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Author: A.B. Davis

Title: Nightmarist (Stanchions Hollow #1)

Genre: YA Fantasy/Horror

 

Comp Titles: 

 

If the forest in the The Hazel Wood (M. Albert) had more grotesque, bloodthirsty creatures, and was being traversed by the cast of The Darkest Minds (A. Bracken) while being hunted by the killer in There's Someone Inside Your House (S. Perkins)....

 

Hook Line: 

 

An unstable teenager, plagued by the brutal murder of his parents, must face the reality that his lucid nightmares are real creatures that must be destroyed before they consume the human world. 

 

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Pitch:

 

He did it – he knows it was him, just like he knows he isn’t crazy. Grimmond Scylent is haunted by the single act of what he did when he was just a little boy. 

But try as the now sixteen-year-old Grimmond may to escape his past, his bloody Boston secret still follows him a decade later with lucid manifestations of nightmares. Tormenting him whether he’s asleep or awake, when Grimmond witnesses one of them take form beneath a bridge and rip his oldest bully limb from limb, he’s warned that he is next. With the help of something he had forced himself to believe was only his insanity, Grimmond escapes from city jail and is ushered to a place he didn’t know existed: Stanchions Hollow in the mountains of New England.

There, Grimmond must struggle to fight against the otherworldly horrors that only they – the Nightmarists – can see. But he doesn’t at first guess why he’s unable to wield the weapons of the Nightmarists-in-training, or why his memories of that unspeakable childhood night in the graveyard are no longer adding up. Grimmond never suspects that his own actions were subject to a greater conspiracy, and that he may have the very thing his nightmares require to release the oldest fear upon the world. By the time Grimmond comes to grips with his eldritch reality and uncovers the truth, it might be too late – for him, Stanchions Hollow, and the rest of humanity.

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Prose Sample:

 

“Out with it – I’ll wait.”

Grimmond hadn’t said a word the entire way back to the police precinct. 

He hadn’t said anything, even before the arresting officer read him his Miranda rights while cuffing him. Now he kept his head bowed in the bright room with the two-way mirror, looking at the dried blood on his hands, wishing he could peel his eyes away from them. Blankly staring at his hands made him feel guilty, somehow, even though he knew he’d done nothing wrong.

Another hand smacked down on the table to get his attention. 

Grimmond didn’t jump, but stirred from his stupor to lock with the eyes across the table. The man introduced himself when he first walked in, but Grimmond was too out of it to hear. He was young, with combed hair, a clean-shaven face, and a look of pure arrogance.

“Five-foot-seven, I’d guess….” the man said with a victorious smirk. “A hundred forty pounds, maybe, soaking wet. Blue eyes, brown hair with some hippy blue streaks in it, skittish but not intimidated. Did I miss anything, aside from your problem with authority?”

Grimmond looked back down to his hands. He couldn’t stop thinking of the horror beneath the bridge, the sound of its chewing, and Erik’s pleas for help. 

“C’mon, kid, we’ve gotta get somewhere, or we’ll be here all night. Your name, at least.”

“I’m Grimmond Scylent,” he answered quietly. “I told you guys when I got here.” 

“Yeah, I remember you said that,” the man leaned forward and folded his hands. “It was just so ridiculous, I didn’t believe you. Ya see, when you’re a kid and don’t have a driver’s license yet, we can’t find a whole lot on you without your social security number. And you just happen to not know that, either, isn’t that what you said?”

“Haven’t had much use for it, being fifteen and all. Or sixteen, I suppose, in about an hour – ” 

“Blah, blah, blah,” the officer raised his hand like a shadow puppet, mocking him. “Cut the crap. You’re the one covered in blood, practically swam in it, it looks like, but I’m guessing it’s not yours. Oh, and someone seems to have forgotten their arm underneath that bridge. Think they’ll come back for it? It’s big, probably a white male’s, but the skin looked young. Fingers are too mangled to make a print.”

The young officer gauged every blink, every breath of Grimmond’s as he spoke. 

“So who was it? Who’s number eighty-four?”

Grimmond swallowed. 

“Number eighty-four?” 

Don’t play dumb again,” the officer sneered. “You wouldn’t be so rattled if it was a stranger.”

You’re smarter than you look, Grimmond wished he could say, but you’d be rattled too, if you saw what I did. 

Grimmond only swallowed again, keeping his eyes on his hands. He couldn’t stop thinking about Erik’s shredded body, but knew he couldn’t admit he knew him. That would lead to more questions, and if Grimmond told the man what he had seen, Grimmond would be in a psychiatric ward by sunrise.

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Bio:

 

NIGHTMARIST is the first novel I will have attempted to publish, but I would dearly love to write until my fingers fall off. I’ve always enjoyed putting my imagination on paper (even before going to college for materials engineering or spending more than a decade in the U.S. Army), but I’d never wished so greatly to attempt a career out of writing until recently. Writing is the one thing – truly, the only thing – that has remained a constant passion since the age of six, when I composed a delightfully awful short-story about ants on a picnic.

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