Pitchwars Badge (Square YA)

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Names: Meredith McCardle and Ron Walters
Mentee Name: Elizabeth Runnoe
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Gothic Horror
Word Count: 80,000


When 16-year-old disfigured Talmage apprentices to his deranged uncle, they create a living, breathing clockwork boy.  But when its flesh-and-metal body rots, the once gentle boy becomes increasingly monstrous, and Talmage must decide whether to save his creation or turn against the only friend he’s ever known.


My father always told me his brother, Mordecai True, was a wicked and ungodly thief.

“Steer clear of him, Talmage,” he would often warn, “for he is no brother of mine.”

They’d quarreled when I was young although I didn’t know why, and since then my father had forbidden him to enter our house. I grew up hardly knowing the man, and didn’t think of him often, if ever at all—a boy of sixteen only had so much capacity for thought. Besides, I had troubles enough to manage on my own. You see, I was born with a very unfortunate appearance.

My ears were deformed, my teeth pointed—every single one of them like a series of notches upon a serrated blade. On my face, each cheekbone swelled up and pinched my eyes. I looked more like a long-eared bat than a boy. My father said I would grow out of it, but I never did. As for me, I never understood why Nature created me so.

“What a frightening child,” people whispered. “His eyes are clouded with such an awful gloom it’s as if he’s thinking something quite sinister.”

And so I was, most of the time.

Needless to say, because of these God-given traits, friends were elusive to me and rarely, if ever, did I leave the farm. And for good reason—the people of the Vale were a superstitious lot. But my life changed forever one night at the end of summer. Let me tell you how.


6 comments to PW #246: YA Gothic Horror: A SAVAGE MISCREATION

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