Saturday shivers: The Kinosoo

A terrifying taste of the latest novel by the master of horror

David C. Cassidy

Chapter ONE

Maybe Old Willy was right, Joel Carter thought. Maybe these woods are haunted.

He stopped dead in his tracks. The sweet Cold Lake air wasn’t so sweet anymore. He grimaced from the foul odor that lingered in the misty late-June afternoon.

“What the shit,” he whispered, slightly out of breath. And shit was exactly what he was smelling. The worst rot. It had come out of nowhere. Like a ghost.

He carried on with his workout, jogging briskly along the rocky path. It was his first trip through these dreary woods, his second pass by this bend, and with each long stride, the stench seemed to grow.

Far ahead, he could barely see Hash through the mist. The big German shepherd was whizzing on a pair of ugly birch trees that were bound together like snakes. Hash finished his business and trotted off along the trail.

Furry bastard must be choking on the smell, he thought. He checked his FitBit. Five-thirty. He’d better finish up and get home to the kids. Liana was super smart, a great babysitter, even at ten, but she and Brix might be getting worried. Besides, dinner wasn’t going to cook itself.

“Giddyup, Carter,” he said, picking up the pace. He felt good today, the first time in months. After Rachel had passed away, he’d made changes. Quit the smokes. The fast food. Traded the choking stink of the city for—at least in the moment—the choking stink of the country. He’d done these things for himself, should have done them long before … but mostly, he’d done them for the kids.

He liked it here. Always had. It had been hard to leave all those years ago, moving to Calgary, on to Lethbridge and Edmonton—but coming back without Rache had been devastating. Still, in the long run, it had been good for him. Calming. Warming. Reviving. Sure, Cold Lake had brutal winters and all-too-short summers, but this Northern Alberta jewel was a shiny one, with a lush, beautiful forest and the friendliest people. Dark, starry skies and breathtaking sunsets. It had charming shops and delightful cafes, one with the best damn carrot cake in the civilized world. The lake was as cold as hell, but the beach was a slice of Heaven.

Hash circled back and kept pace with him. The dog stepped off the path, sniffing the ground in some thick underbrush. His fuzzy tail wagged as he popped his head up. A ratty wooden doll hung limp in his jaws. He dashed ahead of Joel, leaving him far behind.

Image by Joe from Pixabay

Joel found another gear and sped up. The fog grew thicker. He lost sight of Hash again, and for a moment, feared he had taken a wrong turn and gotten lost. Crazy talk of ghosts and goblins from that old bugger aside, he had to admit, this particular part of his pretty hometown’s lush and beautiful forest was more than unfamiliar—it was downright creepy.

The poplar and pine were disturbing things with twisted trunks and crooked arms, their ancient bark as furrowed as Old Willy himself. Many were dead. Much of the foliage was curled and spotted, as if ravaged by disease. Jagged rocks and snakelike roots marked the hilly, winding terrain. But what truly unnerved him was the harrowing lack of life, the utter silence: he hadn’t seen a single squirrel, not a chipmunk, hadn’t heard the raspy wock-wock-wock of a magpie or the hoot of a great horned owl. The dull sounds of his Nikes on the dark earth served only to remind him that, Hash aside, he was completely alone.

He kept on. As his stride hit the base of a steep rise, that awful stink growing, he stopped cold, a chilling sound beyond the crest of the hill making the hairs on his neck stand on end.

Maybe Old Willy was right.

The Kinosoo

The Kinosoo by David C. Cassidy

Welcome to a new frightmare!

Based on the real-life Cree legend in Cold Lake, Alberta, The Kinosoo is Book 2 of David C. Casidy’s Dark Shapes, Dark Shadows series. It’s a rather creepy and disturbing twist on a legend that’s been around for decades. Like Nessie in Loch Ness, there have been reported sightings of this mysterious sea monster over the years, drawing thousands of visitors to the area in hopes of seeing—or even catching—this elusive, gigantic, underwater beast. There’s even been theories that the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) near Cold Lake covered up an accident when one of its sea planes was thought to have been struck in the water by … something … during an emergency landing on Cold Lake.

Hmmmm … sounds fishy to me.

Real legend. Real monster. Real nightmare.

Recently widowed with two young children, Joel Carter uproots his family and returns to his quiet hometown of Cold Lake to start over. But his new country life in the Northern Alberta wilderness isn’t the breath of fresh air that it should be.

The dreary woods behind his home are eerily silent, not a bird or an animal in sight; the knobby trees are diseased, twisted, and ugly. And when he encounters a dark, foul-smelling pond that has seemingly appeared out of nowhere, a freak accident leaves him possessed by the mysterious powers of an impossible sea monster—what he had always believed was just an old Cree legend.

He soon discovers that the “Kinosoo” is not only real, but far more menacing than the creature of lore—and far more terrifying than he could ever imagine: He’s become a deadly pawn to its will, a will fueled by insatiable hunger. And now that it has him, no one is safe from its lust for live meat … not even his children.

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David C. Cassidy

David C. Cassidy portrait 2024

is an award-winning author, the twisted mind behind several chilling books of horror and suspense. His supernatural thriller, The Dark, won the Independent Book Publishers Award and Award in horror fiction.

If you love horror with unforgettable characters in epic stories that draw you in and won’t let go—stories that haunt you long after the final page—then check out his incredibly rich storytelling.

To learn more and connect with David, visit his BestSelling Reads author page or his website.

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