Title: GERALD AND THE AMULET OF ZONRACH
Genre: Upper MG, Humorous Fantasy
MS Word Count: 77,000
In the realm of Wyverndawn, a wizard’s height is the mark of his power, so shrinking an entire inch is disastrous for twelve-year-old Gerald.
Looking to gain a few inches, Gerald attempts to create a village landmark using his superior wizarding skills. But the spell he bought --from a guy who knows a guy-- is a tad more powerful than he anticipates. The resulting earthquake and escape of a very dangerous wizard from prison really weren’t part of the plan.
To add insult to injury, a red-faced Gerald finds himself banished from his village along with the one inch demotion; two more and he’ll join his father as a Royal Equine Poop Disposal Coordinator.
Gerald’s hopes of returning home hinge on repairing the devastation he caused and thwarting the evil wizard’s plans of seizing Wyverndawn for his own. Failure could mean Gerald’s next spell might well be his last.
A jet of blinding light flashed across the room, ricocheted off the window frame and disappeared up the chimney.
Nobody wants to hear that word from a wizard and definitely not one only five feet tall, thought Gerald. He squinted at the end of his wand and noticed a new crack in the smoldering tip. He dreamed of exceeding six feet but only the best wizards in the land ever reached those dizzying heights. He knew that every successful spell he cast could gain him an inch in promotion, but if it failed he could also be demoted. And Gerald had the distinct feeling the latter was about to apply to him. It seemed unfair that the only profession afflicted by this rule was his. Hopefully no-one had noticed this little faux pas.
A rumble under his feet redirected his focus to a new and far more immediate problem. This can’t be good, he thought. It steadily increased in strength until the floor beneath him rolled like a ship in a storm. Trying to stay upright, he staggered to the window at the front of his weather-beaten cottage. The small hill, and new village landmark, supposed to be growing outside --to improve the view-- failed to materialize. But the cotton ball clouds, normally gently drifting on the warm summer breeze, were now whizzing by. His brow furrowed as he caught sight of villagers clinging to structures for dear life. His eyes nearly popped out of his head when the village herbalist flew past his window and, as he followed her progress across the green, he spotted Lord Moleheart hanging onto a tree like a flag in a gale.
“Kack!” said Gerald.