In “The Net,” a girl and her mother arrive at their secluded cabin on a frozen lake to find their fishing net has been attacked, a massive hole ripped through the middle. After the net has been mended and the night’s catch eaten, the daughter sits awake playing with a bit of leftover netting string. When she was a girl, her grandmother taught her to make string figures—just as her mother had taught her—a game played by Inuit for generations, but a game not to be taken lightly . . . as the daughter plays late into the night, and the mother sleeps, other monstrous forces are soon awakened from beneath the frozen lake.
In “Before Dawn” a young boy runs out onto the tundra to play with his new friend by his side, venturing far beyond his mother’s rule that he not stray past the inuksuk on the horizon. The boy’s friend beckons him farther and farther, and the farther they get from home, the more the friend seems to change . . . until he is no longer human at all. Horrified, the boy listens to the creature’s proposition: return home before dawn, or be lost forever to the other side . . .
Complemented by haunting illustrations from Toma Feizo Gas, The Other Ones is a fresh take on modern horror by an exciting new Inuit voice.
About the authors
An Inuk raised in Denendeh, Jamesie Fournier’s work has appeared in Inuit Art Quarterly, Red Rising magazine, Northern Public Affairs, and the anthology Coming Home: Stories from the Northwest Territories. His brother, Zebede Tulugaq Evaluardjuk-Fournier, illustrated his last two projects with Inuit Art Quarterly. Jamesie was guest author at the 2018 & 2020 Northwords Writers Festivals and a runner up for 2018 Sally Manning Award for Indigenous Creative Non-Fiction. He lives in Thebacha/Fort Smith between Salt River First Nation, Smith’s Landing First Nation, and the South Slave Metis Nation.
From his early days of reading sci-fi and fantasy books, Toma Feizo Gas has been fascinated with the dramatic scenes portrayed on the covers of those books. There started his lifelong love affair with telling stories through pictures. Today, Toma’s key influence remains the people in these stories, the motives that drive us, and the decisions that shape us, propelling him to craft bold visual statements and contrast in his own art. As a career illustrator, his work can be found gracing the pages and covers of titles such as Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, the Star Wars and Mutant Chronicles role playing games, as well as several upcoming fantasy novel series.
Excerpt: The Other Ones (by (author) Jamesie Fournier; illustrated by Toma Feizo Gas)
The girl shot brusquely awake, gasping. She looked to the door. It hung to one side, violated like a torn fingernail. She turned and yelled for her mother, but nothing came out. Her mother slept undisturbed, peacefully in dreams. The daughter turned back to the door and immediately stopped breathing. There in the doorway, underneath a parka of rotten feathers, loomed a gaunt figure silhouetted in moonlight. Greasy, thinning hair dripped from its skull. Its menacing frame barely fit the doorway. Sharp, pointed fingers curved like blades from its hands. Frowning, it seemed ancient. Older than stars. The stench of seaweed and turned earth blew into the cabin. Slowly it rotated its mutated shoulders and raised its arms into the moonlight. The daughter saw its fingernails glint, and between them, a fine loop of string curled. As those cold, bright eyes stared into her, an odd certainty dawned in her mind. It was him. The face from her dreams, the creature pulling her, dragging her underneath the ice. She saw the string laced between its tortured fingers and knew what she had done. She had awakened one of them. The Sleeping Ones. The Inuunngittut. The ones that drag you under. Slowly a razor smile spread across the creature’s face, each tooth gleaming wetly with delight. A deep, grating voice birthed in her skull.
“C h i l d . . . ”
Her eyes widened in disbelief. The creature spoke without speaking. It had growled in her mind and yet remained frozen. Its milky eyes studied her as its grin curdled into a horrid frown. The daughter felt the creature’s mind reach out to her; its long salivary thoughts moaned in satisfaction. Frozen in terror, her eyes fell to its parka. Mottled black and white, its rancid feathers stank of the lake. Its arms hung low, string laced between its fingers. Suddenly, the creature rushed towards her, violently shaking its head. White eyes screamed behind its frown. It stopped short before the daughter, sour breath heaving into her nostrils.
“P i c k . . . i t . . . u p . . .”
“What?” the girl whimpered. The creature lifted one long, twisted finger and dangled the string in front of her.
“C o n n t e s s t . . .”