Title: The Legacy Scroll
Word count: 56,000
Genre: MG Fantasy
Ever since she could crawl, twelve-year-old Alisa watched her older siblings come and go on clan business. “It’s not your time yet,” her father told her. “Not until you can cross the caravan without starting a fistfight over a raised eyebrow.” So she can hardly believe it when he entrusts her with a mission of her own: to carry a mysterious scroll to the Foxling King.
But when Alisa returns home to find her caravan in ruins and her family kidnapped by slavers, she is certain the scroll holds the clues she needs to rescue them. With the assistance of some duplicitous thieves, a surly elf, and one very determined fox, Alisa sets off in its pursuit. Standing in her way, however, are the combined forces of dragon riding slavers and the Night itself, a sadistic embodiment of darkness. But the slavers and the Night serve an even more sinister power, one determined to reshape the earth in its own image.
Alisa finds herself deeper and deeper in the grasps of this creature, who takes on an increasingly personal form. Shadowy figures from the past suggest her father may have faced this evil years before, and defeated it only by burying its core in Alisa herself. If she has a hope of saving her family, she will have to overcome the betrayal of a brother. And if she has a hope of saving the world, she will have to overcome her impetuous need to prove herself and stand alone in the darkest Night.
First 250 Words
In the darkest hour of night, a girl waited in the mist. In her left hand, she clutched a small, ornate tube. She shook it and the scroll inside rustled. Her fingers burned white around the tube, and she knew that, whatever happened, she must not lose it.
The girl’s black hair had never been cut, and when she wore it down it tumbled to her waist. Right now, however, it wound around her head in a long braid, hidden beneath a coarse navy scarf. Her face gleamed from beneath her matching clothes like a dash of ice in the ocean’s midst.
She shivered, pressing against the wall of the hut in the vain hope it might give her some warmth. It was dark and cold, and the fog crept up her legs, circling her waist like a belt, but she kept a firm grip on the little cylinder, standing against the encroaching mist. She had waited for hours, but she knew better than to think of heading home.
Without warning, a man stepped into the moonlight, his dark cloak and broad hat rendering him nearly invisible even in the pale light. She saw nothing of him except his mouth, slicing across his face in a scowl. “What are you doing here, Alisa?”
“Father told me to wait and hand you the scroll,” she explained in a rush. “And Adam, I’ve been waiting all night. I thought you might not come.”
He raised a gloved hand. “Give it to me.”