PW #235: Middle Grade Fantasy: THE WITCH CATCHER
Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: Kate Foster
Mentee Name: Melanie Dixon
Title: THE WITCH CATCHER
Category: Middle Grade
Word Count: 43000
When thirteen-year-old Evie accidentally smashes a bottle from Mom’s secret cabinet, Mom’s demands for music practice become the least of her troubles. Ferocious storms, fires, falling trees—and now Mom’s sick. Called by a malevolent force she doesn’t understand, Evie must put Dad’s science aside and become a witch catcher to save her family.
I know you’re here
I can feel you getting closer
I’ve been calling you and now
You can hear me
Evie lay on the landing halfway up the stairs, basking in the early evening sunshine. Music floated down from the studio. She stretched, pushing her maths homework away. At Dad’s place maths seemed so much easier. But he’d be home in a month, and she’d be back to staying with him every other week, watching movies, stargazing. But a whole month, without Dad…
She closed her eyes, resting her head on the soft carpet.
The music swirled through her mind. She knew the piece well. Her fingers twitched on invisible keys. Apparently she was a natural on the flute; she could be amazing if only she practiced more. That was all Mum seemed to care about.
Rolling onto her back, Evie walked her feet up the wall as high as she could and wriggled her toes behind the long, purple curtain, into the corner where the two walls met. Her big toe brushed against something cold and hard. She stood and peered behind the curtain. There it was. A metal catch fixed to the wall.
Come to me
She paused. Another familiar piece of music. It stopped and started as Mum’s student struggled with the fast notes.
Evie’s fingers hesitated on the catch, then, without thinking, she flipped it open. The wall shuddered to one side, opening, just a crack.