Title: CROW’S REST (WIP)
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Mom woke me as we hit the outskirts of Crow’s Rest. “Brace yourself, Avery Girl.” It’s what she’d said the first time we’d come to visit Uncle Tam, and every time since, as we got close to Crow’s Rest and the Castle. Anticipation and dread surged through me as I sat up.
The June air streamed in through the open window, coating my tongue with heat and iron-rich dust. Houses flashed by: a few McMansions (probably foreclosed on before they’d even been built out) along with the farmhouses from the 1840s on. Buzzing insects circled the weeds, already drying and brittle among the oaks.
As we took that last curve on the approach, tree branches arched over the road, blocking our view until there it stood—a castle, a brick anomaly glowing red in the afternoon light. Looming over the Gold-Rush-era town from the top of a hill, making my shutter finger itch. The usual mass of turkey vultures and ravens soared above it, sinisterizing the turret seven more.
Wilson Castle wasn’t really a castle, of course, not here in the foothills above Sacramento. The fanciful hulk had originally been built as a reform school for boys. Bad boys had come and gone through the Wilson School of Industry since it opened in the 1890s, up until they moved next door to a more secure facility in the 1960sand the landmark was gutted.
“The Castle’s so solidly out of place,” I said to my mom, “but kind of elemental–like it grew herewith the oaks.”