Title: RATMAN’S REVENGE
Word count: 76,000
Genre: MG paranormal
When eleven-year-old Cody gets fed up with his too-busy-to-care divorced parents, he storms off into the woods. There he discovers a tunnel leading to a hidden, underground city with crystal caves, slugs-and-bugs soup, and new friends with awesome abilities like reading minds and seeing visions.
Best. Home. Ever!
But Cody’s adventures take a dangerous turn when the people who protect the city, the Detectors, start disappearing. Without their warnings, the city could get blind-sided by earthquakes, floods, or invasion by deadly beasts. And it that wasn’t pants-wetting enough, the city leaders’ psychic abilities reveal someone is controlling the minds of the Detectors, and the leaders have no idea who or why.
Cody wants to help his new home, but every time he searches for clues, a mutant man-sized rat attacks him. It uses psychic powers to roast Cody with a hot crystal, push him down the Devil’s Mouth hole, and try to drown him in the river.
But Cody can’t stop. He’s the only one who sees a giant rat scurrying around, so no one else believes the freaky fur-face even exists. And Cody’s clues point to Ratman as the one controlling the Detectors.
Now it’s up to Cody to figure out who or what this whiskered weirdo really is and why he has kidnapped the Detectors. Cody just hopes he can do all that before Ratman’s next attack actually kills him.
First 250 words:
I stood in the middle of the dog park, staring at the woods in the distance. The trees huddled together like giant aliens, studying me for some crazy experiment. The leaves flickered in the breeze as if a million green fingers were reaching out, begging me to come inside.
Of course Mom’s warning blared in my head. I mean it, Cody, she’d said a thousand times. It’s too dangerous. Gangs and drug addicts hang out those woods. You’re never to go in there. Understand? Never.
I sighed hard. Never? Like never ever? But what if there were bike trails in there. Or a fishing pond. Maybe a Superhero’s secret hideout. Oh man, my friends would be stinking jealous if I went in the woods without them. This time, I’d have all the great stories to tell when they got back from summer camp.
Sweat dripped down my face and I wiped it with my t-shirt. Matt and Zach were probably swimming in that freeze-your-toes-off lake right now. Those lucky jerks. The only water I’d get to swim in was in the bathtub.
Suddenly the hair on my neck stood up and I had a weird feeling someone was watching me. I looked around the park. My dog was chasing her tennis ball, but there was no one else. When I turned back toward the woods, that weird feeling seemed stronger. Was someone—or something—hiding in there?