There is something rotten at the core of Wil Greene’s remote, frigid Michigan town. Trying to solve her mother’s brutal and ritualistic murder leads her to Elwood: her ex best friend and son of the mysterious, cultish Clarke family. The two must team up to uncover Hartsgrove’s grisly secrets before Elwood becomes his family’s next sacrifice. HEREDITARY + THE DEVOURING GRAY
Winter keeps the bodies fresh.
They thaw out in the spring, decomposing with the wet slide of summer. A putrid smell rolls over the town of Hartsgrove, the sickly-sweet stench of sun-bloated corpses.
The forest is littered with death. Like the Dead Sea, the Morguewood isn’t meant to harbor life. Creatures stubbornly try to exist and die there all the same. Deer stiff with frost, rib cages sloshing like water running over rocks. Bears with their eyes trained upward, past the starving flies and swirling maggots, up to the grimy gray sky above.
Things die all the time in these woods, but Mom was never supposed to be one of them. Mom with her sweeping grin; Mom with her winking baby blue eyes. When they found her, she was missing both. Her lips were stretched in a scream and her eyes were gouged out.
“There’s something unholy in this town, Wil,” she told me once, angling her head out the window. “You feel it, too, don’t you? The wrongness in the air. It feels like we’re in Hell.”
I didn’t feel it then, but I do now.
Now when the night is quiet and when the wind has died beyond my window, I feel it. It’s there when I hear a noise ricocheting off the trees, echoing back like a gruesome memory. The sound of my mother screaming still.