort to look at Oscar, her eyes narrowing.
"Okay, okay, I know it looks broken, but it ain't." Oscar leaned closer to her and whispered conspiratorially "This compass belonged to a very important man!"
Terri looked at him, disbelief evident on her face. "I find that a little hard to swallow," she replied.
Oscar sighed. "Give me five bucks and you can have the darned thing. It's only been trouble since I found it."
Somewhere inside Terri rejoiced as she handed over the five dollars and collected the compass from Oscar. His eyes lit up as he gazed upon the five-dollar bill.
It was probably more money than he had seen for quite a while, Terri guessed. She wondered if the old man was going to spend it all on liquor; the glint in his eyes made her think that this was very possibly the case.
"Caveat Emptor and all that" Oscar said and hoisted his duffel bag unto his back. "I've never run up against a soul I couldn't sell something to and my record remains intact. Good day, my dear." He lifted the small hat off the crown of his head and bowed, then returned it to the crown from whence it came, stood up and started to walk off into the distance.
Terri stood gazing at the fine metalwork that made up the housing of the compass. It was heavier than she had expected, and in addition to the needle idly wobbling about the pin mounted in the centre of the face there were inlaid designs wrought of some highly polished metal. Terri thought it looked too shiny to be silver. A breeze blew through the cotton plants and raised her hair, but she didn't even notice. The spinning of the needle was almost hypnotic.
"Terri!" shouted someone. The voice seemed to come from miles away. She could barely make out the words, much less where it was coming from. It wasn't important now though, it was too far away to matter. She heard the call again, this time from a little nearer, but her mind was enveloped in a mound of fuzz. The voices drifted as if they were seeping through the cotton ear-pads she used to make to keep out the drunken noise when the plantation hands had a party.
"Terri! Laws alive girl!"
Finally the voice snapped her out of the trancelike state she was in.
"Whey you's a-goin Missus?" Talitha, the old maid that they hired at the plantation was holding her shoulder.
"I wasn't going anywhere Talitha" Terri replied. She really wasn't, as far as she knew anyway.
"Laws chile, you's almost been land fill" the old woman replied, spinning the girl around. Terri looked at the ditch which dropped away for what seemed like forever in front of her and shuddered. How did she get there?
"I-I'm sorry Talitha" Terri stammered. "I-I don't know..."
"It all right honeychile" the old black woman replied and clasped the child to her ample bosom. Terri felt safe in the arms of her former nursemaid and relaxed a little. Her hands sought the familiar safety of her own pockets. As she slid her left hand into her left pocket, the icy cold compass housing touched her fingers and she shuddered again. Talitha hugged her tighter, but no amount of warmth could take the dirty feeling of that icy draught up her spine.
The sun was slowly sinking behind the cotton plants as the laborers came in, their large sacks holding cotton latched onto their backs. Their shadows lengthened across the field as the late evening sunshine drew their shadows out like exorcized spirits from their frames.
Terri looked at them, not concentrating much on their faces, but looking through them. She tried to figure out how and why she had come to be on the lip of the cliff she had almost fallen over earlier, but to no avail. Absentmindedly she slipped her hand into the pocket of her skirt and touched the compass. She had first thought the compass had made her go there but considering that the compass was just a tool without a voice or soul of its own, the idea was simply ludicrous.
She had never had episodes of losing total recognition and control over her body. It seemed strange that it had happened to her just after she bought the compass. She shook her head to clear it of the suggestion that the compass could have anything to do with it.
"There's my girl!" A strong, deep voice floated out of the darkness and Terri smiled. Her father had finally come home from his daily inspection of the plantation boundaries. He placed his arms around her, hugging both her and the chair in one massive embrace.
Terri giggled. "How was the inspection today Pa?" she asked.
Her father got up from behind the chair and proceeded to the edge of the veranda to look out over the cotton plants swaying in the disappearing sunlight. "We might be in for some trouble," he said simply.
"What's wrong?" Terri asked.
"Nothing you should worry your pretty little head about. How was your day princess?" Her father turned back to face her, leaning on the balustrade of the veranda and smiling at her. Even in the approaching darkness, she could see the shine in his eyes and grass stalk he was perpetually chewing. She had gotten so used to it that when it wasn't there on mornings she found his face looked incomplete.
"Went over to the creek for a bit. Trout's not biting. Walked around the cotton flowers and found a penny on the ground." She hadn't told her father about the compass, something inside her told her that he wouldn't understand and might take it away from her. Even though the nagging feeling remained in her mind that it had almost killed her, she simply could not let the thing go.
"Penny on the ground's good luck," her father replied and walked past her into the house, ruffling her hair. "Don't come in too late, reading in the lamplight ain't good for ya."
She giggled again. Her father had always made fun of her for reading by lamplight and anytime she sat out on the veranda past sunset, he would tell her that. It never failed to make her laugh. Her mind was a thousand miles away tonight and the laugh was just a pretense. Looking around to make sure her father had gone inside, she pulled out the compass.
The needle had started shaking and vibrating, pointing to the big ‘W' marking the west-point of the etched face. No matter which way Terri spun it, the needle remained on the westerly point. The bushes to the west rustled suddenly, causing her to start. Out of the darkness came Jonah, one of the field hands. His face was a mixture of fear and worry as he ran up the veranda stairs.
"Massa Colt! Massa Colt!" the man shouted, his baritone echoing off the walls.
Rapid boot falls announced the urgency of Terri's father's arrival. "What is it?" he asking simply.
"De blade sah. Dem sharpen eet and it ah cut him. Him ah bleed." The black man's skin caught and reflected the lamp's glow. Terri looked down at his hands and saw they were dripping, but the color of what was dripping from his hands remained in the shadow.
Colt rushed inside and came back out a few seconds later with the old medicine bag they kept around for emergencies. "Stay there, Terri!" he commanded as he and Jonah disappeared into the darkness to the west.
Terri took the compass out of the hiding place she had hastily stuffed it -- under her skirt -- and watched as the needle twitched eagerly, still quivering to the west. Terri was torn between leaving the compass to point where it wanted and following it. From the darkness she heard a harsh scream, the pain in it grating her nerves. She closed her eyes, wincing and almost feeling the pain. She looked down at the compass and the needle again swung idly about.
The bushes rustled and she hastily returned to the chair she had been sitting in. Jonah and her father came back up the veranda stairs, both of their hands covered in blood as she could see from the brownish-red glow as it reflected the yellow light. Their faces were solemn and she could hear the soft voice of her father giving instructions to Jonah to tell the priest about the death and prepare the body for burial.
And the needle spun around and around, pointing at everything and nothing at the same time.
Sunlight flooded the little room, first falling over the windowsill then slowly inching its way across until it brushed its fingertips on the face of the sleeping girl. Unperturbed she kept on sleeping and it wasn't until four knocks in quick succession rattled her door did she finally open her eyes. Quickly she slid out of bed, half of her brain still asleep as she walked towards the solid wood door. Four sharp knocks came again.
"Terri? Are you still asleep?" her father's voice boomed through the closed door.
"Just a minute, Dad," she replied, slipping the latch on the door loose. He pushed the door gently and stepped inside the sunlit room.
"We had an accident last night and one of the field-hands died. I know you're not blind and I know you saw us last night, but I thought I should tell you before that McNamara kid starts making up dodgy stories again." He fidgeted. "I would like if you weren't here for the burial, he isn't in good shape even after the treatment we gave him. I can take you to town and let Talitha keep you company while you get some shopping done. How 'bout that?"
Terri's mind turned around and around, quite like the compass needle did. She didn't feel a great urge to go to town. Stranger still, she didn't feel any urge to go shopping either. Her mind rested uneasily on the compass the way one's hand rests on a bowl that is covering a deadly creature that can bite you at any time.
"I think I'd just like to walk around the plantation a bit, Dad," she said, deliberately trying to sound sincere. "I promise I won't hang around near the house or the churchyard."
Colt looked at his daughter. It wasn't like her to turn down a free shopping expedition. Still, she didn't want her to see the hideous cuts and scars that were left on the body of the young man who had died that night. The field-hands were already talking about some evil spirit. If he was a religious man, he would have believed in evil spirits too. The scars on the man's body were too regular to be anything random. He had a cut on his lower arm, near the wrist...
"Dad?" Terri interrupted him. "Can I stay around the plantation?"
"Only if you promise me not to go to the church, then we have a deal. Shake on it?" He held out his hand and she took it, giving it one strong pump.
Colt left the room thinking about the knife-sharpening cut that had spread across the man's body as if it were a sickness and the strange eight-pointed star that had appeared over his heart.
Terri got out of bed and slipped on her clothes, thinking about what her father had said. There was something he didn't want her to see and that was fine by her. More often than not he had a good reason for not wanting her to be in some places. He had always been her guide and he hadn't led her wrong yet.
After she dragged on her pair of old shoes, she dug around in her drawer for the compass. She had placed it in a small box that held a collection of black, smooth stones that she collected on her ramblings around the Plantation. She pulled out the drawer and stopped. The black stones were now drained of all color, their black sheen faded to a sickly gray-white. The compass needle spun along its track and quivered now and again, but nothing else happened. She reached out her hand to touch the compass and the stones beneath it crumbled as if they were dust.
She dusted off the compass, taking great care to wipe the dust off the shiny bottom of the instrument. The thing felt cold and dead in her hands as she looked at the back of it. She could make out a small inscription, very faint, running in a small rectangular space near the top of the back plate. She ran her finger over it and it seemed to fade and disappear. She changed the angle the light hit the back plate but the engraving refused to return.
Terri shrugged and turned the compass right side up again. The needle had started quivering again. She felt a slight jolt go through her, but she wasn't sure if it was just the compass or excitement about the movement of the instrument.
She looked at the compass pointing to her left. Hopping off her bed and running down the stairs she followed the direction the compass dictated. She ran past tall rows of cotton plants, the white, fluffy balls drifting and floating on the wind. The compass had stopped quivering and was pointing unerringly ahead of her. She looked up and realized she had come about midway into the middle cotton field to the south of the plantation. This was the part of the field most of the workers avoided. A sudden rustle of the plants to her left made her duck down and hide behind a small clump of cotton plants.
Out in the middle of the lane she had just been was a dog. The animal seemed miserable, its eyes were rolled back in its head and unfocused and its walk was the staggering gait of an animal that was in the last stages of rabies. Terri knew the shuffling uncertain movements of such an animal and knew damned well enough to stay away from it. If it bit her, she was a goner. She gripped the compass so tightly her knuckles started to lose feeling. The metal from the casing of the compass suddenly turned massively hot and then dropped back. Terri was shocked but the temperature change didn't last for more than a few seconds.
Almost immediately, the dog let out a woebegone howl and started twitching. Dark spots formed just behind its ear and just above its back leg and black lines started moving across the animal's body. The howls became more painful and were accompanied by what seemed like choking sobs as the animal groaned and pleaded with some unseen power. Blood started flowing from the black gashes as they linked up with each other. With a final strangled yelp the animal fell on its side, still shaking in convulsions. The other side of the poor dog was also covered in the same spidery marks and blood was running like a river down is side. It twitches and Terri suspected if it had a voice it would be screaming in agony. A final tremble went through its frame and it was still, its warm blood soaking into the ground beneath the corpse.
Terri looked down at the compass and the needle once again swung idly around and around.
Terri wandered around for a bit, trying to avoid going back to the field where the dog died. It sickened her and she had thrown up twice since then. She didn't know if she had anything in her stomach left. She looked down at the compass which was still clasped in her hand. The needle spun around describing a half and arc then spun back, not pointing at anything. Was this the reason the dog and the man last night died?
The man! That's probably what her father didn't want her to see. The dark spots and the blood and the spidery lines... She shook her head trying to clear it from the vision of the dog's blood flowing blood pooling and soaking into the ground. In the distance she heard the church bell ringing. The compass seemed to vibrate for a second in her hand but it settled back rather quickly.
She started walking towards the church, slipping the compass warily into her pocket. Yard after yard of cotton plants she passed, swaying in the light breeze. The sun was just beginning to get hot, it was past midmorning and the fishes were just starting to bite. She stopped. Her father had explicitly asked her not to go to the church. But she had to see for herself what happened to the man. She had never seen a dead human body before and the thought of seeing one made her shudder.
Closer, yard by yard, furlong by furlong she walked, every step taking her nearer to something she had no permission to see. A flash of heat in her pocket took her mind off confronting the dead body. She slid her hand into her pocket and touched the warm metal of the compass. It seemed to get hotter the closer she got to the church. She knew that the churchyard grounds began over the next hill, and apparently the compass knew it too.
She took out the compass, her hands shaking, and looked at it. The metal seemed to glow with some inner light and the instrument, usually cold or at least cool was now on the verge of burning her hand as she held it. The needle was going crazy, spinning erratically around, pointing behind her for a second before spinning to the exact opposite point and pointing ahead of her. Her brow furrowed, wondering if it was trying to give her a choice.
The needle suddenly spun violently to the midpoint between directly in front and directly behind her and stopped dead. She moved her hands along the outer face of the tool and ran her fingertips along the back plate. Her fingers encountered something rough towards the top, centre of the back plate and she recalled seeing the flash of engraving. She turned it around hurriedly and saw, engraved in small sober letters "Property of L. Cipher".
She didn't know any L. Cipher around here, but chances are that it was some person from out of state. The man who had sold it to her didn't seem like the kind to sit around and settle down for a long period of time. She turned the compass right side up again and saw the needle vibrate, straining to point to the left of her. She wondered what she would see if she went where the compass commanded.
Morbidly curious after her morning adventure, yet still slightly shaken from seeing the death of the dog, she turned so that the needle would face ahead of her and followed it through the cotton-lanes. The breeze ruffled the leaves of the cotton, making her stop more than once and turn around, suspecting of being followed by someone.
After a short while of running and stopping she emerged at the furthest end of the field and stopped short. Rows of cotton had stopped for a bit and there was a clearing between the fields a mite wider than a lane, possibly as much as three lanes if they were able to be lined up side by side. There was a large red stain running as far as Terri could see from one part of the lane to the other. She looked down at the compass and the needle resolutely pointed to the left. She followed it, glancing between the compass and the red stain. She could tell it was blood of some sort, but she didn't know what sort, whether human or animal.
A sharp, piercing scream floated from up the lane and Terri ran, forgetting to look at her compass, half-interested, half-worried about what she would find. Within seconds she could see a small figure, sitting in the middle of the divide with its legs tucked under it. A few seconds more revealed it to be a young girl, probably one of the field-hands' children. She couldn't be any more than four or five at most, and all along the child's skin were the black marks, slowly spreading and moving, snaking like worms beneath her skin, searching for each other.
Terri's mouth dropped open and she dropped the compass, running up to the girl to help her. "What's wrong?" she called out to the little girl.
"Mi nah know!" she replied. "It burn mistress, it burn hard!"
Terri leaned down to the girl and stroked her hair. She looked at the spidery marks on the girl's skin. They had stopped moving. They weren't getting any darker or spreading any wider, but they had stopped moving altogether. "How are you now?"
"Mi feel better miss" the child replied. "You touch musta stilled the demon."
Terri smiled. "Maybe we should get you cleaned up, what do you say?" she asked as she got to her feet, helping the little one up. They walked back towards the barracks where the field hands were living.
Behind her, left in the lane, the compass needle twitched in their direction, pointing at Terri and the little girl as they went towards the barracks, then idly spinning past only to come back and point at their rapidly disappearing backs.
Terri's newfound friend was called Amaya and together they saw her mother who was puzzled as to what the lines were. By now the black lines had almost faded to nothing and Terri wondered as well what significance the lines and the compass had together. Amaya's mother insisted they go to see the spirit-woman that lived in the barracks.
In an old shack near the edge of the barracks area was the woman who it was rumoured could speak with spirits. The threesome entered the yard which was littered with tin cans and other odds and ends. Although there was garbage all about, the yard seemed to have a sense of order. The doorway of the shack they were going to was covered with a faded pink cloth that Terri thought looked like one of the old bed spreads they used to have when she was little.
"Di little girl an' di massa daughter can come, but you is to stay outside miss lady", came a voice floating out of a nearby window. "Di to ah you walk up to di do' and spread di curtain. I go send Amaya home when we done Madam Lessey."
Amaya's mother nodded and quickly walked out of the yard, making a beeline for her tenement. Terri thought she had never seen a woman move so briskly or purposefully. She held Amaya's hand, feeling the warmth of it flow through her own. She squeezed the girl's hand gently and Amaya squeezed back, gazing up at her. Together they approached the old woman's house.
Terri parted the curtains and the light in the room seemed to dim for a second. Her eyes got used to it and at the far corner of this first room in the shack, she could see the old woman whose voice they had heard outside. Amaya squeezed Terri's hand again and Terri responded with a squeeze as well.
"Mi sense a uneasy about you..." the old woman's voice said. She stood up and moved towards the children. As she came into the muted light that was filtering through one of the side windows, Terri could make out the wrinkles on her face and the shawl she wore around her neck. "Come hold mih hand, and I see what wrong aye?"
Terri reached her hand out to the woman and in the instant they touched, Terri's mind seemed to shift and her eyes went blurry for a split second. She didn't like this feeling of being invaded. The old woman's eyes opened wide and her mouth dropped open as her eyes rolled back in her sockets. She seemed to have a fit for a few seconds then stopped and returned to normal.
As her eyes returned to normal, they narrowed as they looked at Terri, her gaze locked on the girl. "Amaya, go tell you mumma dat di evil be gone from you fuh now." Amaya turned to go and terri turned with her. "Not you yet. You stay." Terri froze. Had the old woman seen the thing that happened to the dog that morning? Was she going to tell someone that she had been thinking of going to the church?
Questions flashed through her mind as she let go of Amaya's hand.
"Go on then", she said to Amaya. "I shall come see you later."
Amaya opened the curtain, letting a single short shaft of light enter before the curtain fell again, blocking most of it out. Terri turned to face the woman who was still fixing her gaze on the teen.
"Come and sit. We have to talk." The woman's sentences were terse and short. Terri wondered if she did anything wrong as she followed the old woman to the table near the back that she had been seated at first.
"What do we have to talk about Miss...?" Terri began.
"You can call mih Ezme, and me ah priestess. I see you been in contact wit' some evil things." She looked at Terri again with narrowed eyes. "You ha' one of di devil possessions."
"Which devil?" Terri asked.
"There be only one devil chile, where you learn yuh religion from, eh? Many years ago him put his possessions on earth to cause havoc. Plenty times mi try to find them and plenty times mih fail. Dem all over the country now, people killin' people over them, thinkin' dem be somethin' desirable. Dem twist you to think so too. Befo' you know it, you has one and it use you de way dat you use ah plate or a spoon. You has one of dem, but me nah know which one..."
"I have a compass", Terri responded.
"Ah, de devil pointing glass", the old woman said, her eyes closed as she seemed to visualize something. "Yuh need to destroy it befo' it kill again."
"Again?" Terri asked.
"Yes chile! You don' tink dat man dead yesterday dead by himself? Or dat dog I see in your mind dat you see this mornin'? De devil glass doin' it. It does use you mind as fuel for it to project itself to ah target. Den it tears it apart from de inside till it dead, dead."
"How do I get rid of it?" Terri asked, the hair on the back of her neck standing up.
"Go get it and bring it to me. I go fix it proper" Ezme said.
Terri nodded curtly and got up from the chair. She heard the old woman start to bustle around with things inside the room as she parted the curtain and headed out to retrieve the compass where it lay.
Terri walked out to the lane where she had dropped the compass. The sun had started dipping down, not yet sinking, but just hanging in the sky. The evening had begun and during this time of year it didn't last long. She would have to search quickly and find it before the sun went down. She didn't know what it would do to anyone or anything that encountered it in the middle of the night and she didn't particularly want to find out.
She hadn't bothered searching near the start of the dividing lane, but continued on toward the far end where she had found Amaya in the throes of agony. She saw a silhouetted figure approaching her and quickened her pace. She didn't know who it could be since all the field hands were at the church. As the distance closed between them, she made out the weatherworn clothes and body of Oscar.
"Hey you! Peddler!" she called to him. His eyes which had been downcast up until now looked up. She could see that he hadn't slept in a while from the bags under his eyes.
"Do...do you still have that...that compass I sold you?' he asked. He licked his lips nervously. He wasn't the same man she had bought the compass from, he just couldn't be, but he was. The same face, although more worn. The same eyes, yet filled with weariness.
"I'm here looking for it, I dropped it here..." Terri began but he interrupted her.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have sold it to you, I need to get it back!" he said, fidgeting.
"I know its evil, there's a woman here who says she can destroy it" Terri responded.
"She's lying, isn't she?" he asked, but a small glimmer of hope entered his eyes.
"Why are you back for it after selling it to me? If you knew it was dangerous why did you part with it?" Terri asked. She was just getting over the shock of meeting the salesman again and was just about to lambaste him for selling her something that killed people and animals.
"It was...was given to me. I didn't know...know I couldn't give it to...to someone else." Oscar looked haunted, as though something was following him, dogging his steps.
"I...I'm sorry. I've been dreaming...dreaming of the horrible things it does. It speaks...speaks to me in my sleep..." Terri looked at the troubled old man and her heart softened.
"When we find it, we'll take it to the old woman and she'll get rid of it for us, ok?" she said, trying to comfort the scared man. He simply nodded.
Together they searched for the place where the compass fell and the sun had sunk low in the sky before Terri decided that it would be fruitless to look for it any more.
Oscar's eyes had drooped a bit, but his face still twitched. She didn't know how she was going to tell him that she had given up. She just looked at him and explained to him the problem with looking for it since the sun was going down.
"We have to find it now!" Oscar exclaimed. "I don't know...don't know what'll happen..." his voice trailed off as he reached his hand to his throat. Fine black marks reached up his neck, dancing like flies around a piece of fresh steak. Oscar turned to face her, his eyes popping now as he struggled to speak. His voice wheezed with effort as the lines linked to others. In one flash his body was covered in running torrents of blood as his skin seemed to dissolve into nothingness, large gouts of red blood falling over the ground and painting it as he struggled to hold on to life.
Terri looked on at him and started backing away. She didn't know where the compass was and it seemed like it wanted revenge for being left all alone. She had gone but a few steps before she felt a tingle along her back which felt like a fly had settled there, she swatted at it and kept running. As she drew her hand back to the front it was covered in blood. Looking down at her arms she saw the telltale spidery lines circling her arms and then her legs.
"Please stop! Please!" she pleaded to the compass but wherever it was it didn't listen to her. A sharp pain ran down her spine and in an instant it felt as though she was split from head to toe, her skin burning, flaying, ever pain sensor in her body activated and singing. Her screams seemed to echo in head and as the blood coated her face and covered her eyes and filled her ears they seemed to fade. Soon the entire world faded and nothing was left.
From the edge of the lane stepped the little girl, Amaya, holding the compass in her hands. She turned it around and around and shook it a little. "Did I do good Mama?"
"You did well darling. Very, very well indeed." The old woman stepped out of the lane right behind her, placing her gnarled hand on the girl's shoulder. With a practiced efficiency the old woman quickly broke the girl's neck and smashed in her head. As the little girl's body crumpled to the ground, the old woman changed, becoming a man with a grey, long cloak carrying the name-tag L. Cipher. He slowly took his compass from the lifeless hand of the little girl and turned into the night whistling a tune as he wiped the blood from the compass and put it in his pocket.
© 2009 Jason Dookeran
Bio: Jason Dookeran, a resident of Rio Claro (Trinidad and Tobago) has been writing for over 6 years. Most of his writing has been freelance work (non-fiction), but has also written a number of short stories and has completed two novels (currently in search of an agent and a publisher). "The Devil's Compass" is his first horror story (just in time for Aphelion Hallowe'en). For more of Jason's work, visit The Road Less Traveled.
E-mail: Jason Dookeran
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