― Hyman G. Rickover
“The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world."
― Alfred Tennyson
Many fantasies spin stories of a young person whose fate is to save the world. World War II was not like that. I believe no real world-threatening crisis ever comes down to one person.
In CARNIVAL OF THE DAMNED, 13 year old Victor Standish risks his life, his soul to spare the suffering of one dying panther and a heart-broken woman the world calls freak.
Yes, I have decided to set sail into the dark void whose reefs promise only shipwreck and submit to Amazon Publishing’s Kindle Serials program.
Here is my Pitch -- What do you think of it?
CARNIVAL OF THE DAMNED
We want to believe that what we do matters. Perhaps that is why there are so many urban fantasies where young people find the fate of the world in their untested hands. But before we can matter to the world, the pains of single individuals have to matter to us.
The Greyhound bus carrying 13 year old Victor Standish breaks down in rural New York. The closest house is no refuge but a descent into madness. Six years on the mean streets of too many cities have hardened Victor enough to survive the ordeal.
He escapes to wander the woods only to discover four men burying a bloody body in an unmarked grave. Victor is just about to join that body in the still open grave when a 12 year old girl emerges from the shadows to warn that vermin from the Other Side are close … too close to do anything but flee back to the Carny her father owns: ODDMAN’S CARNIVAL.
To the carnies, Victor appears just another runaway sixteen year old. He is only thirteen. Not that they care either way. They need another worker. And Oddman’s exotic “daughter,” Princess Shert Nebti, gets … hungry.
They actually care nothing about him. All they care about is that he can do the work of two men … and that he can be sacrificed to the mysterious Shert Nebti when the madness takes her.
The atmosphere at the Carny is both dog-eat-dog and friends-stick together. It is a bipolar atmosphere where Victor’s coworkers are his best friends one day, and the next, grift him for whatever they can get. He always has to be careful of infighting.
But Victor hasn’t survived six years on the mean streets of ten cities by being a patsy. He studies his coworkers’ weaknesses and enemies, pitting them against one another.
Al, the alcoholic. Andre, the perverted high wire artist. Goliath, the sadistic strong man. Azizza, the snake woman with her tragic past haunting her eyes. Madera, whose fortunes only speak doom. Shiver Phoenix, whose left hand always stays gloved, the flesh of it moving in ways hands should not. Oddman, his superior British accent and demeanor, suggesting a dark past. And finally, Princess Shert Nebti … who jarringly proves to be Oddman’s wife.
Victor has worked Carnies before. But ODDMAN’S CARNIVAL is different. The Carny is a dying species soon to be extinct from this earth. But not Oddman’s.
It is thriving. Victor starts to notice that not every local who enters leaves. Police who come to investigate walk into the Princess’ tent, walk back out with glazed eyes, get into their cars to silently drive away.
Strange shapes stalk outside the tents at night. Odd sounds come from inside the canvas walls. Worse smells wrinkle his nose as he skirts through the shadows evading carnies out for revenge.
And carnies keep disappearing. Oddman earns his name, tall, angular with haunted eyes and refined speech. His twelve year old “wife” has fine creases on her exotic face as if she were some unwrapped mummy. She keeps inviting Victor for dinner, but he has an uneasy feeling those missing carnies might have heard those same words.
Then, one haunted night, Victor shows kindness to an abused, caged panther, and things get really strange … for everyone. And the carnies at ODDMAN’S discover that perhaps they should have hesitated before picking up a stranger who smelled of fire and smoke.
This 80,000 word urban fantasy is written with cliff-hangers at the end of each chapter, making this an excellent candidate for serialization. It can easily be divided into four or five episodes, depending on your own instincts.
So? What do you think of my pitch?
VICTOR STANDISH MUST DIE! now at #55 in free Paranormal Fantasy
AVAILABLE FOR FREE FOR THE NEXT 2 DAYS! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BSWXQKU