Jonathan Vygil’s convinced he has the strangest parents ever. And he’d be right, but for all the wrong reasons. They aren’t obsessed with rescuing exotic animals – they’re busy saving monsters.
After turning twelve, Jonathan begins hearing disembodied voices causing him to question his sanity. Spurred by their urgent cries for help, he ventures into prohibited areas of the Vygil mansion where he’s frightened by Tertulius, a genuine monster. With his parents’ assurance that monsters aren’t make-believe or evil, Jonathan joins the Vygil Pact, an oath taken to ensure the protection of all monsterdom. To become a full-fledged member, he must train with Tertulius where he’ll learn why the existence of monsters is vital to all life on Earth.
But before his instruction begins, Tertulius disappears and Jonathan hurdles headlong into a frantic search for his guide. Through his journey, Jonathan realizes many people desire the rare creatures his family protects. The most perilous among them is The Plague, a family as intent on destroying the monsters as the Vygils are to save them. If Jonathan fails to find Tertulius in time, The Plague could grow strong enough to go seeking out their next victims – his parents.
FIRST 250 WORDS OF THE FAMILY VYGIL, 56000-word MG fantasy
The disfigured man trembled in the darkness. On the verge of vomiting and sweating heavily, he wished he hadn’t been summoned. Even if he had a choice in the matter, he probably would’ve come because of his desperation for cash. He knew they would pay handsomely for this commission.They were desperate too.
Sounds of dripping water and a thick stench permeated the main hall of the ancient castle. Tattered and faded tapestries hung on the stone walls, the cobblestoned floor covered in mildew and dampness. The room sat dank and completely void of light, one of many in the cavernous castle. Centuries ago, the palace was glorious to behold. Carved deeply into the side of a mountain, its inhabitants considered it a safe haven, warm and inviting. Now it lay in a state of crumbling decay, just another relic in the modern world.
Without warning, an icy voice broke the silence.
“Hello, old friend. Glad to see you’ve decided to heed our summons. How are you today?” the man paused briefly. “You must be quite ill. Your hands are shaking, and your brow seems quite moist.”
The collector quickly wiped his forehead with the back of his sleeve and tried to regain his composure. Normally he wouldn’t behave in this manner. He took great satisfaction in being emotionless when it came to his line of work. Due to his occupation, he’d traveled to many treacherous locations, but none would ever compare to this place.
“Dear brother and sister, please welcome our associate.
(Although it’s too late now, I’m adding the first 250 words of my first chapter since I posted the first 250 words of my prologue and probably shouldn’t have done that in this contest. Oh well, you live and learn
Their bloodlust was unquenchable. Every year the ravaging hordes descended upon their victims. No matter how many times they were caught and dispatched, they came back for more.
Jonathan dreaded this time of year. He’d already wasted most of his afternoon battling them instead of doing chores. Suddenly, he was attacked from behind. He swatted at the enemy with all of his might.
“993,” he tallied his latest kill as he flicked the dead mosquito from his neck. Sweat trickled into Jonathan’s eyes. In mid September in Georgia, the temperature still hovered around 90 degrees. If the heat alone wasn’t enough reason to work up a sweat, trying to protect his precious blood supply had been. The mosquitoes plagued the town which made the thought of going outside unbearable at times. But Jonathan didn’t have the luxury of hiding inside. Outside responsibilities needed his attention, per his mother’s instructions. Like a dutiful son, he braved the outdoors to take care of the task. Dutiful didn’t mean that a fair amount of grumbling wasn’t involved, however.
He crouched down in his mother’s garden to pull out the stubborn weeds while the sun mercilessly beat down on his back. It was as though Mother Nature was baking cookies and left the oven door wide open. The cicadas overhead made the trees vibrate with their singing. Jonathan desperately tried to finish up to get out of the heat, but his mind strayed far from the task at hand.