Friday, September 7, 2012

Y2: Mirror of Sand and Flame

Title: Mirror of Sand and Flame
Genre: MG adventure with fantasy elements
Word Count: 43,000

Through abandoned coal mine tunnels in the smoldering ruins of the hometown he destroyed, twelve-year-old Zeb Reardon enters the eerie setting of a fantasy novel to save his cousin and mend his own guilty heart.


I snapped awake standing in the dark.

Pressure. On my chest, in my lungs. Fear clawed me all over. When you wake up in your pajamas, you expect a cocoon of blankets and bedroom walls. Not the hollow hush of outside.

No good light anywhere. No lit-up house windows, no cars. Just a grainy glow from the nighttime sky. Shadowy mounds lumped up the road underfoot, like iron moles had ripped tunnels through the asphalt.

Sleepwalking again, but where—

Something moved in the gritty dimness up ahead. Four-legged, whitish. It dipped out of the woods, stepped into the ruined street, and went still. Looked right at me. A growl crawled out. Ears went flat. Hairy mop of a tail tucked and hid. Wolf? Coyote? Couldn’t be; too big, too tall. It cocked its broad head, probably able to hear my heart clattering along like a rusty pick-up.

I didn’t breathe.

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