{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Jessica B. Bell would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

CHUK

By Jessica B. Bell All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Horror

1 - Welcome to the Bayou

“Welcome to Bayou Bonhomme,” the thin man said with a toothy but debonair grin as he stood at the door, with perfect posture, ushering his guests into the small dining room that was never empty, rain or shine. “Welcome to Leroy’s Grill, home of Louisiana’s best barbecue.”

He’d almost look like a gentleman if he weren’t wearing an apron that was constantly smeared in barbecue sauce and grease. Leroy’s beloved mother had always told him that there was no excuse for poor manners, whether you were speaking in church or serving up barbecue, it didn’t matter. Do it all as unto Jesus, she’d say, and even though Leroy had seen things – some horrible, some incredible – since then that had made him question the whole Jesus thing, old habits die hard, and so Leroy honored his mère’s memory and her Creole heritage by always being polite to his guests.

Outwardly, Leroy was polite and courteous to the dozens of tourists that flooded through his doors each day, because that’s what his mère would want. But oh, if his mama only knew what he had to put up with each and every day, how he had to smile and laugh at the outsiders’ jokes – most of them at the expense of Leroy himself – or folks Leroy liked. They found the Cajun lingo some folks around the bayou spoke charming or quaint, and treated the people of Bonhomme like curiosities, which was really just city folk’s way of looking down their noses at the Creoles and the Cajuns. City folk watched too many movies, and seemed to have a picture of what the bayou should be like, and Leroy was happy to oblige them so long as they had money to spend. Leroy could put on the heavy Cajun accent when he needed to, and could even drop in a smattering of French words for authenticity – after all, his grand-mère had been Creole, and not one word in three that came out of her mouth was English.

The tourists came from all over – some folks from as far away as Texas or Florida – heck, there was even one couple made it all the way down from Kentucky last summer – drawn by the legend of the green man – Ol’ Remy LeVert as he was known around these parts. Things had been slow for the past few months, but then that little boy and his dog had gone missing, a couple of weeks back. While the proper newspapers were writing it up as a likely gator attack, The Bonhomme Gazette had run the headline Legendary Swamp Monster Returned? This had infuriated Oscar Blanchette, the Chief of police, but Amie LeBeau insisted that the presence of a question mark indicated that she was merely speculating on what she thought was a viable possibility, and Oscar only scowled at her and prepared himself for the tourist invasion. As expected, the monster hunters and gawkers had swarmed into Bonhomme like flies to shit, and Bonhomme welcomed them with open, hungry arms. The people of Bonhomme were, as a rule, flat broke. Remy LeVert was the town’s meal ticket, and so the coals of the legend needed to be turned from time to time to keep the fire burning.

There were Remy LeVert t-shirts and bumper stickers to be sold, and anyone with a boat was hiring it out for tours of the bayou. Tourists lined up for hours to take one of these tours with old Jean-Baptiste Levesque – not a tooth left in the old man’s head, but he made himself understood well enough when he gave a tour of the swamp and told the story of the angry old swamp god that the first peoples called C’thuN’Chuk, which, he said, meant “The Good Man” – hence the name of the town. The truth is, ol’ Jean-Baptiste was one hell of a yarn-spinner, and if any of the tourists recognized that his stories were basically a jambalaya of H.P. Lovecraft, Len Wein, Ramsey Campbell and Stephen King, well, they never let on. After all, that kind of melangerie was all part of the Creole tradition.

There was even a sign as you entered the town proclaiming Bonhomme as the home of the legendary swamp monster, and some local kid had drawn a picture of Remy, though it was really just a drawing taken from an old Swamp Thing comic. If Bernie Wrightson, the man who had actually helped create the comic book character, ever came to town, well, the folks of Bonhomme could only hope he’d be flattered and not litigious.

Leroy passed that sign every day and shook his head every time and laughed, because Leroy knew first hand that Ol’ Remy didn’t look anything like that.
Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

debmart6901: I could not put this story down. I stayed up reading when I should have been in bed. could not get enough, could not wait to find how it ended. Great story telling. Great detail. Loved it. The characters were very vivid.

mindushree1402: It was really amazing.... I was not able to put it down..... just beyond awesome... no wonder writers do play with words... amazing storyline.... addictive too... I was so used to it that even when I'm not reading it story was continously streaming in my mind.... good job... I really liked that f...

M. Drewery: I did think I would be reading just another Atlantis archaeological adventure story when I came across this book. However I think it's fresh and very different to other approaches to the same historical mystery. The first chapter drew me in brilliantly. I'm not great at spotting technical writing...

Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...

Katy Rayne: i really enjoyed this book. i have to say i didn't know what to expect, but with every chapter that came something crucial to keep you reading happened. I was disappointed with the ending if this is for another book i will defiantly carry on reading the next book.

smile4me: Exciting page turner. I was barely able to put it down to go to bed. I can usually figure out the twists before they are revealed but not this time! Such a thrill to be surprised. I can hardly wait for the follow up!!

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

Atractivo Sumit: The story is an amazing blend of what we call natural, plain romance along with subtle emotions and interesting twists. The plot is so beautifully interwoven.

Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...

More Recommendations

Emperor2000: I joined Inkitt and downloaded this book following a friend who has been on here sometime recommending it. After they spoke about it a bit, I thought why not give it a go. Initially I only expected to read a few chapters, as I have little time to spend reading (not as much as I like). However I c...

harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.

BFIrving: A first rate story and well crafted, the blend of horror and action worked very well indeed and had me turning page after page. When not actually reading it, I found myself thinking about it which is always a good sign.There are quite a few grammatical and spell-checker errors but nothing anothe...

Alex Rushmer: I read the first chapter, and I'm not sure I can handle anymore, but I certainly liked what I read. The idea of the drug, Fortis, was very interesting, and I enjoyed how you conveyed its effects. The beginning is very intriguing. I think I'd like to see you do a little more with the main characte...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.