Genre: Gothic Science Fiction
Word Count: 127,000
Pitch: L’Abatteur inhabits Cajun folklore and Julie’s imagination. But after her father’s brutal murder, the college dropout must cut through a thicket of lies or pay the price for her family’s deal with a bloodthirsty monster.
First 250 words of manuscript:
All I needed was thirty-two dollars. If the coffee can was gone or if it contained some amount of cash less than that magical number, Louisiana Power and Light would shut off my electricity first thing Friday morning.
My car could’ve handled the dirt road that straddled the levee, but I trudged through the swamp in worn tennis shoes. My screwed-up life had devolved into a bill triage list. Groceries were luxuries, so the old box of baking soda from the back of cabinet did the job when the toothpaste ran out. Dish soap stunt doubles as adequate shampoo. But the needle on the gas gauge hovered just below half a tank, and it was a long drive to town if somebody — anybody — called me in for a job interview.
And then there was the little fact that I was trespassing through the thick copse of oak and ash trees behind the crumbling cemetery. I didn’t want to be seen.
The empty, abandoned church slumped close to the levee, its rafters jarring and black against a blue summer sky. Beyond my sight, Bayou Dernière’s muddy waters ran slow and steady towards the Gulf of Mexico. The old honey locust tree marked the far west corner of the church yard, its roots buckling the graves beneath its boughs.
Entre les deux, my grandmother would have said. Betwixt and between. She probably would’ve crossed herself, too. She never liked this place much. The old church yard, the cemetery, especially the old tree.