Genre: MG Fairytale Retelling
Word Count: 54,000
Twelve-year-old Elliot wants nothing more than to prove he’s got guts. The schoolyard bully thinks he’s a wuss, and even Elliot’s best friend, Hammer, and his overprotective mother both know he isn’t very tough. So when the town begins the hunt for a missing reporter rumored to have been taken by a mythical beast, Elliot decides to take matters into his own hands. He will find the man and monster on his own.
Unfortunately, Elliot discovers all too soon that the creature is very real. Even worse, the guilt-ridden beast traps him with magic and his soul becomes caged within the monster.
Elliot berates himself for his dumb move, but quickly uncovers the beast’s greatest secret—it can turn invisible at will.
In a desperate attempt to contact Hammer in the hopes she can help him escape, Elliot learns the disappearing technique and controls the body he’s trapped in while the beast sleeps. But the monster discovers Hammer’s and Elliot’s companionship and threatens to hurt Hammer if she doesn’t go away.
Just as Elliot thinks the enraged beast is the worst of his problems, Hammer’s father commits her to an asylum for believing in monsters. Now Elliot must face his biggest fear—risk his life to save his friend, or be stuck inside the beast for eternity.
First 250 words:
Death waited to seize the careless. That’s what mom said because Dad died falling from a roof. He was dancing like Zac Efron trying to show off for her. I was only a baby. And thanks to dear old Pop, Mom made me a prisoner in my own home.
“Quit riding your bike fast. It’ll tip over and your skull will bust open on a rock,” she said, as if we had boulders in our yard.
“I’m twelve.” I hit the brakes, sliding to an intentional halt.
“You getting smart with me?” Mom stood on the porch with her hands pressed against her hips. “Look what you did to my yard.”
Grass had lifted away from the dirt. Awesome! I smirked.
“Think it’s funny? Well, you can put your bike up for the day. How’s that Mr. Hawk?”
“Man.” I knew better than to argue. Mom always ruined my fun. Don’t run. Don’t jump. Don’t, don’t, don’t. She believed everything we did in life had dire consequences. But the only results I ever saw from my “reckless behavior” was her grounding me.
“I’ll be home late,” Mom said as she got into her silver beater-with-a-heater. “I’d better not hear any talk about you running around town. Stay home. Hear me?”
“Yep,” I answered while putting my bike up. She waited for me to lock the shed before backing out of the drive.
Saturdays were the best. Mom worked double shifts at the diner, giving me a few stolen moments of freedom.