Entry Nickname: Alabama Witch Hunters
Word Count: 45,000
Genre: MG Horror
Twelve-year-old José Villa wants to be brave like his best friend, Bubba, but he’s more terrified than a fresh bass at a fish fry. So he accepts his role as sidekick in Bubba’s daring, and mostly harebrained, schemes and adventures.
But when José sneaks into a pasture with Bubba in the middle of the night, he encounters a horror he couldn’t have imagined: zombie freaking cows. Oh, and the evil witch Agatha Winters, back from the dead and ready to get revenge on the town that killed her.
Now, José and Bubba are in as much trouble as a three-legged donkey in a port-a-potty. They team up with a young witch expert, and the trio works together to stop Agatha, encountering a creepy undertaker, an incompetent sheriff, and a horde of demonic squirrels along the way.
When his friends get locked up, it’s up to José to become the hero of the story. He must overcome his fears and stop Agatha before she hoodwinks the whole town into jumping from the same cliff they pushed her off of years ago.
In Trout Bend, Alabama, cow tipping wasn’t just a hobby. It was an art form. All the great tippers came from our town: Billy the Bold, Cletus the Clever, Gil the Gassy. But the greatest of them all happened to be my best friend, Bubba—better known around these parts as the da Vinci of the Dairy.
Unfortunately, like most great artists, Bubba had started to go a little bit loco. Actually, scratch that. There was nothing little about it. That kid was nuttier than a pack of rabid squirrels on a cashew binge. I mean, why else would he have dragged me out to Buck Miller’s pasture in the middle of the night?
Gulping hard, I read the cracked wooden sign nailed to Buck’s fence. “Warning: Trespassers will be skinned alive and deep fried.”
A chill rattled my shoulders. It’d be a miracle if we lived to see the seventh grade. “Bubba, are you sure this is a smart idea?”
He laughed as he squeezed his round body between a couple strands of barbed wire. “Course it ain’t no smart idea, José. But it’s like my daddy always says, ‘Ain’t nobody ever have any fun being smart.’”
I wanted to point out that nobody had ever been arrested for being smart either, but Bubba didn’t like talking about that. I took a deep breath and slid my way through the fence.
Bubba was always dragging me around on some crazy adventure or another. Frankly, it terrified me. But I owed him.