A mix of fantasy and horror. The perfect combination for a Halloween read. In this new dark fantasy book, Kiran and her friends are vacationing as they recover from a job gone bad. Shida was supposed to be perfect but everyone screams at night.
The Wailing Town
At night, everyone screams.
Kiran Ava hears ghostly calls all the time. Spirits drag her out of bed in the middle of the night. She only wants to recover but they won’t give her peace. Her partner, En Libore, suggests they need a vacation.
Shida, with its wards, history and isolation, was supposed to be safe. Why do the residents scream when darkness falls? Kiran is curious but in no condition to investigate. Spirits, though, don’t care. They guide her away from everyone into the Dark Hills, a mountain range haunted by an old monster. Kiran sees things, hears things that could drive her to madness.
She is by herself in darkness but she is not alone.
It was dark and Kiran hurt like she had climbed a mountain all day. She fell asleep in their car between En and Vim. How had she wandered off without anyone noticing? She was flat on her back. On rocks not grass. Once again, her bag made this position a special kind of uncomfortable. She tried sitting up. Her body didn’t like that. Kiran rolled to her side. It didn’t like that either but the pain was manageable. Her muscles cried as she removed her bag.
Two children stood over her. Male and female. Faces swollen and bloody. Eyes missing. Arms turned at painful angles. They glowed enough to make her heart stutter then beat as if it was trying to run away. The gloomy abyss surrounding them put an appalling spotlight on their injuries.
This surrounding darkness reminded her of horrible jobs that left her exploring long-abandoned basements so dim she could practically feel shadows trying to swallow her. She couldn’t sense anything but this endless blackness forced her mind to imagine terrible things waiting for her. Kiran knew the kind of monsters that built homes in shadows.
No response but she knew that would happen. Living people had a presence. Kiran was alone. She had hoped, for once, her senses were wrong.
It smelled like sadness. Like torture and pain. Each breath was like a deep cut across her flesh. This darkness was evil. It was a door to suffering. If she looked hard enough, she’d be able to see, to hear, the blood-soaked memories of its victims.
Silence laughed at her.
This was her job. She wanted to solve Shida’s mystery. Her coach said this would happen. She’d get words and emotions from nowhere. She was connecting with something here and her body was translating it the best way it knew.
Whispers sounded like wind in the distance. Low enough to be called a natural occurrence. Kiran hadn’t been a Sensitive for long but she’d been around enough spirits to recognize their touch. Kiran took a deep breath. She needed to get used to the pain. She formally started her training a few weeks ago. Shida and its fascinating mess were far beyond her level. But, she was alone and this was her job.