Genre: Urban Fantasy
Title: (working title) American Leprechauns
35-Word pitch: Snow traps Sean in a hotel with his father's leprechaun kidnappers and the witch whose head they want for ransom. She knows his dad’s location, but if Sean spares her, the chauns take his friends.
First 500 words:
Lights smeared down Taylors Road’s rainy asphalt. Sean Campbell climbed out of the Miura, gripping his iPhone as his sneakers sloshed in saturated crabgrass.
If he’d ever gotten close to swearing, it was now. He leaned over the back, scanning the crumpled bumper and the guardrail hugging the Lamborghini’s flank. Just below swung a drop and a muddy creek’s open throat.
I would’ve died.
His life flashed before his eyes, followed by his dad’s face.
I still might.
Another car with a Tea Party sticker parked along the shoulder, and its rain-freckled window scrolled down. A dark, lipsticked face poked out.
“Y’all need help?” the lady asked. Country music whined from behind her.
Her eyes danced over Sean and the Miura. No surprise there. It was a 70’s automotive Fruit Loop, and he was six foot five. He ran a hand through his fiery hair and shivered.
“Did you see a red Lotus? Without tags? It ran me off the road.”
“Ran you off?”
“Tried to kill me.”
“Holy Toledo. You all right? You call the police?”
“About to.” Sean gestured the damaged Miura. “My dad’s the one who’ll try to kill me next.”
He scrubbed rain off his touchscreen, but didn’t get further when it rang.
“That the cops?” the lady in the other car asked.
“No.” Sean scrunched his brow. Courtney hated calling anyone. “Hello? Courtney? What’s up?”
Frenzied static gasping punched through the speaker. “Sean… Sean, where’s your dad?”
“Should be at home, why?” Sean nodded dismissively at the lady in the other car. She nodded back and pulled back onto Taylors Road’s kudzu-curtained way.
“He’s not. Did you take the Miura?”
“The Civic’s still in the driveway, the key under the mat’s gone, and the house is locked down. I peered through the window and it’s utterly trashed. There’s graffiti on the walls and everything.”
Sean blinked summer rain out of his lashes. His imagination tried to register her words and choked. “You’re not serious.”
“Yes, I’m not kidding. You need to get over here. I don’t know what happened, but your house is wrecked and your dad is freaking gone.”
Sean tripped through spiderwebs and behind the untrimmed azalea bushes. He slammed his palms against the dripping glass, peering through tangled blinds and his own reflection. Courtney sided against him, bumping elbows, accidentally tapping her glasses on the frame. Inside, furniture, food, and wires cluttered across the carpet, sprinkled with pillow stuffing and broken photo frame glass. The television was facedown, and on its back stuck a lopsided photo of Sean and his dad. His dad who was gone.
“What the heck,” was all he managed to blurt, scrambling in his jeans pockets for his keys.
“But look at the wall,” Courtney insisted.
Sean could see. Red ink slashed the eggshell surface.
“Bás go MacCool,” he whispered. “What?”
“I pulled it up on Translate. It’s Irish Gaelic,” Courtney said, displaying her rhinestone-cased phone. “It means Death to MacCool.”