TITLE: TRUTH, DARE, DISAPPEAR
GENRE: Lower YA Speculative Adventure
LOGLINE: Geneva, 2025 – fourteen-year-old American, Thomas Defoe is whisked from home by a rebel priest and dumped in a hidden, thousand-year-old monastery in the Italian Alps. Religion’s banned in Europe and Thomas learns he’s a pawn in a dangerous Vatican plan to change that. Only his missing mother knows why and who he really is. And she’s sitting dead center of a lethal state, a cunning Church and a ticking bomb.
Thomas huddled behind a bush and squinted through the twilight at the grungy man talking to his mother. He’d pretty much bet, hand on heart, he was looking straight at a rebel priest. The ones with the long hair, ragged clothes and bulging muscles fresh from the work camps.
Weird. They didn’t break surface often but when they did they were dangerous. And bad to associate with. That’s what his mother had told him and now look at her. Look at him - in their living room - punching air, talking fast, pacing like a spooked cat.
Sal whined at his feet. “Shush up,” he whispered, hand on her collar. “Priest alert.” She quivered with an attack of goose bumps. If dogs got goose bumps.
“Easy, girl.” Thomas squeezed his baseball good and tight. One shot, right through the window he was thinking. A kid fooling around - a mistake - it could work. Knock the priest unconscious, grab his mom and run.
He stood up, felt the slight give of the grass at his feet. They were so close to escaping to America nothing could stand in their way. Especially not a crazed priest.
Best not to falter, not to over-think. He picked up the bat, threw the ball and with a sniper eye swung in the direction of the haloed windows of his house. It felt like he was batting the moon all the way to heaven or hell. Knowing Thomas's luck it'd be hell.