Dear Victoria Marini,
Fifteen-year-old Clay goes to Strawberry Hill for the
camping, not the ghost hunting. His friend’s stories about a ghost on the hill
and her fairy friends are not exactly the stuff nightmares are made of,
especially since ghosts aren’t real and fairies are lame. Sure, people have
died for unexplained reasons on Strawberry Hill, but that was before modern day
science. A fresh body would solve the mystery, not that he is volunteering.
Science can explain anything.
At first, the only thing Clay discovers during the ghost
hunt is that the electromagnetic field detector can double as a football on a
long boring night. Then he stumbles on the ghost and her friends, an ancient
race of creatures once known as the fey. They give him access to their power,
with an unnamed price attached to its use. He doesn’t plan to find out what
that price is until his friend’s sister is hit by a car. Payment doesn’t even
cross his mind when he puts his hand on her back and feels her bones realign
through her skin.
Clay is instructed to return to Strawberry Hill at midsummer
for payment, but the fey won’t tell him why. He tries to convince himself that
everything is normal, which is difficult to do with a ghost and the
bloodthirsty fey tagging along. No one is safe when the shadows have teeth. All
he has to do is survive until midsummer and hope the fey let him go home when
they’re done with him. If Clay isn’t careful, he could end up as another ghost
on Strawberry Hill.
A classic ghost story with a twist, SHE CAME FROM THE HILL
is for the younger end of YA and is complete at 58,000 words. Tweens and young
teens who enjoyed the creepiness of Neil Gaiman’s THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and
friendships in the classic movie THE GOONIES may enjoy this. Thank you for
taking the time to read my query.
SHE CAME FROM THE HILL
Nothing thrived at the far end of the park. Even laughter
died at the first stunted tree. Clay tightened the straps on his overnight pack
and pedaled up the steep path. He could have skipped the shortcut if Alex, who
had the communication skills of a wet cell phone, called an hour earlier. Thick
dust swirled around him and filled his lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
He pedaled faster, his feet moving with the rhythm of his breath.
Dust clung to his skin like cobwebs, even after he left the
park behind. He coasted down the road and skidded to a stop in Alex’s driveway.
His friends were scattered around the yard, none of them in uniform. Clay
brushed the dust from his scout shirt. They needed to take scouting more
seriously, even if they were only going because none of them could drive yet. A
summer without camping wouldn’t be summer.
Alex aimed a small camcorder at him and a light flashed in
Clay shaded his face with his hands. “Alex!”
“The enhanced light works!” Alex turned it off, leaving Clay
“What’s the camera for?”
Alex shut the screen, leaned forward, and whispered, “The
camera sees what we can’t.”
“Cameras don’t see. They record.” The scout master didn't
let them go anywhere at night, no matter how quietly they sneaked out of the
tent. Alex would not bring his camera unless he had a plan for it. “Is there
really a scout camp this weekend?”