“I sit alone in a dead world. The wind blows hot and dry, and the dust gathers like particles of memory waiting to be swept away. I pray for forgetfulness, yet my memory remains strong, as does the outstretched arm of the oppressive air. It seems as if the wind has been there since the beginning of the nightmare. Sometimes loud and harsh, a thousand sharp needles scratching at my reddened skin. Sometimes a whisper, a curious sigh in the black of night, of words more frightening than pain. I know now the wind has been speaking to me. Only I couldn’t understand because I was too scared. I am scared now as I write these words. Still, there is nothing else to do.”
Title: Whisper of Death
Author: Christopher Pike
Publisher: Archway Paperbacks
Year of Publication: 1991
A young couple’s miserable day trip turns exceptionally nightmarish when they return home to find that everyone has disappeared. Well, almost everyone. A small group of high school students remain; their only connection is a girl named Betty Sue who recently committed suicide. The teens struggle to make sense of this strange new and potentially deadly situation.
Pike really knows how to craft a creative storyline. Despite its age, Whisper of Death doesn’t feel dated in a way that makes it inaccessible; however, some readers may find a few of the comments regarding the more serious topics (*tw: rape and abortion) antiquated and/or victim blaming. Politics aside, this short novel provides a very creepy and compelling read. Also, I’m a sucker for the neat cover art and awesome neon typeface.