An Early Look Inside ‘The Frequency’
“Death wasn’t an absolute end, but a further form of being.”
Deep within the bowels of an abandoned Cornish mine a covert occult group, known as the Network, protects the living from the dead. Their mediums host a plethora of abilities — from telepathy to astral projection — because of their connection to an energy source called the frequency.
Fifteen-year-old Rasha Abadi and her mother are Syrian refugees granted leave to remain in Gorenn Village. The seaside town sprawls with beaches and idyllic coves, but the last thing Rasha finds there is peace. An impossible shadow visits her nightly and infests her mind with memories of the chaos that she and her mother fled in Syria. When she becomes possessed by the shadow, the Network intervenes to save her.
The shadow’s wrath knows no bounds and orchestrates a string of interconnected possessions across the south coast. Having survived the shadow, Rasha eagerly offers to aid the Network’s investigation. They must all act quickly to unearth its motive before it disrupts the balance between the living and the dead, and forges a new world from the embers of their own reality.
No choice will be easy for Rasha when thwarting a monster means becoming one herself.
The shadow was coming. Fifteen-year-old Rasha Abadi lay slumped against her headboard, the hem of her duvet clamped in her fists. She dreaded the shadow’s return. For six nights it had come to poison her mind. Rasha squinted through the nickel moonlight and scoured her bedroom for a sign of its arrival. It was the smallest room in caravan forty-five, and half-mended Oxfam charity electronics littered every available surface. Her clothes dryer aired the previous day’s laundry beside her secondhand desk, which bowed under the weight of school textbooks she’d eagerly consumed. That was where the shadow would appear, just as it had every night the past week.
Her digital alarm clock on her bedside table blinked: 2:03 a.m.
It was time, again.
In the corner, tendrils of viscous darkness coiled into a silhouette not quite animal, not entirely human: a malformed head, a barrel chest, misshapen limbs, and a pinched stomach. It was black – an unearthly deep void unlike anything Rasha had ever seen. The dark was hues of purple and brown in comparison.
The impossible shadow.
Rasha clamped her eyes shut, wishing it away – the shadow sometimes disappeared if she did. Only, with her eyes closed, she was plagued by memories of Syria.
Her bedroom’s plasterboard walls crumbled, and in their place came rubble, fire, and ash: the remains of her family’s apartment. Explosions shook the ground, screams filled her ears, and guilt gouged at her intestines. She reminded herself that she was in Cornwall – three thousand miles from her home city of Homs – and that she’d fled Syria four years earlier, even though her stomach knotted and her heart pounded as if it were happening at that very moment.
You’re fine, she thought to herself, opening her eyes to the shadow. It’s just PTSD, that’s what Dr Hewitt said. You’re with Mum in Gorenn Holiday Park.
The shadow grew so tall its waxen head would soon scrape the ceiling. It couldn’t have been her PTSD; her mind only conjured Syria’s decimation and their haphazard journey to Britain. Until that week, she’d never come across anything like it before. It was a shadow and so didn’t have a body. If it only had a mind, then there was one thing it could be.
In their culture, they didn’t have ghosts, for spirits didn’t stay on Earth. The closest to that nature were demons called Shaytan, creatures with malicious intent.
Could that be it? Rasha asked herself. Did she come back as a Shaytan to punish me?
Rasha called her sister’s name. ‘Milana?’
The shadow stepped forward, and its chest heaved.
Rasha collapsed onto her bed, too scared to cry. Sweat glued her untamable black hair to her face. The shadow didn’t move closer; it didn’t scream with agony or demand Rasha to atone. It did something impossibly worse: it stood rigidly and silently condemned her for what she had done.
‘I’m sorry,’ Rasha cried. ‘I’m so sorry.’
Rasha wept and apologised, slumped against her headboard, as her mind plunged into memories of scorching fires, singed flesh and bloodcurdling cries.Chapter 1, The Frequency
Supporting Refugee Action
By the end of 2018 there were 126,720 refugees, 45,244 pending asylum cases and 125 stateless persons in the UK.*
Refugee Action is a UK based non-profit that helps refugees seek asylum in the UK and rebuild their lives. Their services include access housing and support, legal counsel, human rights campaigns, and training and support to third party organisations.
Refugee Action provided a wealth of knowledge for writing The Frequency, concerning issues and injustices that many refugees face. Rasha and Haya Abadi’s story wouldn’t be as nuanced and realistic without the resources that RA provide.
Therefore, Terry is donating 5% of The Frequency’s profits to Refugee Action in the hope that the novel can contribute towards providing shelter, education, legal aid and mental health support to those seeking asylum.
*fact taken from https://www.refugee-action.org.uk/about/facts-about-refugees/ May 202121.