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Fiction Horror

Whistle at Night and They Will Come

Indigenous Horror Stories Volume 2

by (author) Alex Soop

foreword by Eugene Brave Rock

with Cary Thomas Cody

Durvile Publications Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Horror, Native American & Aboriginal
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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In this followup to his hugely popular Midnight Storm Moonless Sky: Indigenous Horror Stories, Blackfoot storyteller Alex Soop plunges us again into enthralling tales that mix reality with dark terror. Within its stories, Whisper at Night and They Will Come reveals ancient theories of the paranormal, post apocalyptic scenarios, impossible wells of grief, and monstrous phobias. Soop scares the wits out of readers, all the while uncovering overlooked social anxieties and racism affecting Indigenous Peoples across North America.

About the authors

Alex Soop, of the Blackfoot Nation, meticulously voices each and every one of the stories in this collection from Indigenous Peoples’ perspective. While striving to entertain readers with his bloodcurdling tales, Alexander imaginatively implements the numerous issues that plague the First Nations people of North America, by way of subliminal and head-on messages. These specific matters include alcohol and drug abuse; systemic racism; missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls; foster care; Residential School aftereffects; and over-incarceration. He also deals with legends of Indigenous folklore, such as Wendigo, ghosts, and the afterlife. His urban home is Calgary and his ancestral home is the Kainai (Blood) Nation of southern Alberta.

Alex Soop's profile page

Eugene Brave Rock is an actor who grew up on the Kainai Nation in Alberta. He was later trained as a stuntman and performed for the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Disneyland Paris. He is best known for his roles in AMC's Dark Winds as Frank Nakai and The Stranger in The Dirty Black Bag. He also appeared in a standout role in Wonder Woman.

Eugene Brave Rock's profile page

Cary Thomas Cody is an Indigenous storyteller and writer/director for The Skull Crawlers Movie Club & podcast. He is of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.

Cary Thomas Cody's profile page

Excerpt: Whistle at Night and They Will Come: Indigenous Horror Stories Volume 2 (by (author) Alex Soop; foreword by Eugene Brave Rock; with Cary Thomas Cody)

Rising Sun I am just about to get on my phone and grill my brother, when he unexpectedly calls at the very moment my fingers grasp the screaming smartphone resting in my cup holder. I shudder as my mind was lost in a roll of angered thoughts. “Speak of the fuckin’ devil,” I say under my breath. I prod the answer button on my flashing iPhone. “Yo, dude,” I pan without answering in the proper way, “your buddy lied to me man. That son of a bitch, he—” “Hey man, what’s up?” says my brother’s friend, Darrell, unmoved it seems, by my train of cuss words directed against him. I’m slightly taken aback at the surprise, but not too much. He was the one I was hoping to have a word with, after all. “Hey,” I reply in a calmly manner. “I uhh—I think I’m lost, dude.” “Did you bring an old map like I told you? Like old, old,” he says, his voice coming out all aged and crackly like we are corresponding through old World War II style comms radios. “I’m talking, like, nineteen-seventies to the early eighties old, man. The kind of stuff before personal computers and Google Maps even became available to us.” “Yeah, I managed to get my hands on one. But what’s that gonna do, though? I’ve got a state-of-the-art GPS installed in my car.” Good old GPS. My go to guy whenever I would get lost trying to find the perfect place. “That won’t do man. Not at all,” Darrell asserts. “This place is old, like, the government not putting it in their electronic database anymore old. And I’m pretty sure there’s other reasoning’s behind it too. So, what I want you to do is pullover right now, break out that old map and pinpoint that part of southern New Mexico, exactly where you should be right about now. Call us back when you do it, cool?” I sigh with skepticism. “Okay, fine. Call you back in a minute or so.” I tap the hang up button and flicker my headlights to make sure they’re still on the bright beams. They are indeed, but the illumination only spreads through the flat and endless desert terrain like I was holding a cheap flashlight while riding a bicycle in the prairie flats at night. After a few miles of wasteland cruising, I am able to safely take a sharp right into a small roadside turnout that’s essentially one with the overhang of the road’s sand riddled shoulder. I pick up the old map, water stained from years of neglect, and identify my exact location, remembering the last destination my trusty GPS read to me. I find it. The old road nothing but an old squiggly line next to the main road markers. I glance up and take in the desert dust still lingering like frail ghosts, enshrouding my headlamp illumination like a gas attack while I sit and wait through my outgoing cellphone tolls. Darrell finally picks up after four rings. “Yo,” he says in bigoted way that irritates my shabby mood furthermore. “Okay, gimme the details,” I demand. The line goes dead silent like he has hung up on me. Until I hear the crunchy rattling of stiff papers. “Okay, I found it,” he says, his breath ragged like he is just as excited as me. “What’s your location right now?” “I am on the 380, literally about halfway between the towns of San Antonio and Bingham. I—” “Perfect. Look for an old sign marker that says, Rising Sun Hotel. It’ll be the only one standing throughout the area by a longshot. Once you come across it, take a turn going northbound. You’ll travel about ten miles through almost nothing but plain old desert, and then you’ll see it. Right there and boom, you’re there. Won’t be hard to miss, man. If you get lost, just call us back. Hope you see her.” Darrell hangs up before I can either thank him or scold him. My destination in mind is just where Darrell said it would be. I take the only gravel burdened turnoff past a dilapidated road sign marker half buried in sand and weathered to near nothing that reads; Rising Sun Hotel, in old, non-reflective letters that are nearly falling off the antique sign. The bumpy drive runs through an ancient road filled with potholes and small debris from years of desert windstorms and neglect. At last, I see it looming beyond the range of my headlights. A tall, neon sign brightly lit, its radiance spraying over a small hamlet of buildings surrounding it on one side of the road. I pull into the gas bar and general store first. No dice. “Must close early,” I say to myself, slowing my speed as I coast past the gas pumps that look like they haven’t been used in years, crimson rust draped over the metal like a person with a bad skin disease. The hotel is the next building over. Three tiered. Some of the chamber doors lining the outer perimeter like an old-style jailhouse. At least I’m not the only patron at this old hotel lying smack in the middle of nowhere. There are four more cars; an SUV, a jacked-up pickup, and two older model sports cars that still look as though they’re able to do damage in a street race. Beyond the four cars is an arrangement of about twenty motorcycles lined up in perfect order. The darkened side street of the hotel looks more inviting. A suitable place where my car will be hidden from the limelight, and therefore be less susceptible to being broken into. Bikers usually mean crime sprees. I pull into the side street, and park right behind a dumpster, the same bouquet of rust having a feast on the element exposed metal. I shut off my engine and wait, taking a second to gather myself before entering this strange property. By the sounds of the lively music pouring out from the open windows of the hotel’s attached bar, there are a lot more patrons inside than the four cars and motorcycles declare. I skip the bar’s rough looking, bouncer free entrance and head inside through the motel’s lobby entrance doors. Couldn’t be more of an eerie omen, I think to myself as Hotel California plays through an old radio located in the waiting area. “Good evening, sir,” says a polite gentleman standing behind the reception desk as his eyes scan a fat 1990’s computer monitor. “Late night, isn’t it?” A British accent. Way out here in the middle of the American wasteland. “Uhh yeah. It is. But I’m supposed to be meeting someone here.” The well-mannered counter clerk lifts his regard from the old-fashioned screen the size of an old tube television, and eyes me carefully. “I assume that you’re not from around here. Am I quite right about that?” he asks in a way too cheery regard. “You can tell?” “Well actually, nobody that steps through those doors is from around here. But hey, that’s why I found it all the better to open this motel. Looking to check into a room for the night?” he says, as he steps away from the computer screen and waddles alongside his side of the desk, organizing scattered papers and shooing away dust build up with his baggy blazer sleeve. I don’t have to think for a moment. Even after meeting up with my special someone, I wasn’t planning on driving the four-hour journey all the way back home in the middle of the night. “Yes, please.” The motel owner takes up position back behind the computer and waits patiently for me to approach. I rummage through my jeans back pocket and pull out my wallet. “How much for one night?” “Fifty-two dollars exactly,” he says right away, smiling almost devilishly. “Wow. Cheap.” “The cheapest,” he asserts, winking at me. “I opened up this place with strong intentions of keeping the weary traveller happy.” And that I am, with this price. “And indeed, you have,” I say, overlooking his creepy smile. “Indeed, you have.” The guestroom locks are old fashioned. A key is the only way into my room rather than the modern, magnetized card reader. I shove the heavy door open with the tip of my shoes, and I am slammed with the reek of ripened mustiness and stout chlorine bleach. The interior of the room is at least exceptional, much better than the smell, after I hit the lights. A fairly comfy looking, queen-sized bed lies in the center of a beige carpet. The walls are covered in a 1970’s era floral design wallpaper, a tangle of green vines overlapping foreign flowers. Two faux plants rest on each end of the long bench keeping the classic touchtone phone and tube television fixed with one pull-cord lamplight. A small, two-tiered nightstand is posted by the bedside, an old holy bible resting in place on the closest one to my side of the bed. Pretty bland otherwise. “Please, sir, if you are not tired just yet, you are more than welcome to treat yourself to a nightcap in the open late, ye olde saloon,” said the clerk as he handed me the keys, his devilish smile not waning once throughout our brief engagement. That was the original plan. To meet Annalise in the bar a minute past midnight. Once I’m settled in my room, and showered up, I will surely take him up on that proposition. All freshened up, I make my way downstairs, and follow the sounds of the drifting music, along with the spicy aromas of Southwest cuisine. The saloon style watering hole has cleared out somewhat since my arrival. Garth Brooks is playing on the jukebox as a pair of couples 2-step with one another on the dance floor, the men adorned in cowboy hats and striped button up blouses. A few round tables are hosting patrons, each one deep in drunken conversation. I step to the bar, lit up by only two neon lights, one in the middle of the bar top and one near the ceiling atop the mirrors edge. “What’ll you be havin’?” asks the barkeep as he struts toward me. “A beer if you have—” “—MGD? You look like a cold filtered kinda guy,” he says brightly, his voice saturated in a southern touch. I smile nimbly, feeling somewhat impressed by his capability to read his customers. But I guess that should be a given. “Yes, please.” He lifts open an old-fashioned cooler and snatches out an ice-cold MGD, hand cracks it and hands it to me. “First one’s on the house, my friend. Management guidelines.” He tosses his hand towel over his shoulder and leans in, almost whispering. “Waitin’ on someone, are we?” I knock back a refreshing shot, letting the suds trickle down my desert air dried throat. “Yeah,” I breathe out. “She’s supposed to meet me here,”—I glance at the wall mounted clock— “in about five minutes, or so.” “Oooh la la, a special lady, huh?” he says friskily. “Well, she oughta be here soon then. It ain’t too often I see a man stood up in my bar. Good luck brother.” He nods at me with a mischievous smile and disappears behind a makeshift curtain leading to an off-limits back room. She was late. Either that or she had decided to stand me up. I waited until a quarter past the stroke of midnight, nursing my one beer while I waited impatiently. Now past 12:45AM, I am six beers, two shots of whiskey and one tequila deep into the night. My buzz is helping defuse the feeling of resent and abandonment, but we all know that numbing sensation never lasts long. “Hey, Darlin’,” says one of the saloon’s few remaining patrons. A very pretty woman around her early thirties with skin-tight jeans and a halter top revealing the silvery piercing in her navel. A chiselled body looking as though it was constructed in a laboratory. Her blonde hair is twisted into locks, the old style of the 90’s—maybe even the 80’s. Nothing too peculiar as I am sitting inside an even more unusual bar. “She stood you up, didn’t she?” “Could be,” I hiss in a low baritone, keeping my eyes forward and polishing off the rest of my beer in frustration. “It isn’t like her though.” I say. “Not like her at all. She’s never done this. Ever.” “Well, it’s like that now, darlin’,” she says pitilessly, one of her frisky hands landing on my forearm as she chomps on bubble gum in an enticing, yet annoying manner. I ignore her attempt to seduce me, eyeing my wristwatch. “Welp, it’s getting late. I should probably turn in. It’s a long drive back to where I’m from.” I face the bar’s expansive mirror, an assortment of half gone spirits lining the shelving, and wave at the bartender. “Goodnight there, Wyatt,” I say, standing up and waddling for the exit. “Thanks for the cut-rate drinks. I really appreciate it.” “You betcha, my friend. Real sorry she didn’t show,” he says as he slings the same hand towel over his shoulder and begins stowing away bottles of spirits. I nod politely and vacate the drinking chamber as fast as possible before the loitering seductress has a chance to give it another go. The TV programming is just as bland as the screen it’s being portrayed through. Dull coloring, with occasional blips of static interrupts, as I drunkenly goggle an old sitcom on low volume, the background laughter sounding more like echoes of water splashing against a wall. After minutes of non-laughter, my eyelids are finally beginning to feel restfully heavy when I hear the slightest of knocks sounding more like bird knacks at the door. A slight jolt of terror runs through my body, putting my nerves on edge like I was jerked to consciousness in a violent manner. Adrenaline spike. I had already settled my mind on the fact that she wasn’t coming. Any visitor, especially at such a late hour, is entirely unexpected. “That stupid seductress found my room. Dammit,” I whisper harshly, rolling off the bed and onto my feet. I creep to the door and peek through the dirt smeared peephole. There she is. She is standing impatiently, her head of lavish hair raking from side to side like she was looking for someone that may have been shadowing her. With excited, fumbling hands, I unlock the chain and deadbolt, and yank the sturdy door open. “Come in, come in,” I frankly whisper, grasping at my beloved girlfriend’s hand, and tugging her safely inside my cheap hotel room. Annalise’s eyes me with her tantalizing stare, the same stare that I had fallen in love with over three years ago. “Hey,” she says ever so sweetly and like a bird chirping for its first time, a nimble smile creasing her rosy red lips. No more hesitation, my arms fling around her as I squeeze tightly. “Oh god, I’ve missed you so much.” She breathes into my shoulder, her breath like cool ice. “Me too. Oh my god, like so much, you’ll never know, baby.” Our quiet, heartfelt embrace lasts a few more seconds. Though I wish it could last forever. She breathes out a complaining exhale and whispers, “I love you.” And the last words like a dagger pierce to my heart. “I can’t stay long.’ I push out the dagger. “I love you, too,” I say and drive my head rearward until I’m once again staring into her pleasant brown eyes. Without saying more, I snatch up her soft hand and guide her out of the petty, coatroom foyer and deeper into the small room, sweeping aside my jacket and small overnight bag from the bed. We plop down and take an additional set of seconds shifting into minutes to stare into each other’s eyes. It feels like ages since I had last got to get lost in her affectionate gaze of candy brown eyes, decorated with full eyelashes. It isn’t long before the stares turn to touches. And the touches turn to all out caressing and kisses to each other’s naked bodies. 3 AM. I was always told that that was the witching hour. For the past few nights, I had awoken to the dreary still of the night, the dim red illumination of my alarm clock pulsing to the shadows of the darkness. This night was different of course. There were no sounds of cricket chirping, something I’ve always found soothing. I awake feeling somewhat rested and truly relaxed, my arms snuggly strung around Annalise as she sleeps so peacefully. There is someone—or something else—in the room with us. A silhouette standing tall and upright against the closed blinds, the perky red and green luminosity of the outdated neon sign pulsating at its back. For heart thrashing minutes I lie on my side, my peripherals trained on the statue still intruder. All I see is arms at its side, no twitching of a finger. No weapons, perhaps. Finally, the adrenaline and dreadful delay are too much. I loosen my hold around my beloved and spring myself off the bed, fists clenched and at the ready. “Alright mother—” Emptiness. Where the shadow of a person was standing, now sits empty space, the only silhouettes being the crossbar outlines draped across the carpet caused by the neon lighting beyond the window blinds. A light rustling of bed sheets and a crunchy bed, followed by, “What are you doing, babe?” Muscles still tensed up, I turn to face Annalise, her beautiful, narrow eyed features ignited by the tints of red and green shades alternating on her face. Upon impact with my stare, her awakened charm alleviates my abrupt surge of anxiety. “I just—I thought I heard someone just outside the window. You know how it is with these spooky, old timey motels?” She chirps out an apprehensive giggle and pats the empty space next to her. “Come. I’m so tired. I need you to keep me warm.” Before taking back to the bed, I take another glance around the room. And then a peek out the blinds. The lot outside is as empty as a graveyard—or abandoned motel. Not wanting to alarm my love, I pluck together my threads of tenacity and join her. She wasn’t lying. Her body is cold like we were asleep in an overly air-conditioned room. Yet, the cheap room is void of any such luxury. In no time I am fast asleep, her cold physique cooling down my heated body initiated by my sprinting heart. The morning desert sun always hurts my eyes. This time, the burning red ball seems to be magnified, its searing heat burning through the walls and staying affixed inside the stuffy motel room. I open my eyes fully, dire thoughts of cool water streaming into my head. Rolling onto my side, I pat the empty spot next to me. I am up and awake like a jolt of coffee. “Annalise,” I half scream, my voice echoing coldly off the enclosing walls. Once again, she is gone, perhaps sneaking out in the middle of the night. The dagger has returned, driving into my heart at a snail’s pace. Every vehicle is gone. My car still nestled behind the lone, rusting dumpster. Before heading to my ride, I take a last look around the deserted hotel parking lot. Tumbleweeds troll across the sand speckled lot, pushed by the pickup of a westerly wind. Eyes. Devilish eyes. Staring at me unkindly from somewhere beyond the array of darkened windows lining the three-tiers facing the parking lot. The feeling is too much, enough so that my stomach begins to churn. I steal my gaze from the emptiness and dash for my car, getting in and starting it up. I am out of the parking lot in a haste, flooring past the vacant general store with a cloud of billowing dust in my wake. Speeding down the sandy, two-lane road, my eyes are still glued to the rear-view mirror, my heart slowing in pace for every retreating foot I am away from the creepy motel. DING! I jump at the sudden outcry of my smartphone, my white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel coming loose as I nearly swerve into the sandy shoulder of the narrow gravel highway. “Holy shit!” I scream, loud enough that my resonant voice hurts my own ears. I take a glance at my phone nestled in my cup holder. Clive. My eccentric little brother texting to see how I’m doing. Perhaps to see if I’m still alive. The speed I am travelling would be more than enough to get me pulled over, but I keep on until I see the looming, fragmented sign with the hotels name scrawled across it in broken lettering. I barely slow down, letting my low-profile tires pay the price as I screech onto the main highway. Now’s the time to slow my speed. I take the first roadside turnout, letting my overworked car coast to a halt, the reek of burnt rubber still evident. I opt to call my brother rather than to text him of my good news. “Hey,” Clive answers after two rings. “Well? Did you see her?” His husky, teenager voice is painted in an overabundance of enthusiasm. “I did,” I answer nonchalantly. “Awesome. So, you on your way back now?” “I am.” “Cool. Will you be back in time for the wake?” “I should be. If I drive a little over the limit.” A pause. Followed by my brother’s voice turning low and apathetic. “I’m really glad you got to see her one last time before we bury her, and she crosses over through the gates of Heaven.” “Me too, little brother. Me too.” I hang up and casually pull back onto the highway, punching the accelerator until my car is freewheeling just past the posted speed limit.

Editorial Reviews

(About Midnight Storm, vol. 1 in the series). The stories in Midnight Storm are certainly entertaining but they can also be relentlessly dark, and not just in traditional, bump-in-the-night sense. ... Even the stories that take the wildest flights of the horrifying and supernatural often contain elements of modern Indigenous horrors. —The Calgary Herald

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