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Whistle at Night and They Will Come

Indigenous Horror Stories Volume 2

by (author) Alex Soop & Cary Thomas Cody

foreword by Eugene Brave Rock

Durvile Publications
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Horror, Native American & Aboriginal
Author lives in Alberta , About indigenous people or experiences
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    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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Following the immense success of his debut collection of horror stories, Midnight Storm, Moonless Sky, Blackfoot storyteller Alex Soop once again scares the wits out of readers while uncovering overlooked social anxieties and racism affecting Indigenous Peoples across North America. Whistle at Night and They Will Come: Indigenous Horror Stories Volume 2 delivers stories ranging from supernatural mythology and the paranormal to post-apocalyptic scenarios, and zombie lockdown—12 tales in all in short story and novella formats. Whistle at Night coincides with the launch of Durvile & UpRoute Books’ new horror series, “Dark Tales.”

About the authors

Alex Soop, of the Blackfoot Nation, meticulously voices each and every one of the stories in this collection from Indigenous Peoples’ perspective. While striving to entertain readers with his bloodcurdling tales, Alexander imaginatively implements the numerous issues that plague the First Nations people of North America, by way of subliminal and head-on messages. These specific matters include alcohol and drug abuse; systemic racism; missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls; foster care; Residential School aftereffects; and over-incarceration. He also deals with legends of Indigenous folklore, such as Wendigo, ghosts, and the afterlife. His urban home is Calgary and his ancestral home is the Kainai (Blood) Nation of southern Alberta.

Alex Soop's profile page

Eugene Brave Rock is an actor who grew up on the Kainai Nation in Alberta. He was later trained as a stuntman and performed for the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Disneyland Paris. He is best known for his roles in AMC's Dark Winds as Frank Nakai and The Stranger in The Dirty Black Bag. He also appeared in a standout role in Wonder Woman.

Eugene Brave Rock's profile page

Cary Thomas Cody is an Indigenous storyteller and writer/director for The Skull Crawlers Movie Club & podcast. He is of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.

Cary Thomas Cody's profile page

Excerpt: Whistle at Night and They Will Come: Indigenous Horror Stories Volume 2 (by (author) Alex Soop & Cary Thomas Cody; foreword by Eugene Brave Rock)

Hide and Go Seek


It wasn’t supposed to end the way it did.

Life. It wasn’t supposed to end like that. But it did.

Kids. What can we really say? They have their imaginations—something we seem to lose as soon as we hit that tender age where sex becomes the only thing on the mind. But I’ll never get to that age now, will I?


The abrupt jangle of the house phone makes me jump; tearing me away from the gripping clutches of the book of dark tales I hold tightly gripped in my hands. The story I am immersed in is a tale of two horrors, woven with strands of malevolence that grips a poor soul. The unfortunate protagonist is a mere teenager, just two years my senior.

“Holy effin’ shit,” I say through a tight grin, my spirit dropping just like the book I had in my hands, the thump on my leg giving me another jolt as I sit like a toddler aboard my grandparents’ brand-new sofa. “Who the hell’s calling me at this damn moment?” I glance at the clock and then wriggle from my comfy, balled-up posture and push aside my lucky blanket, eager to see who is calling me on this Friday night. Stepmom and dad are away at bingo for at least another three hours. I may be only 12, but I would still prefer to have a social life of some sort.

The caller ID announces back to me: R. Rain Family. I know exactly who it is. Brady. My new best friend, slash cousin in-law. Also, my best new hockey and football teammate. Chance just had it that we are the exact same age too. A lucky draw of cards when I thought I would be a new and unwanted nuisance in a new land. Cree land. My new location has come as a result of my dad winning custody of me in the divorce.

“Brooo,” I belt into the phone receiver, waiting in guaranteed anticipation for my new cousin to give me some good news.

“Sleepover,” Brady asserts, his tone carrying a command that I’m reluctantly at ease with. “My dad said we can come pick you up if you want. There’s lots of food left over, too. Indian tacos, bro.”

My mouth goes into an automatic surge of watering, my taste buds already detecting the secret spice my aunty Lorna adds to her taco seasoning. Aunt Lorna also isn’t from this part of the world. She’s Navajo. The originators of the famous Indian Taco.

“Hell yeah, bro. You know I’m always down for that,” I say in a childish voice that sounds more ecstatic than it should be.

“Want us to come get you?” Brady asks.

Cordless phone in hand, I glide over the linoleum floor to the kitchen’s enormous picture window. It’s a window to the world of the night, looking out to the sprawling expanse of Brady’s family abode, nestled amidst the fields where the horses graze. It’s just a stone’s throw away, less than a mile, or so. The only big house in sight for miles on end surrounded by area’s the thick foliage. The house stands out beneath the blanket of night like a mirage in the desert. One flickering lamppost dimly lights up the twisting driveway, while the numerous windows projecting inside lighting gives off that spaceship feel to Brady’s massive, country-style dwelling.

A dash across the hilly, horse trampled grassland seems like nothing to me. Three minutes tops if I can keep my championship 150-metre dash momentum up. But I suddenly heed Kokum Nadine’s warning. Never to cross that stretch of land, or to be playing outside, at night. And alone at that. Age-old mythical warnings stemming from the Mosoms and Kokums of long ago.

I disregard Kokum Nadine’s warning. “No, man,” I tell Brady. “I can walk. Save the gas.” I say, a slight tremor of fear caressing me as I seem to notice a darkness darker than the black surrounding my usual prairie home floats in. I wouldn’t mind being picked up but at the same time I don’t want to look like a wimp to my new family.


• • • •


With flashlight in one hand and an overnight backpack in the other, I gently shut the worn wooden door, like I was a teenager sneaking off to a late-night party. I flick on my flashlight, illuminating the grassy path in an encouraging LED glow. I allow the beam to settle as far as it can go, over the main yard fence and past the two empty barns cradling the gravel road leading to a treed-off nowhere. Another shudder of apprehension strikes me as I try to focus on the tree engulfed, unseen areas not ignited by the flashlight. Twisted shadows of the barns seems to dance like ominous demons as I scan the wide-open nothingness. There is really nothing to dread around here except for the odd roaming coyote or badger.

I exhale heavily and continue my trip to Brady’s big reserve homestead. My breath clouds the flashlight beam. My legs carry me swiftly and one look upon his lit-up house, I already feel at ease, knowing I will soon be out of this autumn chill, scarfing down an off-the-burner, southwest style Indian taco.

“You got this, Matt,” I say to myself, illuminating my projected path down the darkness enclosed, horse trampled grassland. As I dash across the open field, I wish to Creator that the horses were present, rather than be away with Mosom and Aunt Geena, up north for the rodeo finals, some three reserves away. There’s something about the terrain’s emptiness—nothing but land that is thoroughly unfamiliar to my 12-year-old Blackfoot knowledge. The land where the Great Plains ends, and the endless bush begins, stretching north until the arctic tundra takes over.

I know—I hope—it’s only my preteen imagination, but I feel the conjuring of, what is that? A presence judging my every move from somewhere beyond the black and green spread of birches and poplars, their autumn-coloured leaves masked by the blanket of night. I give it no further thought and finish my run, huffing and puffing until my feet steal away from the damp grasses and touch the Rain family’s gravel-laden driveway.

“I made it,” I whisper to myself, realizing that I have to let my lungs catch up to my forced breaths.

“Fuckin’ rights you made it,” says Brady. He leaps over the porch railing and rushes over to me. “Took you long enough, man.” I can only see his breath in the dim light of the flickering lamppost, his face shadowed by the fall of night. “You good? Seen you from upstairs hauling ass like the wolfman himself was chasing you.”

I hold back a shiver and start walking toward the comforting aura of amber light warming his porch. “Let’s go inside. It’s friggin’ cold as balls out here,” I say, not bothering again to face the expanse of black between his house and mine across the way.

“Okay, bro. Lets.” He says, ever so calmly. “Let’s eat.”


• • • •


Mission accomplished. I am full. A little too full for my own comfort. My stomach starts to scream at me not to let any more food pass through my mouth. Now I have nothing to do but let the time pass as the uncomfortable feeling caused by my overeating diminishes like a snail and turtle race.

I take a comfy position on Brady’s family-sized leather couch, just off to the side of where his little sister, Nadia, watches an old Transformers cartoon at low volume.

“I can barely hear it. How can you watch this at such a low volume?” I say to Nadia.

She barely bats an eye, slightly twisting her head as she slurps on a can of Coke. “Meh,” she replies, “I got used to it. It’s how I always have to watch it anyways at Mosom and Kokum’s. You know, with them being so naggy about TV.”

I nod my head in agreement. I am more than aware of how my step-grandparents aren’t too fond of TV, themselves settling for an old black and white over the new age colour HDTV’s. Even the location of their only television is awkward, placed in a back room near the main floor’s laundry room and secondary washroom. Feeling at ease on my stomach I sit back and watch the old cartoon with Nadia, my eyelids becoming heavy after only a few minutes of observing the almost-muted robots change disguises into some fancy automobile of their era.

The trance of a deep, dreamless sleep wanes, and all I can initially make out is a blurry image of Brady’s face up close. “Psst, bro,” he speaks softly, “come on, lets go.” He takes a step back and summons me with a whipping motion of his head. “My older sister has a fun night planned for us. You don’t get to go to sleep yet, you dummy.”

My mind rapidly snaps to attention, immediately deciphering fifteen-year-old Laura, Brady’s older sister. Beautiful Laura, my heart always thumps with extra zeal when she’s around. I know it is wrong to crush on her—her being my step-cousin and all—but my teenage mind and soul just can’t help it. Maybe when I’m older this feeling will withdraw. Just maybe.

I am full alert when I stand up, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. “What’s the fun she’s got planned?” I eagerly ask.

“She said she would let us borrow her PlayStation 2 for the night. But first, she wants to play a game of hide-and-go-seek. You cool with that?” he asks with an unexpectedly polite tone, even coming from him.

Hide and seek is my all-time favourite childhood game since way back when, a piece of it forever living within the pit of my adolescent heart. It’s the perfect game to play when there are so many places to hide in such a big house as Brady’s.

“Heck yeah, I’m cool with that, brother. But you and I aren’t the seekers. Let’s make…” I pause for a moment, considering who I’d prefer to be looking for us. “Ahh yeah, okay. Let’s have Laura be the seeker, since it was her idea to play in the first place,” I say with a naturalized grin.

Brady nods and puckers his lips. “Yeah, okay. I’m cool with that.” He begins strolling out of the living room. “I’ll go tell her. Pretty sure she’ll be up for it anyway. Get your coat on, bro. We’re gonna play outside for the first few rounds. While my mom and dad are in town gettin’ groceries.”

A forced gulp halts in my throat, a deep breath pushing past so that I don’t drown on my own saliva. “Yeah okay,” I say, trying to hide the uneasiness in my voice, “sounds awesome.”

• • • •


The weather grew cold over the hour or so we spent inside the comforting warmth of Brady’s house. Ominous clouds skate across the skies, blotting out the moon. Someone turned off the porch light.

“Well, there goes any source of light besides that useless old lamppost. Even better for us,” Brady jokes as he jogs up beside me. His gaze stares out at the expanse of dead-black space. He slams a hard pat to my back and says, “Ready to play?”

A shiver runs through me. But yet, my jacket is so warm.

I can’t help but stare in sheer admiration from my cramped-up position beneath the neglected horse trailer wheel well. Laura faces the dark corner of the open-air carport and counts down from thirty. “Five… four… three… two…” she pauses, and I can hear her take a deep breath. That sweet breath. “And one,” she says louder than the rest of the preceding numbers. “Ready or not, here I come.”

She spins to face the overlooking direction and takes a look around, her eyes scanning right past mine and into the endless black beyond the homestead grounds.

I grin with intensity as though she has already caught me, my mind debating if I would rather find another place to hide, or just stay put and be the first one to be found. And it was me who confidently told my Cree cousins that the Blackfoot are never found when in hiding. My wish is granted as she exits the carport, takes a hard left, ascends the steps to the veranda porch and disappears around the corner.

Now is my chance. I wriggle and slide my skinny frame from under the sloped trailer, pausing to listen amidst a cloud of gravel dust choking me. I peer through the dim illumination cast upon me. Powering through a cough, I get to my feet, look to my left and right, and settle for the tool shed on the far end of the freshly mowed lawn. There’s something about the opposite end of the yard, nothing beyond the three-tier fence but obscure twists and incessant shadows of trees. The prospect seems strangely unwelcoming.

I shiver again, quickening my steps to a ninja pace, ducking low and moving smoothly. I reach the shed without giving away my whereabouts. I dart across the damp grass. I make it there just in time as I hear Laura’s footfalls rounding the corner of the wooden porch, her beautiful face coming into the dim lamp light mere moments before I delicately close the shed door with the tip of my finger. She doesn’t hear the squeal of the rusted-out hinges, her own footsteps loud are enough to drown them out. Luck is on my side.

My muscles are wound tight. Too tight. But why? It’s only a game of hide and seek, after all. I take a step back until my shoulder blade brushes something hanging freely. I whip around, my hands shooting outward until they strike something rigid and icy. It’s steel.

“Oh my god,” I whisper, addressing the obscured darkness in front of me. “Just Uncle Rob’s old pitchfork.” But then my cold fingers clamp down on my mouth to stifle a scream, as my mind replays scenes from the horror movie Brady had made me sit through just last weekend. The pitchfork—the preferred weapon of choice for killers preying on unfortunate souls caught unprepared in some forbidden farm or abandoned ranch. A ranch, much like the one belonging to Brady’s dad, Uncle Rob.

“This is my spot to hide,” says the voice in the shed with me. But who’s voice is it?

I perform a dizzying spin and face the darkness, spanning twice the breadth of my arms appearing more like a limitless cosmos devoid of stars to my vision.

“Who the hell said that… Who’s lurking here?” I demand in a voice that probably sounds like a lost kid at the carnival of horrors.

“Mine,” he, or it, growls back at me. “And you shouldn’t be here!”

Fuck it. I am already to burst from the shed and give up. Be the loser of the game. But I am too late. I have been beat. I’ve been outwitted, bested by a reassuring voice just as my shoulder slams into the shed door, and I hurtle forth, my face meeting the cool, damp grass with a thud.

“What the heck are you kids doing out here in the middle of the dark?” Pans my new aunt, Lorna, Brady’s mom.

Body grounded, I lift my face and strain my neck until it hurts my spine, then twist my torso until I’m on my back and kick-pushing the grass in a deadly effort to get as far away from the tool shed as possible. In the lamppost’s dingy glow the wooden shack is once again reduced to a humble, compact structure, housing hand tools. The darker-than-night, open entry is like a doorway to another dimension, where eternal blackness is bestowed upon all who enter.

“Mom,” wails little sister Nadia, followed by Brady emerging from his hiding place just a few feet to the left of her. “We’re sorry. We were just—”

“Get in the house. Right Now!” Lorna’s scream pierces the night, her fury palpable.

I know we are in trouble.

But at least I am now safe.


• • • •


I take a seat beside the kitchen’s picture window, feeling a sense of invincibility now that I am surrounded by reassuring light, five other living souls, and a pane of glass that would take a bullet to break through.

My thoughts remain distracted, unable to detach from the enigma that reached out to me in the tool shed. Was it a real voice, or just (hopefully) a concoction of a voice brought on by a 12-year-old mind, too tainted by an overindulging of horror movies my off-reserve friends wouldn’t be allowed to watch until they were at least 14.

“And you,” says Lorna, her stern voice directed at me. “You’re Blackfoot. I know all about your people’s traditions and folklore. You of all people should know better than to be out there in the middle of the night playing hide and go seek. What the hell, man?” She is not all wrong. I should have known better. I already knew better.

I clear my throat and am ready to respond when my sight is taken—stolen—by a swift speck of movement in the front yard barely lit up by the gloomy nighttime lamppost. “Look,” I belt out. “There’s someone still out there.”

Eyes settled coldly on mine; Aunt Lorna barely directs her head toward the window when the doorbell chimes.

“Oh nice,” says Uncle Rob. “Jimmy’s here.” He passes by me and—acting as though the air is cool—he places a hand on Lorna’s shoulder. “Babe, he’s here. We still on for some cards?”


• • • •


Beneath a lone dangling bulb, Aunt Lorna stares at me framed by the smiling faces of Uncle Rob and his best friend, Jimmy. On the couch, I sit like a lost boy awaiting my fate to be sent back home, or to be let to stay the night.

“She’ll be okay, bro,” interrupts Brady, slapping a hand to my kneecap. “That’s just how she was brought up. You know how those southern Indians are?”

And that I did, having a few of my in-law aunts and uncles from all over the USA and eastern Canada. It was a thing for my family not to marry on-reserve men and women. Too many relations and distant cousins.

I exhale deeply, letting my gaze drop from Lorna’s death stare. “What’s the plan now?” I ask Brady.

“Oh, we ain’t done, bro,” he says with a smile. “Come, let’s go downstairs.”

Without question I follow my newfound cousin and enter the depths of the Rain family basement.

I knew this basement already. Having spent many a sleepover in the “dungeon”, as we called it, I can fathom the sense of eeriness and dampness that never seems to leave this basement.

“Sorry about that, new cousin,” says Laura, standing tall in the middle of the barely lit family room with her hands resting on Nadia’s shoulders. “My mom can be a real… meanie,” she says with a flash of her beautiful smile. I am immediately brought back from the hurt of Aunt Lorna’s scolding. “You still wanna play, or not? If not than that’s—”

“No way. Of course I’m still down to play,” I cut her off. “Who’s the seeker?”

“I am, of course,” she says. “I never had the chance to find any of you earlier, anyways. Okay, go hide. I’ll stay over here and count down from thirty.”

I wait and watch as Nadia and Brody sprint their own ways, skirting furniture and the mounds of Nadia’s toys strewn about the thickly carpeted floor. Laura is at twenty-five when I finally decide it is time for me to find my own place of solitude to wait while she seeks us in the halfway darkness lit up by only one table lamp.

Rob Rain had a say in the layout of his own basement. It was like he never had the urge to let the age-old game of hide and go seek slip his mind. The massive basement was littered with areas to hide and never be found. There was a crawl space that had especially taken in my interests when Brady first showed me it. Perfect. In the dark, the expanse of dirt-riddled ground would seem to span on forever.

That is my spot of choice.

A bad choice.

Suppressing a series of coughs, I maneuver silently to the spot Brady had shown me, the mental map our young minds had meticulously charted permitting me to navigate the space in the dark. Now all I can do is lie in wait as I hope to be the last one found by Laura.

Time drags on, earth’s chill seeping into my body as I recline, yearning finally to be discovered.

I am ready to crawl out, quit, and go upstairs to go and enjoy another Indian taco when I feel the air temperature drop like a rock in a pond. Within the darkness I could sense my own breath coming out in pitiful wafts. “Okay, you got this,” I whisper to myself as I eagerly scramble for the exit.

But then he intervenes, a formidable presence slithering across and blocking off the only exit from the crawlspace. My agitated movements stall abruptly. I can’t see his face as the words speak from a mouth that shifts and expands, jaws much too broad to be of human origin. “I warned you once,” it roars, “This is my spot to hide.”

My last sight is a sudden and deadly movement like an attacking cobra, as the being slithers toward me, and I am met with the stench of a rotting animal corpse—and what is this—a face so twisted and distorted I know this creature is no human being. Not a creature from this world at least.


Life. It wasn’t supposed to end like that.