Title: The Bookshop
Category and Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 70,000
Word Count: 70,000
Alex's last year of school isn't going too well. Finding an infinite bookshop down a London alleyway was one thing, but being locked inside and forced to serve inter-dimensional customers until the Bookshop decides she's a worthy proprietor? Well, that's just one step too far.
Then Hunter, the mysterious supplier of books and other sundry, appears on the scene, and things go from bad to worse. Hunter doesn't seem to understand that the door will open for anyone but Alex - and no matter how many times he takes the last teabag, finishes the milk, or threatens death and disaster, the Bookshop doesn't want to let Alex go.
Meanwhile, in another world, Breeze discovers that having sunlight-enhanced strength is no match for a man hell-bent on saving his city - and using whoever it takes in the process. But when Breeze stumbles into the Bookshop, powerless and close to death, he sees a door that doesn't belong. Then when Hunter gets caught up in an inter-dimensional deal gone sour, suddenly a locked front door isn’t Alex’s only problem, and she's forced to make a choice: continue the fight to return home, or leave the Bookshop in the hands of a madman?
It's not much of a choice.
First 250 Words:
One last story, I suppose. I’m sorry in advance if it isn’t exactly the one you want to hear. But you must understand: back then, I didn’t realise the boy was important.
Two croissants have appeared in the cupboard overnight.
I’m trying not to think about it too much.
The window seat not being the most ideal place to sleep, overnight I have become Alex, the Human Cramp. Not the greatest way to wake up. So I stretch, nice and slow. Tie my hair up in a messy bun. Cup of tea. Jam, cream, croissant.
I sip from my mug, trying not to spill too much as I step around a smattering of discarded novels and over to the pile of unlabelled records on the other side of the room. Butter-yellow sunlight streams into the Cottage, snuggling up to the darkest corners, and for just a moment the whole place feels almost... normal. I ignore that several records appear to be carved out of thinly sliced stone – and that the dull red glow of the one in the corner is slightly more ominous than it was yesterday – and choose one at random.
The needle locks into place.
A few seconds of silence, then soft pops and clicks as the familiar voice of Freddie Mercury rings out.
“Tonight I’m gonna have myself a real good time…”
I curl up on the window seat once more, ignoring my creaky limbs, and watch the world outside slowly pass me by. Men in suits, heading off to work. Cyclists narrowly missing both people and their dogs as they wind their way down cobblestone paths under the swooping shadows of –
Ignore the dragons, for the love of God, ignore the dragons