Christopher Golden is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of novels for adults and teens, including “Of Saints and Shadows,” “The Boys Are Back in Town,” and “The Secret Journeys of Jack London,” co-authored with Tim Lebbon. His illustrated novel with Mike Mignola, “Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire,” was the launching pad for the Eisner-nominated comic book series, “Baltimore.”
Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family. His original novels have been published in more than fourteen languages in countries around the world.
Chris has donated an excerpt from his book, “The Waking: Spirits of the Noh,” – written under the pseudonym of Thomas Randall – with new illustrations by Gareth Sleightholme. Here’s a sample.
Spirits of the Noh*
by Thomas Randall
Demons covered one entire wall of Yuuka Aritomo’s classroom. At least, that was how other people would have seen her collection of Noh theater masks. Some were monsters, some evil spirits, and others merely distorted representations of gods, crazy people, and fierce warriors. Most of them were tragic figures, and many were hideous to behold, but Miss Aritomo thought them all quite beautiful.
A shiver went through her, a sudden feeling of dread that spider-walked up the back of her neck. She turned to stare at the shadowed corner of the room, troubled by the certainty that something had just darted out of view. For a moment, it felt as though the masks were staring at her.
Stop. You’re frightening yourself. Alone in the room, the school so quiet, it was easy to get spooked, but this was something more than nerves. Something had made her uneasy. Something had flitted through the shadows in her peripheral vision.
No. Stop. “You’re a grown woman,” she said aloud, and the sound of her own voice comforted her. She might be an adult, a teacher, but at heart she was still the little girl who had been afraid of her own shadow.
It’s just the murders, she thought, and shivered. Several students and one teacher had died on the campus of Monju-no-Chie school this past spring, and another girl had been drowned the previous fall. They hadn’t all been murders, at least according to the police, but she could not help feeling claustrophobic there, alone in her classroom, with the echoes of those deaths—the cruelty, the malice, the evil—lingering in her mind...