Pitch Madness SJ-7: ECHOES BURNING

YA Historical (Western) Science-Fiction
Word Count:  70,000
Pitch: It’s 1869. A corrupt banker is bent on taking over the
town. Lucy’s newspaper is under attack, but she needs to figure out who killed
her Pa. And the blacksmith…can shoot fire from his hands?
I hate bone orchards.
Under the too bright sun, I
shiver in my itchy black dress as they lower Pa into the ground. This is what
we all become sooner or later. Nothing but bones, leaving behind pain and
My family stands dry-eyed
together and people will talk of it tomorrow. I glance over at my younger
sister. Her flawless face pulls into a frown as she yanks at the neck of the
mourning dress Mama made her wear. How long will it take Charlie to climb back
into her boys’ clothes once this is over? I forget sometimes how beautiful she
is. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her in a dress.
I force my attention back to
the preacher. He seems to be finishing up. My eyes sting, but I have nothing
left. Nothing but a dark void my father used to fill with his kind ways and
quick wit.
Mama is pale and drawn, her
lips thinner than normal. She hasn’t slept since Pa died. I guess the bed is
too empty. Eugene has been sneaking into bed with Charlie and me, so our sleep
hasn’t been all that good either. He tosses and kicks something horrible.
We leave before the diggers start
filling in the grave. None of us care to watch. Charlie’s hand reaches for mine
and I hold on tight, glancing over my shoulder at the mourners we leave behind.
Are the vigilantes here? Why didn’t they save Pa?

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