This week’s Sample Sunday excerpt comes from The MonsterGrrls, Book 2: Full Moon Fever by John Rose
Excerpt: The MonsterGrrls, Book 2: Full Moon Fever
Later that afternoon, Theo lay on her bed in her room, staring at the ceiling. She would not be at Emily’s that evening; because of the debacle at school, a firm curfew had been established in Clearwater until the “thing” was caught, and her mother had been adamant about her being at home, despite her arguments that she would probably be safer at Emily’s.
After the confrontation with Harrington, the rest of the day had had a sharp edge. The Grrls would not talk about “Khaine”–whoever he was–or Kelso, or Harrington’s pledge to find Harriet. When the humans had pressed them about it, Bethany had turned such a sharp glare on them that they did not bring it up again. And when the last bell had rung for the day they had both seen Stuart trying to talk to Punkin before the Grrls left, with no luck. She had turned and actually ran for the black bus, leaving Stuart standing there.
She and Emily had argued on the way home; not badly, but they had differing opinions on what to do. Theo opined that they ought to try to find Harriet, that the Grrls should stay over one night and conduct a search. Emily found the idea too dangerous, and thought that the local authorities should handle everything.
Whatever Khaine was, he was apparently so terrible that he scared monsters, which was a very frightening thought in itself. And how was Harrington going to find Harriet? Was he one of the Hunters that Bethany had talked about?
Was he one of the Shadow League?
Harrington had said that Kelso was dangerous. Were Kelso and Khaine related? Or the same person?
So many questions.
At length she sighed and gave up. The Grrls had proven themselves as friends, but Theo understood by now that they were also monsters, and certain aspects of their lives were obviously going to be shared on a need-to-know basis. Still, she thought they should make some effort to find Harriet, since she was one of their own.
Dusk was gathering outside.
She glanced at the clock. It was almost five, and her mother would be working that night. Time to see what would be supper; perhaps something had been left in the fridge, or maybe it would be money for pizza.
She went downstairs. There was no money on the table, but her mother had left a note saying that there was a frozen pizza in the fridge, and would she please take out the garbage. This was not a daunting prospect to Theo; the garbage cans were right out back, and the backyard was lit by a security light, which was just starting to turn itself on. She put the oven on to preheat, and took up the bags, which were waiting by the door.
The garbage cans were some feet across the yard: a lumpen, squat mass of shadow. Theo looked around, and saw nothing.
She headed toward the garbage cans. No werewolves, no monsters, just three ordinary garbage cans, waiting for the trash–
Three? We’ve only got two.
She stopped. The security light fizzed and popped, and Theo remembered with some apprehension that it had always been slow to turn on. She was aware of a deep, thick and very animal odor nearby; almost a stench.
She stared at the shadowy shapes in front of her, and saw that one of them was moving.
It rose up. Theo’s eyes widened.
The thing had not noticed her; it was digging in the cans, looking for something to eat. Theo, unable to move, stared in horror at the huge shape as it rooted and dug. She felt a scream rising in her throat. Any minute now, it would turn and see her, if it didn’t smell her first, and it would come for her–
Something clamped hard over her mouth, and a furry arm slipped around her. The bags fell out of her hands, and Theo felt herself move sideways, fast, into the shadow of a small tool shed that stood at the back of the yard. She heard a low growling sound in her ear.
“Sshhsh,” it said. “Quiet. Vrolok.”
The Vrolok straightened itself and turned. It saw the bags lying on the ground, and came to investigate. It clawed at the bags, sniffing, and its ears pricked up. It looked toward the shed, peering, trying to see what was there, and sniffed again. It began to snarl.
“Oh, no,” whispered Theo. “Oh my God–it smells me–”
At that moment, the security light finally snapped on, lighting up the yard. Theo fell to the ground, and saw, for only a few seconds, the huge form of the Vrolok as it stood blinking in the light, just before a brown blur rushed into her view and threw itself at it. They rolled, snarling, and quickly separated. The brown shape snapped at the Vrolok, driving it away.
Theo, shaking, slowly got up. The brown shape turned. Yellow eyes glowed, and it moved toward her, limping slightly.
Under the full moon, Harriet had completely shifted. She was now distinctly taller, and wiry muscles rippled in her legs underneath thick brown fur as she stumbled toward Theo on huge feet with sharp pointed claws. Her basketball uniform was dirty, torn and disheveled, and there was a large scratch on her right calf, oozing dark blood.
She reached for her, and Theo almost fell over underneath her weight as her hands gripped leathery flesh. Harriet’s voice was a deep, guttural moan.
“Help me,” she said.
The MonsterGrrls return for the second chapter in their new series… and Harriet’s going to play her first basketball game… under a full moon. As the Grrls try to help Harriet keep her wolfy side under control, an old enemy of monsterkind returns with plans to “defend” Clearwater from all monsters. Can things get any more complicated? Well… how about a rogue werewolf running loose in Clearwater?
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