Constant is a standalone thriller novel for ages 9-14. A young girl struggles to create meaning and permanence in a world where everything—even her own death—is denied her. Guaranteed to contain no vampires, wizards, kids with psychic powers, or superheroes. More
One ordinary morning, awakening in her ordinary room in her ordinary house, Melanie Lambert turns back the covers to find she has twelve toes. It’s only the beginning of a downward spiral into horror and despair.
Her memories are gone. Her handwriting is different. Even her own face is unfamiliar. Whoever these people are around her, they’re not her parents and friends.
She feels like she just survived a terrible calamity, maybe a car crash, but there are no scars on her body.
The world, then. The world has suffered a catastrophic disaster and she’s one of the few survivors.
But slowly, as she begins to piece together her past, and understand her surroundings, she realizes it’s far worse even than that.
CONSTANT is a standalone thriller novel for ages 9-14. It is guaranteed to contain no vampires, wizards, kids with psychic powers, or superheroes! 50,000 words.
By the author of “Receiver” and “The Mael.”
One of the other children laughed. I looked up, but they were merely playing at the curb, stepping into the road in front of the approaching vehicles and jumping back as they swept past.
Far beneath, I could just see another group of horses standing grazing in a distant field. Occasionally they tossed their great wedged heads and snorted clouds of pale steam.
A cloud rolled over, past the chimneys of the houses, the boarded-up ruins, the gun emplacements on the hills. The sun flashed from windows high on the far slope, a building just visible through the trees. The disused mill where my father shot the crow.
What was it about the mill? As I watched the sun winking from its windows, I felt a sense of dread settle over me. The mill frightened me more than the ruined houses and ancient guns and wrecked vehicles. More, even, than whatever had picked up my body and wrung it during the night, and left me here separate and alone.
The colorless plants along the cemetery wall caught the breeze and fluttered like strips of gray cloth.
There was the sudden blare of horns.
I glanced at the others again. They jumped out of the road together, as if holding hands, a moment before the car roared by.
Immediately it had gone they were out again, standing in the middle of the road, crouched for the leap onto the curb.
The sunlight was a shaft of silver, slanting through the clouds. Then the mill flashed again, catching my attention. I felt myself murmuring something. Smoke trailed over the road, seeping downhill.
All at once a truck came thundering toward me, horn screaming.
I waited for the others to jump.
The truck seemed to pick up speed as it came, hurtling toward the children. They didn’t move.
I saw bodies, bumped under its wheels like cloth dolls. The cry found shape in my throat.
Suddenly, at the last possible moment, all six of them leaped onto the curb, in perfect unison, without a word between them.
Instantly there was the rush of the truck, the shifting tone of its horn descending into the valley.
I clutched my bag to my chest. A short distance away, the other kids crowded at the curb, looking at me and laughing.