PW #325: Young Adult West African Dark Fantasy: THE LAST WITCHDOCTOR

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentors Names: M.K. England and Jamie Pacton

Mentee Name: Rena Barron


Category: Young Adult

Genre: West African Dark Fantasy

Word Count: 90,000 words



Arrah fails at rituals.
She fails at reading bones.
She fails so much her witchdoctor mother conjures a better daughter, one whose power threatens to destroy everything in its path. Arrah trades years of her life to buy the magic she needs to defeat her demon-born sister.
She’ll do anything to stop her.
Even if it kills her.


I settle into the cool embrace of sand as black and iridescent as obsidian glass. The witching hour approaches: when sparks dance across the bruised sky and even a charlatan like me possesses a whiff of magic. I wait for two gods to cross paths, wait for the world to wake and the magic to burrow into my veins.

This won’t be easy. I’m not a fool, but I am a foolish girl doing a foolish thing.

Magic has costs, even for those who make it look as effortless as kneading fufu.

Bone-chilling cold stretches through my limbs, and ash coats my tongue as the magic leeches years from my life. Years gone with a few words, bone charms, and perfect timing.

Sand shifts beneath me as I slip into the space before unconsciousness. Neither here nor there. The place before dreams and nightmares, where darkness clings to my skin like beads of sweat. Anticipation and longing choke me as my mind splits in two. I have to know if my life will always be this miserable, if my mother will always despise me for being weak.

As I slip into the future, unfamiliar eyes bore into me like a tobachi blade. Eyes that glow like the green fog that descends upon the city after a thunderstorm.

“You don’t belong here,” a child whispers.

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