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The girl shot brusquely awake, gasping. She looked to the door. It hung to one side, violated like a torn fingernail. She turned and yelled for her mother, but nothing came out. Her mother slept undisturbed, peacefully in dreams. The daughter turned back to the door and immediately stopped breathing. There in the doorway, underneath a parka of rotten feathers, loomed a gaunt figure silhouetted in moonlight. Greasy, thinning hair dripped from its skull. Its menacing frame barely fit the doorway. Sharp, pointed fingers curved like blades from its hands. Frowning, it seemed ancient. Older than stars. The stench of seaweed and turned earth blew into the cabin. Slowly it rotated its mutated shoulders and raised its arms into the moonlight. The daughter saw its fingernails glint, and between them, a fine loop of string curled. As those cold, bright eyes stared into her, an odd certainty dawned in her mind. It was him. The face from her dreams, the creature pulling her, dragging her underneath the ice. She saw the string laced between its tortured fingers and knew what she had done. She had awakened one of them. The Sleeping Ones. The Inuunngittut. The ones that drag you under. Slowly a razor smile spread across the creature’s face, each tooth gleaming wetly with delight. A deep, grating voice birthed in her skull.

“C h i l d . . . ”

Her eyes widened in disbelief. The creature spoke without speaking. It had growled in her mind and yet remained frozen. Its milky eyes studied her as its grin curdled into a horrid frown. The daughter felt the creature’s mind reach out to her; its long salivary thoughts moaned in satisfaction. Frozen in terror, her eyes fell to its parka. Mottled black and white, its rancid feathers stank of the lake. Its arms hung low, string laced between its fingers. Suddenly, the creature rushed towards her, violently shaking its head. White eyes screamed behind its frown. It stopped short before the daughter, sour breath heaving into her nostrils.

“P i c k . . . i t . . . u p . . .”

“What?” the girl whimpered. The creature lifted one long, twisted finger and dangled the string in front of her.

“C o n n t e s s t . . .”


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Certain Dark Things

Certain Dark Things

A Novel
also available: Hardcover
tagged : horror
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