Before I humbly present my query and first page, just know that I can bench press a million pounds like a billion times. It's not a big deal or anything...
A strange, mournful wail trumpets from the nearby forest, disturbing eleven-year-old Andy Salazar’s imaginings of baseball games and monster movie marathons. Accompanied by Rich, his wisecracking best friend, Andy ventures to the dried riverbed on the first day of summer to investigate. Together, they unearth fragments of the town of Hamlin’s guarded history in the form of old, forgotten relics.
Guided by the dapper dwarf known as King Henry, Andy and his friends endeavor to connect their discoveries to the town’s past. Henry says a storm is coming, and the town elders look to the rumpled clouds with growing unease. A mysterious murder, Hamlin’s first in decades, portends a series of baffling crimes. Rumors swirl of a tattooed man and dog-faced boy stalking the streets.
Hamlin is haunted by its secrets and time is running out. Andy must learn why the year 1934 is missing from the town’s history books, and how the buried artifacts connect to the bloodshed, the flood, and the elephant calls in the night. With the help of his friends, Andy forces Hamlin to face its past and confront its restless dead.
The Last March of Elephants is a New Adult novel with coming of age and paranormal elements in the tradition of Stephen King’s It and Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life. It clocks in at 90,000 words. Although the protagonist and his friends are around eleven years old, the novel deals very much with adult themes. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Continuing with the first page:
Continuing with the first page:
He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled her name again. The wind whisked away the thin wail, and he massaged his aching throat.
“Elva!” he called, again and again.
The mountains stood sentinel over the parched plain of brittle grass and thorny bushes. The sun shined in a cloudless sky, a cruel mockery of recent events. His eyes scanned left and right, searching for baby blue against the yellow backdrop.
Seeing no option, he walked towards the distant cliffs, unaware of the tombstone until his knee collided with it. After an initial expression of shock, he stopped. Grunting, he scrambled atop the stone and pitched forward for a moment before righting himself. With one arm outstretched for balance, he stood erect and shielded his eyes with a dusty, quivering hand.
The sweet smell of rot tickled his nose, and he pinched his nostrils between a thumb and forefinger. When he looked up again he saw her, a distant swath of blue, the black hair only a dot from his position. He leaped off the tombstone, not caring that it cracked and buckled to the ground in a heap of gray rubble. The more recently departed demanded his sympathies.
He ran on trembling legs, aware of carrion-eaters nearby. When the wind ceased and the rustling grass quieted, he could hear the groaning of their contorting bellies. The scent in the air beckoned, a miasma that promised an easy meal. She swayed in an elliptical pattern, her eyes downcast and seeing nothing. He sprinted faster, calling her name between gasps for air, but she did not hear. She was trapped within the prison of her mind.
“Elva!” he shouted as he stopped before her.
He seized her hand and at that she did favor him with a glance. The sun had burned her porcelain skin an angry hue of red. His eyes followed a trail of small, rust colored puddles on the pixilated earth that ended at her feet. Blood oozed thickly from her cracked heels. The tip of a nail protruded from the flesh of the left foot and crusted, black blood encircled the wound.
Whimpering, he pressed his face into her bosom, “They’re all dead, Elva. All dead.”