Entry Nickname: The Pied Piper
Title: Where Did You Sleep Last Night
Word Count: 75K
Genre: Adult Supernatural Thriller
Children’s fairy tales can grow up to become nightmares.
When Professor Philip Reeves dreams, he vanishes. Instead of waking up in his safe, suburban Bellingham, Washington home, he’s sent all over the globe. Helplessness overwhelms him as the almost weekly night-time disappearances threaten his marriage, finances, and career.
Phil’s wife Becky digs deep into his family history and unearths a fairy curse that haunted his ancestors. But the motives of the hidden people can be misleading. Becky suspects the fairies are sending a message through the unusual destination pattern. While the Reeves try to untangle the fairy’s riddle, their six-year-old daughter Janie develops a deadly imaginary friendship with the Pied Piper. The vengeful ghost, known to Janie alternately as “Piper” and “Hunter,” is stalking the final descendant of the Hamelin children.
A terrorist attack in Germany leads authorities to falsely imprison Phil and put out a warrant for Becky at the moment Hunter makes his move. With the police closing in, Becky must overcome terrifying visions, find Janie, and stop the Piper from fulfilling his dark legacy.
First 250 words:
Philip sat up sharply. His temple slammed into the slat of an upper bunk.
“God-” He stopped short of blasphemy.
He immediately grabbed at his head, trying ineffectively to mute the pain. Wooden slats shouldn’t have been there. He felt panic bubbling in his chest and fought to stamp it down.
The bed didn’t feel right, he thought irritably, as his head ached. He struggled to shake off a night’s worth of grogginess and sour dreams. His hand hadn’t been resting on his wife’s hip or the dip in her side as it should be. Becky should be there. As he lay back down, he realized the mattress was too thin to be his own, and the unfamiliar pillow weakly cradling his head housed a reminder of someone else's cigarettes. In the pale, morning light, he saw that a threadbare bed sheet had gotten tangled up in his legs.
Inhaling slowly, exhaling with forced control, Phil set his mind to analyzing the problem. For starters, he was fully dressed. That much was good. In most situations, waking up fully clothed would be even more alarming. For most people, it would mean they’d blacked out the night before, leaving a wake of destruction behind drug or drink-fueled adventures. That didn’t describe Phil. He’d gone to his very sensible suburban bed dressed for this night’s potential event. It was the third time this had happened to him in two weeks, and he was officially over
Entry Nickname: Paranormal Fear, An Exorcist's Murder TrialTitle: King of Skins
Zhao Ling, a flippant criminal defense attorney faces the toughest case of career: acquitting an accused murderer who only has a supernatural alibi.
His client is a professional exorcist whose only crime was banishing a spirit from an already dead body. Who wouldn’t buy that? Zhao certainly doesn’t until he’s visited by his client’s employer and paranormal mob boss, the King of Skins. A body lender, the King, allows his clients to take a ride in someone else's body for a price. The King threatens to add Zhao to his collection of skins, unless Wayne is acquitted.
On the journey to free his client, Zhao ventures into Saint Louis’s supernatural underground, a bizarre place of preternatural street thugs, obsidian guardians, and emotion brokers. There Zhao is harassed by a rival paranormal gang leader, a broker by the name of Lady Sorrow. She reveals that Zhao’s life isn’t the only one on the line. If the King is left to his own devices, everyone may soon be joining his collection.
First Two Hundred and Fifty Words:
I had forgotten to lock the door that night, not that it would have made a difference, not to the King of Skins. He was a thing of a deranged child’s nightmares or an insane man’s dreams. I later learned, no one says no to the King. Not if they wanted to stay in one, healthy piece.
Until five months ago I had been your average criminal defense attorney slightly crazy, underpaid and struggling with a mountain of debt. Then the King arrived in my office, late one evening, and destroyed every preconceived notion I had of the world.
I had always had an irrational phobia of the night and the darkness especially when alone. Even with every light in my office turned on to full intensity, I disliked having my back turned to a doorway or an open space for too long. Irrational thoughts of a boogeyman sneaking up behind me always crept into my thoughts. It never occurred to me that the one would come walking right into my face.
He strolled into my office, the lingering scent of death his cologne. This wasn’t a man who demanded attention, he simply acknowledged it as his own. Of course when confronted with such an auspicious looking character, it’s only appropriate to address him correctly; “Who are you and what the hell are you doing in my office at eleven pm?” No one has ever accused my mouth of coordinating with my brain.