Action Hero - The Dark Mother (Heroine)
Artist: Peter Kasim
Several years have passed, and Shakti now sits atop a throne-like structure in a small, corrugated iron hut. The washer woman perches in a corner tending to a broth and chanting clandestine prayers whilst an overpowering, noxious smell fills the room. She has been enacting this ritual, day in, day out, for almost four years.
For Shakti is a Godess, the earthly embodiment of Kali (the Dark Mother herself!) - if the villagers are to be believed. And why shouldn't they believe it? She has sprung two extra appendages, bright with an organic array of glowing colored patterns. Instead of hands, the winding tentacles have grotesque mouths and small but intimidatingly numerous teeth. Her skin has retained that "divine" blue hue and Shakti has taken on inhuman strength. Her body and breasts have become a kaliedoscope of tough, barnacle-like growths. In addition to the physical transformation, Shakti has developed the exceptional ability to intercept patterns of thought, sensing an individual's true intent before they are able to act upon it.
However, in reality, this "Dark Mother" is no godess, but rather a mobile fortress designed to protect the organism that grows within; her blue skin merely a signal of steady asphyxiation. How long she will endure in this malign creature's lifecycle is uncertain.
For now, the inconspicuous mountain village is her abode; a village that is at once a home and a crematorium. The locals are her worshippers, a sect of ostracised Aghori cannibals who's very existence - for over a thousand years - has been devoted to Kali, the godess of death and destruction.
Despite the attention, the worship, the food and gifts, Shakti has not forgotten. She has not been swayed. She remembers more vividly than ever the blight and corruption of the city, the years of turmoil, and those men; the five degenerate policemen who led her soul-mate to a secluded corner, beat him so severly that he was more pulp than person, and left him to die.
Her strength peaking, and cloaked in a chadr* in order to avoid unwanted attention, she embarks for the city streets to prey upon debauched gangs, unscrupulous factory owners and corrupt officials. All she yearns for is that the trail will lead her to the murderers who have festered in her memory for what feels like an eternity.....
*large cloak, traditional Hindu garment
I'm pleased to finally get to upload my work for the Action Hero contest! I have been creating a character and scenario set in modern day India, and have been consulting a friend of mine regarding some details of Indian culture. Unfortunately I'm no expert on the topic, so if any Indians see this please feel welcome to criticize any mistakes and set me straight! I really hope to deal with the subject matter with due care and attention.
Here are some of the quick sketches I have made to get the creative juices flowing: