Thursday, October 17, 2013


Name: Rebecca Waddell
Title: Behind the Tangle Trees
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Sci Fi

      Ten-year-old Kenton is a boy with too many secrets and not enough sleep. Joined by her best friend, Spryte, he has to find a way to survive his bully and keep from leaking out the truth about what lives behind the tangle trees, and his past, and his mom. To make matters worse, Kenton is a terrible liar. Getting an average of four hours of sleep, his entire world begins to unravel.

First 500 Words:
Chapter 1
      Kenton rolled onto his side facing the wall. His blond hair was drenched with sweat, though the dark room was cool. “Bear... Dropped my bear...” His arm flailed, throwing his blankets over his face. “Go back,” he muttered. Tossing and turning, he fell off the bed.
     Kenton hit the ground face down with one arm pinned under his body. His other arm held his pillow over his face. He moaned into the pillow. The alarm clock buzzed. “No air!” Kenton screamed into his pillow. He thrashed on the floor, trying to free his trapped limb. His other arm clawed at the pillow. “No air.”
      Dante stretched, yawned, and looked down at Kenton struggling with his pillow. Pulling back the covers, Dante slid to the floor. He shook Kenton and rolled him onto his back.
      “Wake up!” Dante insisted. He reached up to switch off their   alarm. The buzzing stopped. “You’re having the nightmare again. Wake up. We’re in our new home, safe.” He pulled the pillow away from Kenton’s face Kenton eyes flew wide open. He sucked in a deep breath. His sweaty shirt clung to his back. “The buzzing! No air!” he panted.
“It’s the alarm clock, not your suit. It’s time to get up.  We’re live in Clib colony now. Remember?” Dante asked.
     “Yes, that’s right, Clib. We landed yesterday. Remember the crazy forest? They call them snagle, I mean tangle trees.
Kenton rubbed his eyes and blinked. He sighed. “I remember.” He sat up, his shirt clinging to his back. “I can’t believe I’m still having nightmares.”
      Dante shrugged. “The Company doctors said to give it time.”
“The Company?” Kenton spat the words out. “They would’ve been happier if we all died on Selt.”
      Dante nodded. “I know,” he said softly. “Just remember not to talk about Selt outside the family.”
      Kenton looked down at his hands. “I know.  I really hate lying about it though. This would all be so much easier if we could just be honest about what happened. I don’t get why we have to keep it secret.”
      Dante nodded again. “Maybe you wouldn’t still be having nightmares a year after we were rescued if we didn’t have to keep it private.” He shrugged and got to his feet. “But, we do, even if we don’t know why it’s such a secret.”
      Kenton sighed. “I really hate lying.”
      “I know. Come on. We better get ready. We’re due to tour the colony soon. I can’t wait to see those trees up close.  Especially what they called ‘The Grove.’ I think this place is going to be a lot better than the space station.”
      “I think you’re right. Even if we still have to lie,” Kenton said.
      An hour later, Kenton’s neck was sore from staring up at the tall trees, blue-green against an aqua sky. His amber eyes drank in the sight of endless, cloud-dotted heavens. 

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