Nina Jones' life revolves around the ruins of Hampi.
She is the youngest, most inexperienced and underqualified member of an international team of experts working on a joint venture of the Archeological Survey of India and UNESCO's World Heritage Preservation Fund.
The Lazarus Project has a very specific directive- to explore, map, and excavate the underground caves connecting seven of the largest clusters of ancient ruins in Hampi.
Once known as Pampi, Hampi had been reduced to crumbling ruins surrounded by villages in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It grew into an international tourist attraction after UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1982.
With the tropical heat baking the stony hills, the Lazarus team works during the nights. Kept out of sight from the prying eyes of the locals, public officials, and teeming tourists, theirs is a lonely existence.
All they have is each other's company and their work.
After an accident on the excavation site, the team is ordered to take a day off to be mere tourists.
Battling her secret weakness - an irrational fear of heights and terror of snakes, Nina joins her colleagues as they climb Maatanga Hill. Predictably, she stumbles and falls, only to land right on top of an ancient secret beast best left buried.
Read on to discover the secrets buried within Hampi since the Ancient Bronze Age. Find out what happens when the Lazarus Project unknowingly unleashed the one thing that could destroy not just Nina's life, but trigger the apocalypse. Can the team stop the malevolent force before it's too late? Or will they too succumb to its dark and destructive allure?
As a slow-burn, character-driven, paranormal adventure, Maatnaga Hill is a journey into a world where science, logic, facts, myths, cryptozoology, archaeology and mysticism coexist while mortals and immortals battle over the fate of the world as we know it.
Ranking: 6 in #opennovellacontest2019 on April 3rd, 2019