Today I’m bringing you something new from Anne Michaud. Girls & Monsters is a dark but uplifting collection of five Young Adult novellas includes:
Black Dog: Scarlet is engaged in a struggle for her sanity, but according to the voice in her head, she may be too late.
A Blue Story: When Katherine’s beloved dog goes missing, she fears her strange new neighbor might be involved.
Dust Bunnies: Christiane faces her childhood arachnophobia and ends up confronting even greater fears in this test of sisterhood.
We Left at Night: Brooke and her family must abandon their home and their lives to make it out of a disease-plagued town overrun by zombies.
Girls & Monsters is for everyone who has ever been brave enough to confront their childhood fears…and lived to tell about it! Clicking on the fantastic cover will take you Girls & Monsters page on Goodreads.
And now here’s an excerpt from Death Song, the first novella in the collection…
Something catches in the back of my throat. I hide my face in my hands to quiet the sobs. But then, something ain’t right. Air moves around me and I stop. I look between my fingers, but the blur of my tears thickens everything: the bathtub, the towels, and someone on the floor.
A woman’s in here with me, door still closed and locked. An exhale, like after a deep swim, and a smell, like the swamp close to my empty home. A chill runs down my back, I wipe my eyes, rub and scratch them to see more clearly. And I do.
Two gray hands scratch the floor tiles, nails green with algae, putrid flesh sagging on her legs, arms and torso, hair so long and wet and heavy, it drags her down. Diluted, impossible to focus on, like little waves rippling over her body from head to foot, seaweed in the water. Scales and fins, mermaidlike, little knives, those are. And they scrape the floor, like a fork on a plate. It’s her—Limnade.
She opens her mouth of scissor-teeth and the rotten smell of fish wraps around my throat like two hands trying to choke me.
“You can’t be…” I don’t finish my breathless thought and jump backward, knocking over the dish of decorative soaps. Blurry waves, vision impaired, out of focus, unreal. She crawls toward me, eyes unblinking, lethal, hands inches from me: my legs refuse to move, as my body feels like stone. Frozen, hypnotized, a statue. Then I hear something coming from within her…
A melody, reminding me of something lost, tickles my ears. It drags on until the sweetness turns sickly, vibrating into a full-on super-scream, hyenalike, enough to pop my ears and make them bleed. Her large mouth deforms her face into one gap of black, the cry so high and strident, I scream from the pain. Limnade stares at me, everything but her fades away—Jo’s nice bathroom, Jo’s new life, Jo himself—none of it matters anymore. Her fingers brush my forehead, they’re cold and sticky like clams. And I let the darkness take me away.
About Anne Michaud –
She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.
She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.
She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.
She blogs http://annecmichaud.wordpress.com.
She tweets @annecmichaud.