Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bouncer Post #66

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Supernatural
Word Count: 80,500


THE MIND TRAVELER is firmly anchored in the here and now of an American small town. If life energy exists without physical form, where would such beings find the bodies to make themselves complete?

High school senior IAN FLANNERY can separate mind from body. ‘Mind travel’ allows him to send his consciousness anywhere. His body is left behind yet his senses, his perceptions go with him.

Several teenage boys of Logan Falls have disappeared. Have they been abducted? Run away? No one knows. But, when they eventually are found, all are dead. They do not have a mark on them. It is as if their bodies ‘just wore out.’ Suspicion and fear fill the air.

The boys are suffering attacks within their minds – a psychic invasion. Ian is with one of the boys (Josh) when he dies. His last words are a warning – “Ian, they’re coming.” Ian and the dead boy had never met – how had he known Ian’s name? And who was ‘coming?’

Ian is the key to the mystery of the disappearing and dead boys. His ability to separate the constituent elements of existence – body, mind and spirit – allow the incorporeal beings a passage into our world. And they intend to use it. The danger is real and it is also personal Unknown to Ian, his fifteen-year-old brother, JACK, is experiencing moments of disconnect from the world – as if, like a light with a fraying cord, existence itself is flickering in split-second episodes of being turned on and off.

It causes the town to retreat into itself. Curtains drawn, heads down, they go about their business with little joy but a lot of fear. Everyone in Logan Falls has secrets to keep.

First 250:

Josh Verlik ran hard down the alley until the stitch in his side forced him to stop. He bent over and tried to will away the pain. Deep breaths.

He listened for the sound of approaching footsteps. It was hard to hear anything over his gasping. He dared not rest long. The sharp prickling in his abdomen continued. His gym teacher had always said to 'run through the pain.' But, he wasn’t here right now.

No one was.

Never before had Josh been happy to be alone when he was down a dark alleyway in the middle of the night. In fact, he was praying that he was alone.


He whirled and raised his fists. "Who's there? Leave me alone!" His heart beat lifted the T-shirt away from his body in drumming twitches.

There was no one in the alley but him. Josh turned and stumbled in a circle - arms flailing at nothing but the night air.

<Josh.> The voice spoke again – this time in a sweet sing-song mimicking a child’s rhythm. <Jaaaw - osh .>

The voice was anything but childish. 

"Where are you?" Josh screamed. He couldn't locate the voice. He twisted so violently that he over-balanced and fell to the pavement - scraping his knee right through the jeans.

<Why do you run? Come with us.>

"Leave me alone!” 

Josh realized – too late – that he had made a terrible mistake. He had chosen an alley with no way out except the way he had come.

A dead-end.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I like the idea very much and found the first 250 fast-paced and exciting. The query helped me understand what was going on. I would definitely read more.

  3. The questions in the query didn't bother me. They kind of got my attention to be honest. Maybe you could lose one or two. But the excerpt was interesting and placed me immediately in the action - which I like. There's a sense of danger and desperation and it is a great start to what sounds like an interesting story. Good luck.

  4. This is a pretty cool concept and I really enjoyed the first 250. I am interested to find out who that voice is!

  5. Nice pacing to the opening with an element of mystery/danger thrown in. Of course, the image of an alleyway is instantly infused with danger - especially at night and with an unseen threat. That helps the reader feel the fear along with the character. The query I thought did a good job of clearly explaining a rather difficult concept. Maybe it's just me but I find the first comment to be unnecessarily mean spirited.

  6. Nice tension in the first 250! I like the concept too. I'd only suggest that you drop the first paragraph in the query and start with the second. Just a thought.
    Good luck!

  7. I like the concept of mind traveling! It's an intriguing peek into a spiritual realm. Hearing Jaaaw-osh in a sing-song voice - nice! I agree with Carmen re the query - dropping the first paragraph would allow a stronger start with the second paragraph as your opener. Also, dropping the fifth paragraph might tighten the query further, as I understand that lengthy queries aren't as well received. Instead of a dark alley, how about something more unique and startling to get the reader to wonder, "Why the heck is he there?" Good luck with your story, keep writing because it feels great, and thanks for your feedback on #70!