Fall of the Sparrow 14


Name: R.M. Makowski

 

Genre: YA Horror

 

Word Count: 67,000

 

Pitch: After seventeen-year-old pastor’s daughter, Cam, uses an Ouija board to communicate with her dead mother, she unleashes a demonic force and must destroy it before it can steal her father’s soul and damn her own.

 

First 250:
I fog the car window with my breath and write the number sixty-two with my finger. The glass squeals. Dad doesn’t notice or pretends not to. Both are very Dad. Our blue Lincoln tugs a two hundred and eight cubic foot U-Haul. That’s like, eight refrigerators. My life now fits into eight refrigerators. What a colossal nightmare.

 

So this steamy, moss-tangled armpit is Louisiana, where everything ends in some variation of “eaux.” I Googled the town of Clayette until I fell asleep last night, and so far? No surprises. It’s just blurred fields, dirt roads, and clouds that look like they’re going to rain mud instead of water. The Red River snakes alongside us until we turn off onto a county—excuse me—parish road.

 

The fog fades and when I have a transparent surface, I begin again.

 

Six. Two.

 

Sometimes I add the percent symbol. Not this time. I know what it means without it.

 

Sixty-two percent of kids between the ages of thirteen and eighteen would give up one year of their life to spend one more day with the person who died.

 

I settle on twenty days. I could give up twenty years for twenty days with Mom. I could do that easy. Women have an average lifespan of eighty years, which means I’ll die at sixty. No nursing home for me. There’s something to celebrate.

 

But Mom upsets that average by half. So I recalculate because the world sucks and will make me take on the years she had left.

 

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