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301 pages, Hardcover
First published September 17, 2019
His narrow tie and pocket square were both daffodil yellow, a colour that brought out the gold hue of his eyes, deep-set below groomed brows.--------------------------------------
As he came toward her he extended his right arm to check the time on a wide gold watch. In the shift of fabric, Joan saw dark hair dense on his too-white skin. He met her eyes and then smiled with so much sharp in it, something in Joan reacted like she’d taken a punch with the promise of more.
“My, what big teeth you have,” she said aloud.Joan has been relentlessly looking for her husband, Victor, for almost a year. The love of your life does not just step off the face of the earth with no reason, no notice. Something must have happened to him, and she is determined to get him back and find out what took place. The morning after a night of indulgence, hungover, she is in a local mall looking to pick up some breakfast, and feels drawn in by a large white tent, newly planted in the parking lot. What she sees there sends her off on her search again. I mean, the man she saw in there was Victor, however much he may have denied it. But the lupine head of the revival, Thomas Heiser, a name with some historical resonance, has her taken away by medical and law enforcement sorts, and by the time she is released and gets back to the mall the revival is gone. Not only that, while she was away, her beloved grandmother was killed by something wild.
I belong to the Métis Nation on the Georgian Bay. We used to live on Drummond Island and were then forcibly removed—when the island was being annexed to the US—to the shores of the bay across from the town of Penetanguishene. That land then became very valuable as “cottage country.” We’re only one-and-a-half hours from Toronto with its wealthy weekenders. And we were moved again, away from the water. Now we largely reside in the French/Métis town of LaFontaine, just up the road, on less valuable land.
These removals and relocations of a culture are specific to my community, although experienced in different ways by all Indigenous people. It’s part of our stories. And it’s a huge piece of why we share stories and keep that history intact, just as we’ve kept our culture intact. There must always be connection to nation when we tell stories. - from the Publishing Perspectives interview
“There’s lots of ways to become one.” She counted on her fingers. “Being attacked by a rogarou, mistreating women, betraying your people…that’s the ones we know around here, anyways.”Rogarous also differ a bit physically from the more familiar werewolf form, getting all wolfish from the neck up, but, while physically enhanced, remaining recognizably human below.
You know all these projects have to go through approvals, right?” he saidThe prime baddie here is not only the head of a peripatetic religious revival, but an agent of those very earth-bound interests. Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, and use whatever tools are available.
Why would she know this? But, “Yeah.”
“The only real threat to the project—to our jobs—are the Indians. They’re the ones with the goddamned rights, I guess. Always protesting and hauling us into court…the missions are good at changing the way people see shit.. Course it helps if you can hook one or two of the powerful ones—chiefs and whatnot, especially the ones willing to take the company cheque, and give speeches about moving on with things…”
She could hear the congregation singing from here, sounding like a circle of wolves under the moon.
These lands were given to us by the Lord Himself. They are ours to live on and prosper from. This entire wilderness is ours for the very purpose of celebrating and honouring the glory of God. He is the answer to our poverty, for how can we know poverty in His love? And in return we need to dedicate our success and wellbeing to His holy light. This entire empire of wild is ours in order that we may rejoice in His name.
Long after that bone salt, carried all the way from the Red River, was ground to dust, after the words it was laid down with were not even a whisper and the dialect they were spoken in was rubbed from the original language into common French, the stories of the ragarou kept the community in its circle, behind the line. When the people forgot what they had asked for in the beginning – a place to live, and for the community to grow in a good way – he remembered, and he returned on padded feet, light as stardust on the newly paved road. And that ragarou, heart full of his own stories but his belly empty, he came home not just to haunt. He also came to hunt.
Stitch by stitch, loop over loop, Victor was made for Joan. He knew that the day he met her in Montreal, in the bar, with her quick mouth and face flushed with drink, standing with a hip thrown forward, rubbing her eye to a grey smoke of mascara and bourbon. He could feel her now the same way he felt her that night – as inevitable, as necessary. His job was to exist so that she could keep running that mouth, keep kissing him with a thousand little kisses in the oddest spots: inside of the elbow, back of the neck, above the belly button, on the exact spot where the zipper on his jeans began. There was no other reason for him to exist. And it was enough.
The seated figure gave a deep laugh. The sound filled the clearing like vomit, like a menacing growl. And the sky grew darker for it. If he were capable of regular functions, this is when Victor would have pissed his pants.