Horror in Haints

I write a lot about the magical parts of my book, Haints, but there’s a fair bit of horror in there, too. In some ways, Haints is about the loss of innocence: two girls on the edge of adolescence have to face evil they hadn’t known could possibly exist in the world.

That sense of horror starts slow; there is a lot of sweetness to the girls’ friendship, and in life on the Whitt farm. But danger lurks from the start, and just as things can sometimes snowball until they’re out of hand in real life, a confluence of events lead to the Whitts’ worst nightmares: haints breaking out of their underground prison.

hands grip the ground, the rest of the body unseen below the horizon
Haints a-rising! Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

Here’s an excerpt of what’s going on with one of the Whitts’ neighbors when everything starts to go wrong:

Pauline shot the girl. She’d seen movement in the trees. It was another of those godless Whitts; they were godless, not washed in the blood of the lamb, and she pulled the trigger of her shotgun before she’d meant to. Fueled by fear or the devil or God, she pulled the trigger and a spray of blood flew from the girl’s body, and Pauline dropped the gun, hands trembling. She stumbled into the yard, thinking she’d go to the girl. I shot her, she thought. I’ll see if she needs help. She’d shot her, but it didn’t feel like she had; it only felt like something she’d witnessed. She would help the girl. That’s what she would do. She forgot all about Boyd out here in the backyard.
 And that was a mistake.

I’m still editing proofs! There’ll be at least one more round of corrections before my lovely book is whole and ready.

What about you? Do you like your magical realism to have a dash of horror, or do you prefer the truly creepy keeping to its own genre?

2 responses to “Horror in Haints”

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