Title: ARTHUR & THE HEADLESS KNIGHTS OF THE FLYING ROUND TABLE
Genre: MG Arthurian retelling with a sci-fi twist
Word Count: 60,000
My Main Character is most uncomfortable with:
Sun, I despise the sun. The big ball of heat roasts the moat, and every one of Camelot’s privies plop into that foul, brown water surrounding the castle. The stench makes you want to wear a perfumed cloth over your snotbox, but you can’t because only girls wear perfume. So best breathe through your mouth and pray that a steamy onslaught of stench doesn’t crawl through an arrow slit into your bedchamber.
Twelve-year-old Prince Arthur’s plan to become a wandering minstrel includes The Sword in the Stone, so he can dash to Ye Old Pawn Shoppe and swap it for a guitar. But first, Arthur must lead Camelot’s pages to victory in paintegg combat against Prince “Big Ears” Elgbert of Cornwall. Because this year, if the captain of the winning team doesn’t get gobsmacked by an egg filled with paint, he’ll be granted a rare attempt to withdraw the sword.
But before the prize is awarded, Saxons threaten Cornwall. Camelot’s King mobilizes the army to help his ally. Unknowingly, leaving Arthur and the pages pitted against a second invasion. Headless knights, driven by little green men from the planet Leprechaun land on Stonehenge in a flying round table. With Big Ears’ help, they start abducting Camelot’s subjects, including Arthur’s sisters, seeking practitioners in the medieval science of magic. If Arthur doesn’t stop the conniving ankle-biters, minstrels will wander the empty streets of Camelot singing sad ballets of how the city lost its princesses and became the village of Camefew.
First 250 words:
My sister Fay guided me through a secret tunnel—which stayed secret thanks to her making me wear an executioner’s hood with eyeholes facing the rear.
Rats squealed as she maneuvered me through another puddle. They must have recognized Fay, because they scurried ahead faster than a fox leaving a henhouse with takeout. A rumored shortage of rat tails, the key ingredient for casting spells in Fay’s also rumored magic practice, kept Camelot’s rodent community on high alert.
Inspired by my blindness, I sang, “Three blind mice . . . see how they—ouch.”
Fay’s—pointier than a rat’s nose—elbow, disliked my song. The mice’s bigger cousins, fleeing us, despised her carving knife. And nobody fancied my dream of becoming a minstrel.
“Why drag me along?” I asked.
“So the cow slayer doesn’t catch me.”
I yanked my makeshift blindfold off. “How? I don’t have a sword.”
“No worries. I can run faster than you. Besides, you’re madder than a bag of ferrets if you think I’d let you carry a sharp object in the dark.”
Great. Hoodwinked into missing Saturday Night Juggling to become beast bait.
Soon afterwards we reached a ladder leading to the surface and climbed into a tree hollow. Outside the gnarly hole, Fay’s breath fogged. “We’re here.”
I scratched my head beneath branches besieged with mistletoe, staring at a moonlit meadow ringed with giant rocks. “Where’s here?”
“Road apples! Stonehenge takes three days by horse.”
“Great tunnel, don’t you think?”