Category and Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 80,000
Eric was the only orphan at Kingston Prep—a hidden school for magic users in rural Illinois—until Ben arrived, scared and crying about monsters. Within days he’d latched on to Eric and soon the two were as close as brothers.
While Ben reaches the top of their Sophomore class, Eric squeaks by and focuses on making sure his stash of drugs lasts the whole summer. Even his favorite teacher gave up on him developing his weak abilities and it’s common knowledge his future promises menial jobs at best. He might as well have fun on his race to the bottom.
When Eric’s arch-nemesis (and Ben’s crush) warns him about the Curator, a man who traffics magic users, he dismisses it as a childish conspiracy theory. Eric gave up believing in monsters and fairy tales a long time ago.
But, Ben has a secret, one that makes him the perfect addition to the very real Curator’s personal collection. It’s the secret that brought him Kingston, and—despite Eric’s assurances otherwise—proves at least one monster exists.
When the Curator’s Hunters attack their school in search of him, Ben and Eric escape and go into hiding where they think they’ll be safe. They’re wrong.
Now, to save Ben from a life of slavery, Eric has to believe in another person he dismissed long ago: himself.
First 250 Words:
Eric took his exam. The words “Magic Theory, Practice, and Society” were centered on the cover.
What a joke.
This test was a joke.
The practical portion would be a joke.
The whole class was a joke.
All the knowledge in the world wouldn’t make him stronger. And it wasn’t like he would be able to get a job in any Luxen field either; he’d be doing construction or flipping burgers alongside Anluxen even if he studied hard and aced the test. He thought he’d done well enough in English, passable in Geometry, miraculously managed a C- in Chemistry, but here in this cruel joke of a class was where his worth was defined.
Worth. The word echoed around his mind, making him laugh to himself.
Behind him, Alex received her test. Her self-satisfied sigh warmed the back of his neck in a humid puff. Without thinking, he turned to glare at her. She was a dusty-looking girl with dusty blue eyes, wrapped in dusty tanned skin, topped with dusty blond hair.
Dusty, dusty, dusty.
“Eyes on your own test, Eric,” Ms. Finley said, causing the entire class to look at him. He cursed at her inwardly, but complied.
“Ms. Finley,” Alex stated. Eric rolled his eyes and a wave of sighs and creaks of desks spread around the classroom.
“Here we go,” someone whispered a little too loudly.
“Yes, Alex?” the teacher responded, her face a mask of professional caring.