Sep 18 2017 11:30am

Madhuri Pavamani Excerpt: Death

Madhuri Pavamani

Death by Madhuri Pavamani

I am Death. I run this show. I have many at my command, people love and fear me in equal measure.

But I am almost out of time.

Juma Landry and Dutch Mathew have a love that is strong and sharp, wild and soothing. They would go to the ends of the earth—and beyond—to save each other from the hell of this world. To put a smile on each others’ face day after day. But danger is coming, dark forces that will push Juma to her capacity, evil


that will rip away her lives.




I know Dutch can’t bear to lose this woman—the darkness that always lives inside him will swallow him whole. But I’ve got plans for Juma. She’s always

been my favorite, my sweet, my beautiful, my light. And now, I need her more than ever, one last time…

Get a sneak peek at Madhuri Pavamani 's Death (available September 26, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.


There is nothing like a mother’s love.

Unless that mother is named Shema Mathew.

Leader of the Junta.

Member of The Gate.

If your mother is named Shema Mathew, you are fucked.


I lay on that table like a pig headed to slaughter: powerless, panicked, aware. My eyes darted around the dark room, back and forth, back and forth, as dancing firelight tossed sinister shadows on the walls and ceiling. A voice inside my head, the rational one that always seemed to remain calm no matter how fucked up shit became—and shit was fucked up with a capital F right now—told me to breathe easy, slow, in and out, in and out, to still the pain. But the other voice, the one that lived in my skin and blood, my gore and guts, that voice could muster only short, panicked breaths, the kind that led to hyperventilation and uncontrolled panic attacks and all kinds of other shit that didn’t help my current situation.

My fingertips pressed into the unforgiving wood of the table, but my hands were tied down and the exposed bone of my wrists also wasn’t helping much. The leather of the shackles felt damp and heavy against my burning skin.

Then there was that goddamned smell.


Every. fucking. where.

Thick, so I could taste it even. Choke on it almost. That smell was my blood splattered everywhere my eye settled. There was no place in the room without some of me splashed all over some of it. Hence the smell. And the taste.

I wanted to vomit, but that would involve moving my throat, constricting it and the muscles in my stomach, and both those areas of my body were shredded and raw and left open on that table, thanks to Khan and his knives.

Vomiting was not an option.


I squeezed my eyes shut. Tight. As if doing so helped me forget I was carved up and bloodied, sections of my body opened and exposed, all of it hurting like nothing I’d before experienced—and I’d spent a lifetime experiencing brutal bloody shit.

This was different, though. This was magic of the blackest kind coursing through me while killing me, while not. This was Khan at his most vile and pernicious. This was hell. So unimaginable that I’d long ago escaped the confines of my mind and blurred the line between fact and fiction, all in an effort to protect myself from sensation too intense to define with common words and phrases. Rational thought seemed so far out of reach, an impossibility for the impossible existence of someone I could no longer recall.


Who was I?

Had I rendered Dutch Mathew no longer of this world? God, I fucking hoped so.

I turned my head to the side, the motion pained and slow, and tried to open my eyes again, tried to fixate on sounds that once upon a time I recognized and understood but now simply felt in my blood.


Faint shapes in the darkness, amorphous and misshapen, moved about the room, making sounds that somewhere in my being I knew were conversation even as I could comprehend little else. The who-what-where-why of the shapes mattered little to my nearly dead brain, mostly because somewhere deep inside my pulverized soul, I knew.

I knew the answers.

I knew they were here to deliver me, sinew and muscle and barely beating heart, to Death so she could have one last look, one last laugh at my expense. So she could remind me Juma belonged to her and her alone and that I was a piece of shit, unworthy of two seconds of Juma’s time or attention and most definitely unworthy of her love. Then Death would smile and laugh and probably run her finger, that goddamned finger that could cut through anything, along my lips before pressing her own to mine and ending it, once and for all.

I knew this—and Jesus fuck, I was ready.

I wanted to shout as much to her goddamned mumbling minions, I wanted to break free of my constraints, sit up, and tell them all to fuck off and die. That I wasn’t scared of anyone: Death, Khan, Veda, the Black Copse. None of them mattered, because only she made a difference, only she existed for me, only she could make me think twice about anything in this lifetime or any of the others I might suffer.




Memories of her washed over me—her honey and lemons and grass and light—as my fucked-up, barely working brain tried to lift my carved-up, half-skinned body off that table, only to be gently pressed back into the wood.

By the shapes.

The forms.

Those amorphous beings flitting about the room had come to focus on me because it was time. She was coming, that blackhearted bitch.


God, I fucking hated her because, yes, I was ready to die, I almost welcomed it, but still. The thought of never seeing Juma again, never feeling her breath against my chest as she slept or her laughter as I tickled her feet or those goddamned filthy jokes she whispered in my ear as her hand worked my dick and everything exploded.


All of that.

And more.

So I gave it one last shot and fought against those fucking leather straps I knew I could not escape, because they were steeped in all kinds of black magic, but I fought anyway because, fuck, I had to.

“Dutch, goddammit”—a hiss of breath as harsh hands pushed me back into the table and held me down—“lie the fuck down before I kill you myself.”

“Rani, please.” Another voice, one so familiar and yet not at all, filled my ears as hands and fingers danced against all the places on my body stripped clean of skin. I screamed out in pain and terror although no sound escaped my lips. “He cannot help himself. He is suffering.”

“This asshole might be your son, Shema, but do not for one second think I care about him.” Sound and words came together in a clear, concise, sensible way for the first time since I had slipped my skin and my spirit soared skyward, as if my brain knew it was time to work again.

“Did such disdain develop before or after you slept with him all those years ago? Repeatedly.”

Rani’s mouth clamped shut and a hush fell over the room as fingers kept working magic into the bloodied and brutalized parts of my body, kneading tissue and muscle until somehow, someway, shit made sense. Everything fused. Body and mind. Like—bam!

“What the fuck?” I spoke aloud, my voice cracked and hoarse but working all the same. “Do not touch me. Either of you.”

Copyright © 2017 by Madhuri Pavamani.
Learn more about or order a copy of Death by Madhuri Pavamani , available September 26, 2017:

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Madhuri Pavamani is a Southern girl with Northern sensibilities and a slight twang, who still uses the word y’all, but never fixin’. She has an affinity for writing twisted love stories and dark poetry. A graduate of Barnard College, and incapable of leaving the bright lights of New York City, Madhuri works as an attorney in Manhattan, but rests her head in New Jersey.

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1 comment
P. J. Dean
1. P. J. Dean
This sounds unbelievably great. The first two were innovative and so good, and, for me, went beyond the standard, tired, "other-worldly" blueprint.
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