Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
Word Count: 86,000
My Main Character is most uncomfortable with:
Being born and raised in Atlanta, Alice is used to the heat, but hates the cold. Hatehatehatehatehates it. To her, 40 degrees is long-johns and parka weather. Yes, she’s aware that’s still above freezing, but gives no damns. She thinks snow is beautiful, and playing in it looks fun, but no. Do not want.
While everyone else get to sleep, Alice Kingston spends her nights fighting creatures known as Nightmares. These fugly beasts threaten to plunge the world into chaos and misery. When the tall, dark, and annoying Addison Hatta charmed Alice into this life, she expected things to be less guts more glory. Instead, the battles grow bloodier, the days darker, and Hatta a little mad…—der.
His deteriorating mental state builds into fits and rages, and Alice crosses into his home world of Wonderland to find out what the fel is going on. She’s intercepted by The Black Knight, whose sharp wit and sly compliments disarm her better than any weapon, even though he’s an ass. The bastard plans to unleash a cataclysm that’ll devour Wonderland from the inside, and Hatta along with it. Countering the spell will save his life, but the backlash could shatter the bridge between worlds, throwing them off balance, and casting both into eternal terror.
This is stupid, Alice decided. If someone Googled stupid they’d find a picture of her doing this. Hatta and his dumb ideas. Try live bait, he said. Won’t take long, he said. Ass.
Sitting in the dirt, waiting to be attacked, the cold of the ground seeped into her jeans and numbed her skin. A shiver shook her and she wrapped her arms around herself to ward off the nighttime chill.
As time stretched, shadows filled the forest. Tangled branches, leaves and vines choked the canopy, keeping the moonlight at bay. The smell of damp earth mingled with the sharp scent of moss and fresh water. Creatures chittered, calling to one another, no doubt mocking her. She felt incredibly mockable.
This wasn’t just stupid, it was crazy, but after trudging through the woods for hours, exhausted and starving, who wouldn’t be somewhat unhinged?
Something croaked a low moooooooron.
“Oh, come on!” Alice’s shout swept outward in echoing waves, silencing the forest save the whispering wind. “Fine. Fine! S’fine.” She pushed to her feet and dusted off her butt. “Guess we’ll do this the hard way.”
She’d backtrack to the Gateway. Hopefully the trail hadn’t gone cold. As she walked, an odd sort of pressure slid along her limbs. Goose bumps prickled her flesh. She paused. Everything remained still, quiet enough for her to hear what she believed to be the wind more clearly, which became a low, heavy pulsing rush. Whuush. Whuush.
Not wind. Breathing.
This plan was stupid, but it worked.