“Full of sex, magic, and turmoil…poetic and utterly beautiful. I can’t remember the last time a book made me stop and think, wow.” – Meredith Wild, #1 New York Times bestselling author
I was eight years old the first time I rode an elephant.
I was visiting my grandparents, and the local zoo’s specimen had given birth to a dwarf, so everyone in the household wanted to witness the freak. They bustled up the whole lot of us, waved down some auto rickshaws, and off we went, zooming toward the unimaginable feat of nature.
I took one look at that dwarf and knew it was scared. I also knew it was a complete bore.
The mom was much more interesting and already back earning her share, offering rides to any souls brave enough to climb atop her back. My cousins needed no invitation, and before anyone knew what was happening, grandparents included, they scampered up the poor beast’s back and were raring to go.
I stood off to the side and watched, shy and somewhat quiet, still a bit ill at ease in my new environs. It was not every day I was shipped halfway across the world on a bird in the sky, summarily deposited with two elderly souls I barely knew and certainly did not trust.
The elephant was a good move.
I was warming up to the two brown people smiling at me while their eyes flashed back and forth in rapid succession to the brood atop the grey beast. My grandmother clucked warmly in my direction, offering some words of encouragement as the mahout waved me over.
He was awfully scrawny, rather filthy, and I shot him a foul look. No fucking way was he controlling anything if that grey monster decided to stop taking anyone’s shit. But I was eight, and I was curious, and it was an elephant for fuck’s sake. So I stopped putzing around on the outskirts of the action and leaned in
Which was enough for Mr. Mahout. Faster than I would have ever assumed he could move, he grabbed me by the nape of the neck and hoisted me onto the dwarf’s mama.
Not on her back, with my cousins
but right behind her ears, on what seemed to be her neck, my hands resting on her head.
She was just like the old man who swam laps at the YMCA every Monday and always bent over to lotion his legs, providing me the perfect view of his ass—hairy and wrinkled and grey.
The mahout settled in behind me and gave his signal, but old girl wasn’t going anywhere. She bobbed her head side to side, and he yelled something in Tamil, all of it unintelligible since I didn’t speak a bit of anything from the motherland.
At least not then.
He yelled again and gave her some swats with his whip, but she didn’t give a shit. Instead, she lifted her trunk into the air, pushed it about like a show off, raised it to her head, and sniffed my hands.
I froze, for a second worried I might piss my pants.
I did not want to piss my pants, sitting there high in the air, because I did not want to soil her neck, but really I did not want another excuse to be the laughingstock of my unruly gang of cousins. So I let her do whatever she needed to do, praying all the while her trunk wasn’t full of tiny teeth that could suddenly inhale my hands and then my arms and then my head to chew me up and feed to the dwarf.
I had not flown halfway across the fucking globe to wind up dwarf fodder.
So I shut up
and homegirl sniffed me up
and eventually she started walking, doing a slow rotation of the park, giving us kids the ride of our lives.
I was eight, and it was magical.
I am now thirty-seven, and let me tell you, this world is anything but magical.
My name is Dutch Mathew
I kill for The Gate
and I am a Keeper.
“DUTCH is dark and sexy and bloody, filled with so much tension and anticipation. I don’t think I took a full breath for all 320 pages. The no sex that happens b/t Dutch and Juma for the majority of the book is more arousing than their separate and numerous hook ups. But the payoff is worth the wait. Madhuri Pavamani is unapologetically smutty. And you will love it!” — 80 Books Blog
DUTCH is available now and book two in the trilogy, JUMA, is available for pre-order. Snag your copies now and get lost in the dark magic of Dutch + Juma and The Keeper Series.