The Secret in Mossy Swamp (Paperback)
by Rita Monette
Nikki Landry Swamp Legends #3
Things are never what they seem... in a foggy Louisiana swamp
Living in a tiny houseboat, Nikki is stuck with sharing a room with her little brother, Jesse, who does what little brothers do best…torture their sisters. Fed up, she decides to build a place of her own…a tree house where no boys are allowed. Meanwhile, something strange is happening on Bayou Platte. Things and people are coming up missing…and little stick dolls covered in moss, known locally as “signs” from the legendary Rougarou, are showing up in their place.
Is the Rougarou really to blame? Can Nikki get to the bottom of the mystery before things get worse? Find out in this third installment of the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series!
Juvenile, Adventure, 204 pages
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SKREEEEEEE! The sound reminded me of a giant fingernail being scraped across a blackboard. Then everything suddenly got extra quiet.
Living in a houseboat and all, I’d gotten pretty used to strange noises coming from the swamps. But this one—the one that could make the other critters shut up—gave me the willies. Papa says folks living along the bayous are apt to believe in legends, and anything weird they can’t explain is on account of some swamp creature, namely the rougarou. But my papa, being smarter than most folks, told me there’s always something logical behind legends. And I always believed my papa…well, most of the time.
I rolled over under my quilt and wiggled to get more comfortable. Snooper, who had used my legs for his pillow, growled real low. He didn’t much like his sleep being disturbed. He was awful lazy for a beagle.
While I laid there trying to go back to sleep, my skin got a prickly feeling—sorta like when someone is watching you. I opened one eye. The pale moon and the wind through the trees made creepy shadows that moved like long fingers across the tiny window. I could barely see the outline of my little brother, Jesse, on his cot nearby. I closed my eye, hoping I’d soon doze back off, but in the dark, a sound like low deep breathing…real close to my bed…filled my head with images of blood-red eyes and yellow fangs. The wooden floor creaked.
I remembered the ghostly pirates that had visited me in my dreams a few months ago. But this wasn’t a dream. I was pretty certain I was awake. I pinched my arm to be sure. I opened both eyes just a slit. A shadow moved near the foot of my bed. I tried to swallow, but my mouth felt dry as a bite of an unripe persimmon.
My covers moved ever so slightly. I tugged ’em up to my chin and pressed my eyes shut as hard as I could…and waited.
The bed jiggled.
“S-Snoop?” I whispered. Something cold like my dog’s nose touched my foot…then it grabbed my toes. Not Snooper.
“Eeeeeek!” I screamed and jumped to my feet. I stood on the bed and yelled as loud as I could manage, hoping my parents would hear me from their room.
“Rouwrrrrrr!” Something tackled my legs and pushed me down on the bed. “Yahahaha…”
I swung my arms in the dark, but it was on top of me, its wet mouth snarling in my ear. Was it…?
“What’s going on in here?” Papa rushed through the door holding a lantern. The room lit up with the pale glow of kerosene light.
“Hah, I got you good.” Jesse stood up over me.
“Papa, Jesse tried to scare me.” My voice trembled.
“I did scare you.” Jesse jumped around on my bed. “Hahahaha.”
“Did not! I knew it was you.” I threw my legs over the side of the bed. “Papa, you’ve got to get him out of my room. I can’t have anything. He’s always in my stuff.” I jerked my finger at him. “And now he’s on my bed. I can’t even sleep!”