When Cara’s sister, Shelby, returns after a year-long disappearance, Cara learns that something unspeakable followed her. Then, an unknown creature starts devouring people in the woods, and Cara must team up with self-proclaimed monster hunter, Lucas, to stop it from killing again. As they get closer to the truth, they get closer to becoming the monster’s next meal.
People say the trees keep the secrets of killers, and so we fear them.
The forest surrounds me, no matter where I go in this county, and it taunts me with memories it will never share. It shields the people here from the worst crimes committed among the evergreens and aspens and maples. Woven within its branches, it holds stories of violence and monstrosities. The bare skeletons of deciduous trees whisper new tales to the needles of conifers in a dead language.
They know what happened to my sister.
I listen to the sound of winter birds cawing among the other sounds of the woods circling the house where I watch foster kittens. Not the most exciting extracurricular, but it’s a line on the resume that’ll get me out of this town one day. Their distant chatter fills my head and leaves no room for the content of the textbook I’ve been trying to read for hours.
A little monster of a kitten begs for my attention, pawing at the corners of pages and kneading the sleeve of my sweater from where she perches, predatory. She doesn’t sense the presence I feel coming from the forest around us—not yet—though every night something invisible sends the four of them into hiding. Instead, she plays, a black and white ball of fuzz hijacking the book and my lap in the last beam of sunlight before the light dies beneath the horizon.