The Moonlit Mind: A Tale of Suspense
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Twelve-year-old Crispin has lived on the streets since he was nine ― with only his wits and his daring to sustain him, and only his silent dog, Harley, to call his friend. He is always on the move, never lingering in any one place long enough to risk being discovered. Still, there are certain places he returns to. In the midst of the tumultuous city, they are havens of solitude: like the hushed environs of St. Mary Salome Cemetery, a place where Crispin can feel at peace ― safe, at least for a while, from the fearsome memories that plague him . . . and seep into his darkest nightmares. But not only his dreams are haunted. The city he roams with Harley has secrets and mysteries, things unexplainable and maybe unimaginable. Crispin has seen ghosts in the dead of night, and sensed dimensions beyond reason in broad daylight. Hints of things disturbing and strange nibble at the edges of his existence, even as dangers wholly natural and earthbound cast their shadows across his path. Alone, drifting, and scavenging to survive is no life for a boy. But the life Crispin has left behind, and is still running scared from, is an unspeakable alternative . . . that may yet catch up with him.
joining them this evening. They have heard that she is not feeling well. Between the tortilla soup and the chicken nachos, Nanny Sayo stops by to report that Mirabell has what seems to be a migraine. Once the headache passes, the girl will eat in her room. Clarette sometimes complains of migraines, squirrels herself away in a dark quiet room, and is unapproachable for the duration. This is the first time that her daughter has suffered such a thing. “The condition can be inherited,” Nanny Sayo
yanks open the door to her walk-in closet and switches on the light. Nothing hangs on the rods, and the shoe shelves do not contain a single pair. 7 Early December, three years and four months later … Since the close call on the recent Halloween night, Crispin and faithful Harley have been less bold, traveling more by greenbelts, alleyways, and storm drains than by the main streets. Entirely separate from the sewer system, the massive drains are not dangerous in dry weather. They are
glow just before they vanish, they seem to return to him the love that he expressed. Things are still crashing far down in Theron Hall, and the model is trembling and tweaking. Snatching up the hammer, Crispin hurries around to the front of the model, where the last of the three cats is still on the window seat, peering hopefully out. After a hesitation, he taps the hammer against one of the little windows, cracking through the stiles and muntins, shattering the tiny panes. If the cat was
at the instant of the stutter, someone in Broderick’s turned on the artificial snow that will spiral down all day on the model of the store that stands at the center of the toy department. From time to time, things in this world fall out of harmony, and there is a need to synchronize. 19 They buy a used car with cash. He is too young to drive, but at sixteen—looking eighteen—she is just old enough. Her driver’s license is a forgery, but she’s pretty good behind a wheel, anyway. No longer
on the room. The building shuddered ever so slightly. A low rumble rose from the earth under the Pendleton’s foundation, and Bailey glanced at the floor in front of him, half expecting to see hairline cracks opening in the mortar joints between the tiles, though none did. With the brief shaking, the light in the pool changed again, from the pustulant shade of disease-darkened urine to red. Short of the steps, the swimmer turned with the serpentine ease of an eel, heading back toward the end of