- Series: Banshee Series (Book 5)
- Paperback: 145 pages
- Publisher: Independently published (February 28, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1798266024
- ISBN-13: 978-1798266021
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 6 customer ratings
Weeping Moon: Scary Supernatural Horror with Monsters (Banshee Series) Paperback – February 28, 2019
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From the Inside Flap
It was just a flicker of movement--there and gone within the blink of an eye.
It made her freeze all the same.
Straightening her spine, she held her breath and strained to hear the slightest sound. Nothing beyond the common nightlife chatter. Glancing up to the peak of the teepee, she caught a glimpse of the deep purple sky through the gap. The blanket of stars was still visible, but the moonlight was coming from a far sharper angle. Around two a.m., she reasoned. If Benton kept true to form, he'd be waking up in about an hour or so.
Despite the stillness, she had a nagging feeling that there was something off. It wasn't an overwhelming sensation. More like a splinter in the back of her mind that she couldn't shake. It brought on a mental debate of whether or not she should get up to properly investigate.
The minutes passed slowly. Benton randomly growled in his sleep. A deep feral sound of real anger. What is he dreaming about? It took barely a second for her to decide that she didn't want to know. She'd listen to it all, of course. That's what Benton needed most. For someone to truly listen, even if they couldn't understand. Either way, she couldn't deny that it would be nice to have one day without hearing about the depths of depravity human beings were capable of.
Tugging sharply on the blankets neither woke him up nor got her any of the sheets. With a disgruntled huff, she settled down. Almost instantly, he rolled over and caught her in an iron grip, pressing his face hard between her shoulder blades. The childlike desperation for comfort made it really hard to be annoyed. At least I get some blankets out of it.
Fumbling with the noise canceling headphones, she didn't have time to put them on before she heard it.
The soft wail of an infant.
It wasn't a completely foreign sound, given where they were. The powwow was always a big draw with families. For some, it was their best chance to catch up with family members that didn't live in town. With all the planes' tribes coming together for a week, it was basically a giant family reunion. On top of that, there was an endless stream of tourists that came and went at all hours. Kids and newborns were a common sight and, over the years, their fussing had become an easily dismissed background noise.
So why is it bothering you now? The thought made her put the headphones aside. Prying herself from Benton's grasp, she sat up again.
The rhythm of the newborn's cry was a steady pulse. She examined it carefully, trying to pick up on anything out of the ordinary. There was nothing. It just sounded like an infant that was too cold or hungry to stand it. But a chill still trickled down her spine. As the last tendrils of sleep slipped from her, she realized what was off.
It's behind the teepee.
The campsite was at the base of a buffalo jump. A thin stream snaked along the base, collecting seeds from a distant forest to disperse them along a river bend and create a small woodland. At her request, they had set up their teepee as far back from the others as possible, essentially nestling them amongst the smallest trees. Nothing was done with the area. No light had been set up, and no paths were ever cleared. There was no reason why anyone should be wandering around there at night. Especially with a child. It left an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach.
She regretted the whisper the moment she spoke. Benton was only just starting to raise his standards on self-care. He was forcing himself to eat full meals and increase his napping routine. It had to be in short bursts. The dreams crept up quickly. While it was possible to wake him from them, he found it hard to live with himself. He needed to stay until the end to learn the victim's name. The peaceful beginning was a precious commodity that she didn't want to rob him of.
Benton protested as she moved out of his grasp. She tried not to take it personally that he was able to replace her once again with a blanket. A heavy grunt made her pause. The rage and bitterness contained within the sound turned her skin to ice. Pushing the sensation aside, she continued up onto her feet. I don't know how he does it, she thought. She couldn't fathom taking those monsters into her head, knowing that he'd never truly be rid of them.
The baby was still crying.
It's probably just a lost tourist. I can handle that on my own.
As quietly as she could, she pulled an oversized sweater over her pajamas and tiptoed around the 'campfire.' Silver moonlight flooded through the gap, giving her enough light to find her newly bought moccasins. The fur lining protected her feet from the frigid wind as she slipped outside. Why the organizers insisted on holding the powwow in winter was beyond her. Granted, the cold snap had come earlier than anticipated. A few more weeks and the snow would start to fall.
Wrapping her arms around her stomach, Nicole stomped her feet to keep her blood flowing, and she took in as much of the campground before her as she could. Thin trails of campfire smoke snaked above the glow of the fairy lights strung around the area. They weren't exactly a traditional decoration, but a necessity for meeting health and safety regulations. They kept the shadows from clinging to the center of the campsite but didn't reach much further beyond. The river was to her right and, beyond that, the sheer cliff face of the buffalo jump. To her left was the campsite for those who brought their own tents. And that seemed to mark the edge of the world. There were no other lights or signs of civilization. Only an endless sea of towering grass that churned in the near constant wind.
Tourists were always surprised by how luminous the moon could be. When every other light source was gone, and their eyes had time to adjust, the night could actually be quite bright. Even as the full moon crept down towards the horizon, it held enough strength to paint the world in bright silver. It allowed her to see all the way to the parking lot beyond the tents, although it was hard to make out any great detail.
The crying continued. Same as it had ever been; a breathless, repetitive bawling.
Pulling the sleeves of her sweater down over her fingertips, Nicole walked around the circumference of the teepee, tracking down the sound. The forest was quick to rise up before her. Moonlight battled to pass through the clustered leaves, but it was no use. Thick shadows made it was impossible to see anything beyond a few feet.
The crying didn't. Soft but steady. Barely louder than a whisper. At times, she doubted that it wasn't just a trick of the wind.
She glanced back over her shoulder, torn between going further and sinking back into the relative warmth of the teepee. Don't start something that you're not going to finish, she told herself. Ducking back inside only long enough to snatch up her flashlight, she inched towards the crouching darkness.
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This series started out, at least in my opinion, more slowly than most of the Scare Street entries I have read or listened to, but as it moves along, it picks up considerably. I now want to get to Book 6, the final one in the series, to see how things wrap up.