TITLE: BOOGERMEN, HOODOO, AND HAINTS
AUTHOR: Jocelyn Rish
AGE CATEGORY: Middle Grade
GENRE: Paranormal Adventure with Southern Roots
WORD COUNT: 46,000 words
Three Charleston seventh graders with abilities inspired by the proverb “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” must trust their powers and each other to save their favorite teacher from a mythical creature.
FIRST 250 WORDS:
Tingling on the left side of my neck froze my pencil on the last question of the bio test. Someone was doing something they didn’t want anyone else to see. Those prickles meant I should look. They demanded I look. But I so didn’t want to.
The only thing to my left was the window, which meant the person who didn’t want to be seen was outside. Probably the janitor digging a wad of wax out of his ear. I’d had to watch him do that several times in the past.
Yesterday the prickles insisted I watch while my geometry teacher pried an enormous chunk of spinach from her teeth. Last week I’d been alerted to a classmate digging out a particularly stubborn wedgie. So gross.
It was like the harder a person thought, “Don’t look at me, don’t look at me,” the stronger my compulsion became.
I shoved my long, brown hair to the left side of my neck in an attempt to smother those stupid prickles. Of course, it didn’t work.
The compulsion became overwhelming. Whoever was outside really didn’t want anyone to see them. I chanted to myself, Don’t look, don’t look, don’t – My shoulders drooped. I braced myself for whatever disgusting thing I was about to see and turned to the window.
The schoolyard was empty. Weird. Was it a prickle false alarm? My eyes were drawn to the woods behind the school.
A pair of glowing red eyes stared back at me.