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Ian dusted himself off as he walked into the darkness of the graveyard. A cool wind rose up and gusted through the markers. He listened as it whined and howled through the old, crumbling rock. Wind did strange things in a place like that. It made sounds Ian never heard anywhere else. It was like a wailing spirit, lost and tormented, crying out into the night. Sometimes, the sounds grew so strange they brought visions. All too often, Ian found himself barraged by them on he lonely trek home. A shadow here. A figure there. Always black. Always darting out of sight.
When Ian was younger, he would chase the shadows. They would lurch out from behind a tombstone or from the top of one of the old mausoleums, dancing in the corner of his eye. Ian would run and jump and dive and tumble after them. And just when he was sure he’d found them, they’d disappear, waiting to trick him the next night.
Over time, he’d learned to ignore the shades. They only served to frighten little boys, and Ian Fossor was convinced that he was not a frightened little boy.
Well, not usually.
(Illustration by Graham Carter.)
THE WICKED READ
The Gravedigger’s Son By Patrick Moody Illustrated by Graham Carter Published by Sky Pony Press ISBN-13: 9781510710733 Age Range: 8 – 12 Years
“A Digger must not refuse a request from the Dead.” —Rule Five of the Gravedigger’s Code
Ian Fossor is last in a long line of Gravediggers. It’s his family’s job to bury the dead and then, when Called by the dearly departed, to help settle the worries that linger beyond the grave so spirits can find peace in the Beyond.
But Ian doesn’t want to help the dead—he wants to be a Healer and help the living. Such a wish is, of course, selfish and impossible. Fossors are Gravediggers. So he reluctantly continues his training under the careful watch of his undead mentor, hoping every day that he’s never Called and carefully avoiding the path that leads into the forbidden woods bordering the cemetery.
Just as Ian’s friend, Fiona, convinces him to talk to his father, they’re lured into the woods by a risen corpse that doesn’t want to play by the rules. There, the two are captured by a coven of Weavers, dark magic witches who want only two thing—to escape the murky woods where they’ve been banished, and to raise the dead and shift the balance of power back to themselves.
Only Ian can stop them. With a little help from his friends. And his long-dead ancestors.
Equal parts spooky and melancholy, funny and heartfelt, The Gravedigger’s Son is a gorgeous debut that will long sit beside Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener.
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FREE & FREAKY
THE CREEPY CREATOR
Patrick Moody saw The Creature From the Black Lagoon on late-night television when he was six years old, which sparked a life long love of all things horror, fantasy, and science fiction. He also grew up next to a graveyard, which probably helped. Patrick is the author of numerous short stories, ranging from adult horror to Middle Grade fantasy. His work has appeared in several journals and magazines, and a few have been adapted into audio dramas. The Gravedigger’s Son, illustrated by Graham Carter, is his first novel. Patrick lives in Connecticut with his girlfriend and their mischievous coven of cats. When he’s not thinking about zombies, witches, werewolves, and wizards, he’s writing about them.