Manuscript Status: 2 weeks delivery
Mentors Names: Claribel Ortega and Kat Cho
Mentee Name: Deborah Falaye
Title: BLOOD SCION
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Nigerian Fantasy (Ownvoices)
Word Count: 110,000
Scion. Descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.
Scion. Hunted for over three centuries.
Scion. What Sloane is.
To uncover what really happened the night Momma disappeared, Sloane becomes a child soldier in the queen’s army.
She’ll do anything to learn the truth.
Even if it means hiding her identity from soldiers trained to kill people like her.
Even if it means becoming the monster the military wants.
West-African inspired EMBER IN THE ASHES meets #ChildrenNotSoldiers movement.
Another night, another dead body that isn’t Momma.
I stop digging and stare at the woman crumpled in the hole. Small, pale, and fragile-looking, a porcelain doll even in death. She hasn’t been dead long. A few hours perhaps, a day at most. The bullet hole in her forehead still shines with blood, dried crimson against a purple-tinged face.
I mumble a quick prayer to Olodumarè as I take in the rest of her innocent features. The Nightwalkers must have gotten to her, just like they did Momma. Despite what villagers whisper about her and Felipe, I know those skull-faced monsters had something to do with their disappearance too. And I’m going to prove it.
I stab the ground with my shovel. Beads of sweat trickle down my face, widening the wet patch on my shirt. After hours of shoveling, the Agbaja foothills have become a labyrinth of skulls and bones, some old enough to crunch, others crawling with maggots and rot.
It takes three bleeding hours to dig through the hard-packed earth, only to find the next hole empty. With a grunt, I toss the shovel, letting it clatter against the mound of dirt gathered to my right.
There, beneath the rubble of turned soil and uprooted moss, a bud of fabric blooms, petals of golden thread winking in the night.