Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: Kendra Young
Mentee Name: Heather Murphy Capps
Title: SPOOKY JANE
Word Count: 44,000
The family rule is simple, never bring anything back from the dead. But when twelve-year-old Ivy breaks it by reviving a decayed flower, a malevolent family ghost with a grudge rises. Ivy must reverse her mistake before the ghost exacts revenge by killing Ivy and destroying the family that created her.
Ivy Jane waited alone in front of the hospice, troubled by the scent of unexpected lilacs. The small entrance garden, brittle from the August sun, should’ve been lifeless. Wrinkling her nose, she pushed aside dead leaves and glimpsed a lone blossom deep inside the tangled decay. Ivy blinked hard, but when she looked again it was still there.
She pushed in further, but pierced her finger on a branch, drawing a drop of bright red blood. She winced, yanking out her hand and sucking the wound until its iron tang melted away. As though she could erase its life, she tore out the flower.
“Dude. Why are you out here?”
Ivy smiled at the Q-tip shaped shadow of her favorite cousin, Hunter. He was taller now, but still all bony elbows and knees. She dropped the lilac and crushed it under her sandal before turning to face him.
“Waiting for you.” She went to hug him hello, but he pulled back.
She snorted. “Thanks. Good to see you too.”
“Sorry. But when did you start wearing perfume?” He leaned in, sniffing.
“I didn’t.” She frowned, pulse thrumming, and twisted her foot, grinding the lilac deeper into the dirt.
“Whatever,” he said, kicking crumbling bricks off the garden wall. “You ready?”
She swallowed around needles in her throat. “No. You?”
Hunter picked at a hangnail. “Aunt Rebecca already planned Grandmother’s funeral.”
“But she’s not even …” Ivy’s right hand fingered imaginary piano keys on her thigh.