Terror on Mt. Katsuu - Supernatural Horror Novel Preview

A supernatural hiking horror on a mountain in Okinawa
Status: Completed Read year: 2024

Keith's Audio Commentary

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Chapter 45 Terror on Mt Katsuu Commentary
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In this chapter, I wanted to change the scenery of the story.

We've been deep into the narrative, primarily set on Camp Foster, the U.S. Marine Corps base in Okinawa.

This time, I decided to shift the setting into nature and chose Mount Katsu for one of the gates. Mount Katsu, the tallest mountain in Okinawa, isn’t very tall—maybe a hundred and something meters.

I've hiked it several times since living here, maybe three times. It’s not a long or hard hike; part trail and part rocky terrain where it’s easy to trip.

There’s also a forest area with a giant pit, making it a great setting for this gate.

Zena and the two students she’s with will face challenges here.

To add a twist, I set the scene at night. A nighttime hike is always more challenging and unsettling due to limited visibility and the unknown.

Midway through, something happens that forces them to ascend the mountain quickly to complete their task.

This chapter evolved into more of a horror type, which wasn’t my initial intent.

The book was meant to be an adventure with aliens, but it’s turning out less about traditional aliens and more about supernatural elements.

I’m even considering removing "alien" from the cover because the story doesn’t revolve around unexplained species.

Instead, it draws from Japanese and specifically Okinawan folklore.

This chapter aims to bring in that supernatural vibe, creating a creeping feeling as you join these three characters on their hike. The uncertainty of what’s happening adds to the suspense.

I hope you enjoy this chapter!

Chapter 45

Day hikes are good fun exercise. But if it’s a night hike it’s usually a necessity. As I trudged up the mountain path, sweat collecting in every crevice of my anatomy, the danger of the dark tunneled my focus on our objective.

The summit of Mount Katsuu.

“Are we almost there?” Mia asked. Her voice pitched with a breathy whine as she huffed and puffed between steps. “How much—further?”

“Aw c’mon Mia, I thought you liked to work out?” Ethan said with a taunting tone. His strides among the rock-strewn path were long and deliberate. He aimed the beam of his flashlight in front of her feet.

“Yeah, I do. But…” she smacked her tongue and swallowed, “…not this kind. I’m all sweaty. I’m hungry, and there’s a rock in my shoe.”

Ethan chuckled, “You good, you good. Just keep stepping and watchout for—”

“Ah!” Mia stumbled and fell. Her flashlight spun circles illuminating the maw of trees and rising boulders before us.

I rushed to her. “Are you okay!?”

“This mountain sucks!” She slapped her thigh in frustration.

I helped her to her feet as I examined her for injury. Ethan brushed brown dirt off her pants.

“It ain’t nuthin’. You gotta watch where you’re steppin’.”

“I know, I know. It’s so dark! I can’t see—”

Gaa! Gaa!

“Wait! Did you hear that?” Mia asked.

“Hear what?” Ethan asked.

“There was some kinda noise. Like screeching…”

I aimed my light around the area. Off the path, sections of still forest came into view. Fallen branches lay below canopies of green. Staring trees in soldier-like rows puffed the scent of fresh leaves around us. As I investigated the shadows between them filled me with gloom.

“I don’t see anything.”

“Are you sure you didn’t bust your head?” Ethan placed his hand on her forehead. She batted it away.

“No, I’m serious. It sounded so scary.” Mia whispered in a tight voice. “I—”

(Gaa! Gaa!)

“I know you heard it that time!” Mia’s voice shook. Her head whipped around as if the noise had come from all around.

The three of us took scraping short steps backward until our backpacks bumped. Time stretched between our shallow breaths while the halos from our flashlights roamed in all directions. Above in the black cloud blanket, I made out the outline of a half moon. To the left was a gaping gaggle of trees pushed apart by pitch black space. On the right, an abandoned vine-clawed tent, sat among the collapse of logs and burly tree limbs. But all was silent and unmoving. The scene seized my bodily awareness. It only saw the three lights swiping spherical patterns through darkness.

Then Ethan’s finger shot up, pointing down the path back to the parking lot.

“What’s that!?”

An illuminated glow rose from the lower path. It moved like another hiker at first. Then it began to swing fast. As if whoever held it were climbing the mountain for time.

“Gaa. Gaa. Ha ha ha…”

“Run!”

Ethan and Mia’s panic filled faces took off up the mountain. I hurried after. The sound of crunch earth and kicked rocks trailed not far behind.

The students’ hot white beams crossed and uncrossed as they swiftly scrambled up the trickiest section of the ascent. Spike shaped rocks—some the size of a bowling ball, others small like shells on the beach—protruded from the incline. They were ankle breakers. Every reach to the next rock risked getting stuck, stung, or splintered. When the sun was up, it was a tough hump. Now, it was gas pedal mashed, gear reversed while weaving through gaps in traffic with a single taillight on. I’d never done anything more difficult.

“Gaa! Gaa!”

My legs flared fatigue from yesterday’s run. Heavy breathing, quick steps in front and behind were all I heard for the next few minutes. When the first dots of rain pelted my sweat-glossed face and a passing cool breeze messed my hair, I knew the summit was near.

“Keep going!”

The rustling behind me grew louder. I lunged long strides to the top, never chancing a look back. A few seconds I made it. Refreshing sea-stained air swirled around the black sky. Light rain patted my shoulder while I searched the source for the noise. Nothing.

“Did, did you see it? W-Where’s the gate?” Mia asked between gasps.

“I got nuthin’.” Ethan responded. He was hunched over, hand on knees as if he’d just run basketball sprints.

Suddenly, a light over the edge of the peak burst open. The gate!

I moved in front of the kids to get a closer look. There it was spinning in the air, several feet below where we stood. A pinch of indecision coincided with dead silence from the mountain path. It was followed by a heated whoosh that caused Mia’s hair to flutter.

She dared to peak over the edge.

“How are we supposed to—Ethan!”

Before I could react, something swooped and attached to Ethan’s face.


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