Name: Darren Gannuch
Twitter Handle: @DGannuch
Title: ALL HALLOWS LANE
Genre: MG Fantasy Horror
Word Count: 54K
My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obsession is:
Nicole has many obsessive traits, such as meticulously following the rules and being overly concerned with cleanliness, but the one that gets her into the most trouble is her fixation on the number two. Her focus on the lub-dub beat of her heart, inhale-exhale of her breath, and even the two-step pace of her gait tend to overwhelm her. But it is the very insight that comes with doing things in twos that could help her unlock the secrets of All Hallows Lane and save her and her brother from the vengeful Raithe.
Many neighborhoods have myths and legends; some even have a haunted house or two. But no town purposefully attracts such darkness. No town but Hollows End, that is. On Halloween night, the town's All Hallows Lane awakens the malevolent spirit, Raithe.
When Adam Gann takes his children, Nicole and Walker, to visit his hometown, Hollows End, they wonder why they’re going. Sending the obsessively meticulous eleven year old Nicole to a lame festival with her impulsive nine year old brother isn’t like Dad. But with all his tap-dancing around his real motive for bringing them there, she doesn’t know what is like Dad anymore.
Nicole and Walker become immersed in their father’s long-kept secrets when a pair of bullies tricks them into entering All Hallows Lane—and Raithe’s clutches.
After years of banishment to the Underworld at the hand of Adam Gann, Raithe hungers for permanent release. Filling his place in the Underworld with either of Adam’s quirky children is his only way out. Nicole must learn to control her compulsions and rein in Walker’s recklessness if they stand a chance of surviving Raithe’s deadly gauntlet. As the kids outwit a coven of witches, outmaneuver creeping vines, and outpace zombies, their loyalty to each other is tested. But it’s Nicole’s obsessions, especially her fixation with the number two, that could provide the key to vanquishing Raithe.
“Hollows End Town Square: Enter and Become One of Us . . . Forever,” read the sign forged in black Gothic letters, arching over Maine Street.
“Dad, do you see that sign?” I asked, stopping several feet short.
Walker plowed obliviously through the entry, but Dad hesitated, right below the archway. He scanned the crowd, muttering to himself.
“Dad! The sign,” I repeated, pointing overhead. Why was he not reading the sign?
“Yes, Nicole . . . it’s nothing,” Dad said without turning around. Dragging us to his home town on Halloween was bad enough, but something was wrong with Dad.
I followed them, stopping briefly to touch the sign post twice. The uneasiness pulsing through my body didn’t go away.
One of us? Forever? I didn’t like this place. Words have meanings, so that meant something . . . to somebody.
Hidden speakers piped creepy organ music into the town square around us, and adults dressed in elaborate costumes strode along the sidewalks, faces intense. Unsmiling. Halloween or not, this place was weird.
I trudged next to Dad. Still kicking myself from last night, I didn’t want to look at Walker’s gloating face. I beat him at the pumpkin carving contest—Dad said so. But then Walker said it—double or nothing. Double! That was my number, two. I couldn’t resist, and he knew it.
A mumbled breathy voice escaped from an empty alley to my side.