As you may have noticed (or not if you aren’t following me on Twitter), I spend a great deal of time writing horror or about horror -including books and scripts! So, I offer you a glimpse into the world of Noctisbellum Inc. – with the first chapter of Moon.
Above a small Romanian village, in the year 1950, a number of violently mutilated victims were found in the mountain forests. Authorities reported that a large animal was to blame and most people believed them. But a small group of specialist hunters knew differently, this was no regular animal and they’d come across them before -werewolves. The family of the latest victim, the missing girl, would suffer the consequences for decades. Until one descendant finally returned to lay the beast to rest.
The Noctisbellum Inc. Series: Book 2
Moon © 2018 by K.T. McQueen
Nothing in this written work is meant to represent any place, building or person. It’s all the work of the author’s overactive imagination and any resemblance is pure coincidence.
Moon: Chapter One
Snow drifted in lazy flurries around the blood covered clearing. The ripped, cavernous bodies of two teenage boys already partially frozen alongside a single yellow wellington boot. The early spring morning bitingly cold. The secluded location in driving distance from the village. Meters from a smallholding, the home of the parents of the owner of that single wellington boot. They stood on the outskirts of the circle of trees. The fence of their outermost field behind them. The Gendarmerie keeping the few locals, who had come to see what all the fuss was about, back.
Dantis, the officer in charge, and the hunters stood in a tight huddle out of earshot. Unsure what they were seeing, watching the crime scene technicians collect what evidence they could. Whilst other Gendarmerie searched the forest beyond in the hope of finding the missing girl.
Dantis was trying to maintain his air of authority in front of these older and far more experienced huntsmen. Huntsmen who seemed out of place amongst the locals. Their clothing warm, and well kept. Matching patches on the sleeves reminding the Gendarmerie of the lords who used to deal with such situations. Their own people coming down to take care of the villages and residents under their care. On their land. But it was a long time since these hunters had had a master like that, a lord that they worked for. And yet, the dragon eating its tail embroidered on the patch seemed familiar, like hearing a favourite story your grandparents used to tell.
The older huntsman carried a rifle and a knife at his belt, ready to go into the forest and find whoever, or whatever, had done this to these young men. And perhaps the girl who had clearly been dragged away. The younger was far more eager, and less concerned about the correctness of his dress and never seemed completely still.
The three talked low, keeping their faces turned from the small crowd near the fence and beside the vehicles. Keeping their conversation to themselves. Better that the people didn’t know the magnitude of what they believed had happened. There would be panic. There would be anger. There would be pitchforks and blazing torches.
‘What could do something like that? I’m saying it’s wolves but if anyone gets close they’ll be able to tell it’s not.’ Dantis said.
‘Then keep them at a distance. We’ll deal with the creature.’ the older huntsman said, glancing over his shoulder with his steely gaze at the mothers, the fathers.
‘You think there’s only one?’ asked Dantis.
‘There’s never just one.’ the younger huntsman said.
A lone teenage girl skirted the edge of the crime scene, trying to catch a glimpse of the bodies or hear a snippet of conversation. She wasn’t about to believe what she’d been told about her sister.
Sasha had ran up the hill as soon as she’d heard. A neighbour, who’d gone back into town to spread the news, had met her coming out of the barn. She’d been doing her morning chores before school and hadn’t noticed the police arriving or her parents leaving the house.
The neighbour had told her sadly about her missing sister, eagerly anticipating the drama it would cause, but Sasha had known it couldn’t be true. Watching for the tears to roll down her cheek so he could comfort her, the neighbour waited far longer than was necessary. But she’d simply pulled her heavy wool coat around herself and, thanking the man for his neighbourly concern, ran straight up the road. Her sturdy shoes finding easy purchase despite the frozen ground. Skidding to halt near the first of the Gendarmerie’s cars and getting her first view of the scene.
At 16, her parent’s failure to tell her before they went up the hill with the police hurt her pride. She was old enough. She could help. She glanced over at her parents who had barely even acknowledged her presence. Her mother crying, wrapped up warm in blankets in the wheelchair, her father consoling her. Sasha shook her head and turned back to the gruesome scene, largely hidden from view by the officers and curve of the hill. Certain that the boot meant nothing.
Moments after her arrival another girl rushed up looking concerned. Ready to offer a hug or condolences or whatever might be required. But Sasha pulled her friend in close and leant in. It wouldn’t be right if anyone else heard her thoughts.
‘They’re saying wolves did it. Wolves took Anna.’ Sasha informed Edie as quietly as she could.
‘Oh my god, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?’ Edie reached to put an arm around her friend but stopped short before committing, something in Sasha’s face told her it wasn’t wanted or warranted. Not yet at least.
‘It’s just her boot. They didn’t take Anna.’ Sasha said with a shrug. Noting Edie’s gesture and giving her friend an understanding half smile.
‘Sasha, come on. If the police say wolves took her they must have reason to believe they did.’ Edie said as Sasha frowned at her, annoyed that her friend, her best friend, would believe something so easily from the blabbermouths in the village.
‘Why would wolves drag her off if they were happy to eat the other two right there?’ Sasha asked.
Edie shrugged and looked back at what was visible of the scene. ‘It doesn’t look much like a wolf kill,’ she muttered.
‘You know what she’s like. Always drinking and going with older boys. Talking about how she’s going to make it big in America.’ Sasha said, quiet but annoyed. ‘Doesn’t she think the rest of us would like that kind of life? Free from the responsibilities of…’
Mother’s violent coughing fit turned Edie and Sasha’s eyes towards her. Sasha watching until she was sure her father had it in hand. Then she turned back to Edie, conspiratorially.
‘I think she came across the bodies and took advantage of an opportunity.’
‘That’s awful.’ Edie said, shocked that Sasha would suggest such a thing, and yet, not as shocked as she should be. It did seem plausible, after all.
‘I know. But it’s Anna, she probably never even thought about what it would do to us.’
Edie nodded and glanced at Sasha’s parents again. Sasha’s Father was bundling her mother up and turning the chair to take her back to the house. Sasha followed Edie’s gaze then leant in close.
‘I heard her and Gus on the front porch. Whispering about America. Anna said she already had a bag packed.’
‘So you think she’s hiding somewhere?’ Edie asked, still watching Sasha’s parents retreating to the warmth of their farmhouse. Sasha’s mother had been sick for a while, it was probably too much for her to take. Edie couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be already under such pressure and then to lose a child as well. It was good that they had Sasha at home still to help.
‘Yeah. And I’m going to find her and drag her back.’ Sasha said.
Or if you’d like to start at the beginning, book one is Stars:
Download STARS by KT McQueen for free. The first in the Noctisbellum Inc. series which begins my Monster Universe. And sample the first few chapters of Moon which is now available from most eBook sellers.
Moon and Stars can be read in any order but the next book takes you deeper into the world of Noctisbellum Inc. where you will encounter much older and darker monsters. Keep an eye out for Long Undead and read the first few chapters at the end of Moon.
Thank you for reading – I’ll get back to regular posting now 🙂
Horror and Fantasy Author – Also writing as K.T. McQueen. Love Western Horror, cowboy boots, my cactus Collin, & my Demon Cat.
Moths – I hate moths, the way they flutter at your face!