Monday, July 21, 2014

IWTN Entry 18: The Long Walk Home, YA Horror

Title: The Long Walk Home
Word Count: 65,000
Genre: YA Horror


When you’re the target of the sadistic town bully, being the night watchman of a haunted graveyard has its advantages ...

After sixteen-year-old Tommy Quinn’s deadbeat mother cleans out their bank account and bolts, he, his dad, and little brother find themselves homeless until his dad gets a live-in position at a historic graveyard. The job seems okay at first, but the cemetery, known to the townspeople as The Devil’s Graveyard, has a long and sordid history. Tommy’s dad’s main duty is to stand guard during the night to keep the place free of vandals and psychopaths, but soon he’s hitting the bottle again and in order to keep the job and their new home … even if the house is creepy and most likely haunted … Tommy’s going to have to pick up the slack. 

After Tommy pisses off the main bully at school, the goon and his friends come to the graveyard looking to vandalize the place … and Tommy’s the one standing guard. Self-defense soon turns into casualties and a semi-deserted graveyard with a few open graves becomes a convenient way to cover up the mess, until a similar incident happens again … and then again. Guilt-ridden and fearful of what exactly the seven foot thing that came out of the shadows to defend him was, Tommy wonders if the horrors of the Devil’s Graveyard are more than just a superstitious town’s urban legends.  He soon realizes that living at the Devil’s Graveyard will eventually cost him, or someone he loves, their life.

First 250 Words:
I scanned the motel room one last time before packing the last of our stuff while my dad sat in the car studying the map and scratching his head. He glanced at the directions he’d scrawled on a napkin from the coffee shop as I climbed in the front seat.

“Sooner or later, you’re going to have to suck it up and buy a cell phone. If you had one, you could Google the directions.”

My father frowned, never taking his eyes off the map.  “I don’t need Google to tell me how to find my way from point A to point B, Tom.” He glanced in the back seat. “Tyler, you all strapped in?”

Tyler nodded, shoveling a fistful of Fruit Loops in his mouth. My dad straightened his tie in the rearview mirror and sneered to check his teeth. Then he reached in his jacket pocket and took a swig from his flask and tucked it back quickly, like the faster he did it, maybe I wouldn’t notice.

“Okay men, this is an important one,” he said, popping a piece of Trident in his mouth and turning the car over. He threw the map in my lap as he pulled out of the parking lot of the Red Roof Motor Lodge: Thirty bucks a night, one-fifty for the week, or your best value, four bills for the month.

“Be on your best behavior. No horsing around. No interrupting me.”

“We know, we know,” Tyler said, shoving another handful of cereal in his mouth.


  1. I'm interested in seeing more of this. Please put the title and my name in the subject line of an email, and send to for further instruction.

  2. This sounds fun! Please send the first 50 (or up to the closest logical breaking point) to me at

  3. I'd love to take a look at THE LONG WALK HOME! Please send the first three chapters as an attachment to Include the query letter in the body of your email and mention "In With the New" in the subject line.