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PW #207: Middle Grade Fantasy: THE MIDNIGHT FLIGHT OF THE SALEM MAGI

Thursday, 3 November 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: G.K. Byrne
Mentee: Elliot Smith
Title: THE MIDNIGHT FLIGHT OF THE SALEM MAGI
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Word Count: 57,000

Pitch:

Twins, Ark and Swanette, are descendants of the Salem witches. While they admit to causing their share of magical calamities, being chased by the king’s witch hunters seems like an overreaction. When dragons join the hunt, the twins must ally with Abigail Adams, Boston’s Witch-In-Chief, to save the patriots, and themselves. MAGYK meets the American Revolution in this secret history of Paul Revere’s ride.

Excerpt:

At dusk I’ll burn at the stake. I don’t like to brag, but I’m a prodigy at it. This will be my third time. It’s made me something of a celebrity around New England. While burning witches and wizards has always attracted large crowds, I think I’ve taken the spectacle to a new level.

Lured by my reputation, the villagers have packed the town square despite the short notice. Every person nearby must have come to find out if I can truly survive being burned alive.

Thank goodness. If everyone is watching me, no one is searching for my family.

My relief shrivels with the arrival of the Committee for Public Safety. The members call themselves deacons, but my family has another name for them: witch hunters. Their procession snakes through the crowd, torches lifted high in the looming darkness.

As they approach, I rattle my chains. “Wait. Wait.”

“Too late, guttersnipe,” says a torchbearer. “Third time’s the charm.”

I shiver. There’s no way to know how many lives I have left, but even if I’ve run out, I have to distract them until my sister signals. “Please, I only seek a small mercy.”

The torchbearer checks his pocket watch. “If it will shut you up.”

Choosing my words with care, I look to the expectant crowd. “Excuse me. Did any of you bring marshmallows? I’m afraid I might starve to death.”

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