Genre: Adult Literary, #ownvoices
Word Count: 100,000
My MC and MA are dressed as:
Celia and Jeremy are dressed as Monarch butterflies. She loves the little black-and-orange creatures that pervade their coastal town every fall. He loves her, and though she's as unreachable as those butterflies, he would do anything for her. He would don a pair of dumb, homemade butterfly wings for her. He would even kill for her, and he does.
FLIGHT OF THE MONARCHS follows five young friends through the turbulent sixties, from the psychedelic streets of Haight-Ashbury to the jungles of Vietnam. It's a season of Americana laden with experimentation, obsession, and the consequences of a generation in revolt.
Celia watched Jeremy kill his own father to save her life. When he returns ten years later, awaiting duty in Vietnam, she tries to heal her emotional wounds by resurrecting their violent, yet soulful past, but meets resistance from Jeremy, who sees nothing soulful about it. Meanwhile, Fletcher holds a shameful secret. He stands idle as other gay men of his generation suffer the costs of open homosexuality. Once confronted, he must decide whether to join the fight or go on hiding. No matter which he chooses, though, he risks losing everyone he loves. After a traditional post-WWII upbringing, Angie delights in the sudden abundance of choices—free love or feminism, Frenching beatniks or falling in love—all of which tempt her to abandon her own belief system. Guiding her through the chaos, Moose, a Mexican hippie-in-the-making, searching for his place in the world, dives headlong into the cultural revolution with sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll.
As the decade reaches a fever pitch, and their innocence crumbles alongside the American Dream, it’s the bonds of friendship that will see them through to the other side. But if they let their personal demons tear them apart, they may not survive the sixties.
First 250 words:
Celia Lynch caught her stride as grass tore from the earth beneath her shoes. The wings at her back, forged of wire and paper maché, dragged in the autumn wind, but she refused to give up.
“You’re just a girl, Celia,” the boy yelled back to her. “Why do you bother? You’ll never catch me.”
“I’ll catch you,” Celia hollered, cheeks burning. “You'll see.” But the boy was right. He was impossible to catch, and a rotten scoundrel besides. If he had a mother, the unfortunate woman might have fashioned him a respectable pair of wings. She might have hurled the little boar into a bath or taught him that it's impolite to gloat.
“It’ll never happen,” the boy yelled. “You’re as slow as Droopy Dog, and I’m the Flash.”
“You shut up, Germ-y Hill. You’re Pepé Le Pew.” Unfortunately for Celia, though, Jeremy Hill had no mother, only a father—a monster with handsome eyes and a fondness for whiskey.
As their race reached its conclusion, Celia and Jeremy collapsed together onto a cool patch of earth near the eucalyptus tree shaped like an ogre with grotesque, flaking limbs.
“I touched a few,” Jeremy said, still full of breath.
Celia, fighting to catch hers, looked up.
Arriving early this year, swarm after swarm of Monarch butterflies floated peacefully by, having migrated nearly two thousand miles from their summer home in Canada to overwinter here in Pacific Grove.
Upon hearing his father’s voice, Jeremy jumped to his feet and dashed home.
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