Title: In the Midst of Monsters
Genre: MG Fantasy Adventure
Word Count: 48,000
Receiving the weirdest birthday gift ever, twelve-year-old Jonathan discovers his parents aren’t obsessed with rescuing exotic animals – they’re busy saving monsters. Now it’s his turn to train so he can protect the shape-shifting beasts who are in fact real and NOT evil. But when his creature-teacher disappears, Jonathan must find him—and fast—or his family will be next.
The only way that guy had brains was if he had them stashed in a jar somewhere.
As their pale, glowing faces closed in on me, I couldn’t imagine the moment getting any worse. Then they opened their mouths.
Make it stop. Please, make it stop.
“…And many more.”
Miss Ella and my little sister, Madeline, held a homemade chocolate cake, their faces lit up like smiling jack-o’-lanterns by all twelve candles burning. Glad we had a fire extinguisher handy.
“I’m not a little kid anymore. You didn’t have to sing to me,” I said.
Unphased by my grumbling, Madeline grinned. “Make a wish, Jonathan!”
Only one came to mind. I wish my parents were here.
Not that they were in the Great Beyond or anything like that. My parents were alive, but hardly ever home.
I took a deep breath and blew out all the candles.
“If you wished to have enough money to buy those pretty earrings I want for Christmas, you’re officially my favorite big brother,”Madeline said.
I folded my arms across my chest. “I’m your only brother, Maddie. Not a big achievement.”
Madeline crossed her eyes, stuck her tongue out, and tap danced across the kitchen floor. Had she been in her secret stash of Pixy Stix again?
I smiled even if I was bummed about Mom and Dad missing my birthday. For them, work came first. Madeline called them dedicated, but I thought obsessed had a better ring to it. Who knew? Maybe they really worked as spies, punching out bad guys and making the world a safer place. Yeah, right.
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