Moodyville is just an ordinary town, but Max is no ordinary boy.

Thank you for reading the first 500 words of my Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy MORE THAN A HUNCH.

After an accident that changed his life forever, ten-year-old MAX vowed to keep his powers hidden in order to protect the people he loved.

But when his eccentric neighbor is kidnapped, and a spell is cast on his parents, Max, his ex-best friend Addie, and some newly found friends have one night to make things right.

Armed with a backpack filled with the magic he’s worked so hard to avoid, Max’s powers become the only thing left to save them all. Now Max must face his biggest fear, accepting who he truly is.

At 50,000 words, More Than a Hunch is a spooky, fast-paced adventure similar to Damien Love’s Monstrous Devices, with a Stranger Things feel.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Dani League

 

MORE THAN A HUNCH

Honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised. Weird stuff always happens on the day of the Full Moon Festival. One year there was an earthquake that shook our entire town after the midnight parade. It wasn’t a big, catastrophic quake like the kinds I’ve seen in movies. It was the teeniest, tiniest hum of a buzz that tickled my teeth for a whole thirty minutes. The news channel that streams in from Bloomington, the big-ish city south of here, described it as “routine trembles.” Maybe they were right. All I know is that it was weird.

And then there was the year when our town basically turned into a disco ball. Every. Single. Light. Flashed on and off. On and off. The power company blamed it on surges of energy too powerful for its outdated breakers. Which I suppose is understandable, but still. Weird.

Yup. Every year there’s something and every year somebody seems to have an explanation. But waking up to find CrackerJack Crawley knocking on myfront door? This is definitely the weirdest and most unexplainable thing to happen yet, because the last time I saw CrackerJack Crawley I thought he was dead. Worse yet,

I was the one who killed him.

With sweaty palms slipping against the door, I lift onto my tippy-toes and squint one last time through the peephole, just to be sure. CrackerJack’s nostrils are big and round, his nose hairs as silver and wild as the ones on his head. He shifts his weight impatiently, the worn boards of our front porch creaking underfoot.

“Max, are you going to get that or just stand there all day?” Startled, I turn, pressing so hard against the door CrackerJack might hear my heartbeat knocking back. Mom appears from around the hallway corner, fresh out of the shower and wrapped in towels. A swarm of small dogs follow her in and puddle at her feet, licking water droplets off her ankles. She doesn’t seem to notice. She’s too busy waiting for me to answer. I don’t. Besides my heaving chest and trembling breath, I’m still. Silent. The only sounds come from the home shopping channel she’s got the TV turned to and the squeak of our parakeet, Pretty Bird, swinging in her cage. The host of her show switches on the blender he’s selling. Its blaring whir is the perfect opportunity for a quick escape. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

He knocks again.

The kids in eighth grade say CrackerJack’s house, the one right behind mine, is haunted. Who knows if it’s true? I mean, I’ve never seen any ghosts or zombies or mummies, but that’s because it’s impossible to see anything over the weeds that cover his property. Bushes sagging with thick thistles, thorny raspberry brambles and dandelions taller than me, all tangle together in a mass so thick my dad almost had a fence put up to hide it. He didn’t, but almost.

Maybe if he had, CrackerJack wouldn’t be out for revenge.