Title: Shadow of a Soul
Age and genre: YA Urban fantasy
Word Count: 65,000
Vetis was a young demon who ate good intentions, but the incident that got him booted from the demon realm stemmed from a curiosity about the chaotic humans on whose energy he fed. After breaking the rules by befriending a human girl-child, he finds himself bound to the Earth, trapped in a body that was never meant to be more than fancy packaging to hide the demon within.
Fast forward ten years, and the boy who calls himself ‘Wes’ has adapted pretty well to human life. He has survived in the foster care system that bounced him around, and even learned how to speak as a human after only three or so years of speech therapy. He is scraping by and keeping his demonic nature at bay, even with his mental clarity being muddled by the sixteen year-old boy brain housed in his noggin.
Then fate slaps Wes with a trifecta of rotten luck. He accidentally turns his only friend into a life-eating minion, reconnects with the little girl who started it all as a child, only to discover that now she is a powerful demon hunter who seeks to destroy him, and is contacted by his former demon master. And then there’s the matter of ‘the prophecy.’ It’s a damn clichéd notion, but all of Legion seems confident that Wes is destined to consume the world’s soul energy, leaving it clean for a new age of demons to walk the Earth. Wes doesn’t believe or want any of it, but as his hunger awakens he begins to doubt his ability to not annihilate the place he’s come to think of as home.
First 250 words:
Vetis was baptized in blood. His body, which served as a tether to walk the Earth, was born of a jackal, but his essence was pulled from Legion. His human form looked like a beautiful little boy, with dark blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and a head of thick, straight hair the color of wheat. The formula for his physical appearance had been stolen from the angels. Some demons had frightening bodies, with many heads, forked tongues, or dragon wings. They were meant to inspire terror. On the other hand, a necessity to earn the occasional trust and favor of humans meant that Vetis demons should be pleasing in appearance.
He drifted along the wall of a supermarket now, nothing more than a phantom. His oily black presence would be indistinguishable from the shadows to passersby, but he didn’t need for people to see him. Still, he would try to materialize. He
was only six years old, and not very powerful, so filling out his human form and giving it substance was difficult. Bael, who ruled the Vetis arm of Legion, had instructed him to practice.
Concentrating all of his will, he pushed his essence out as far as it would go, like a balloon slowly expanding. His boy form, transparent at first, began to solidify until the humans who looked would see the boy body standing in the store, leaning against a cereal display. A woman walking by pushing a shopping cart glanced at him and did a double take, shivered and picked up her pace. Most living things could sense the darkness beneath his human skin and instinctively knew to fear him.