Title: THE MIDNIGHT FLIGHT OF THE SALEM MAGI
Genre: MG Fantasy
Word Count: 55,000
My Characters' Most Fearsome Obstacle:
Like most young magi in colonial New England, Ark and Swanette fear two things: being caught by witch hunters and a cookie famine. While Tribulation James, royal witch hunter and Jerk-In-Chief, plagues their days with the aim of putting them in chains, it is the legend of the Great Cookie Famine that haunts their nightmares. According to their mother, the Headless Horseman, having lost the ability to eat cookies, prowls the night intent upon stealing all the sweets in New England. If he cannot have them, no one else will be allowed to enjoy their doughy goodness either. Whether trapped in chains or an America without cookies, which is no true America, they can only hope to never see such dark times.
Ark and Swanette are under a curse that most parents would wish for— they cannot tell lies. While this curse should keep them out of trouble, it's a recipe for fleeing town fast and often when you're thirteen-year-old magi descended from the Salem witches.
With royal witch hunter Tribulation James hounding their trail, the twins escape to Boston in hopes of finding safe haven within the colonial metropolis. Instead, they uncover a plot to blackmail New England's magi: any witch or wizard caught supporting the patriots will have their names released to the public. Although Ark and Swanette were taught by their mother to stay hidden, they know the terror of being chased by mobs and can't abandon their fellow magi to such a fate.
As Tribulation James and the redcoats marshal their power to crush the patriots, Ark and Swanette must form an alliance with Abigail Adams, leader of the Boston Magi Society, to save New England's magi. Because when witches, wizards, and dragons are coming, it's one if by land, two if by sea, and three if by air.
At dusk I’m scheduled to burn at the stake. I don't like to brag, but I'm really good at it. This will be my third time. It’s made me something of a celebrity around New England. While burning magi has always attracted large crowds, I like to think I’ve taken the spectacle to a new level.
Thanks to my reputation, the villagers have packed the town square despite the short notice. A local baker rambles through the crowd, hefting a food tray overhead. "Cookies and freshly baked bread! Enjoy your favorite foods while you enjoy the show."
I’d wave the baker down, but I’m chained to the stake atop the log pyre. Instead, I hop in place to rattle the chains. "Do you have any oatmeal cookies?"
The baker raises his bushy eyebrows. "Kid, no one likes oatmeal cookies."
"Well, I do."
He shakes his head. "In that case, no one but you likes oatmeal cookies."
I let out a huff that turns to fog in the cold air. "I’m surrounded by Philistines."
They form a crowd that stretches toward the horizon until their faces begin to blur in the fading light. I can see latecomers scrambling up ladders to reach the nearby rooftops. A few have even taken the time to bring telescopes.
Comparing the town’s size to that of the crowd, every person in the region must have come to find out if I can honestly survive being burned alive. Thank Goodness. If everyone is watching me, no one is searching for my friends.