TITLE: The Seakeeper
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
Greer listened to Mama’s uneven breathing until her own chest hurt from the noise. Mama had secrets. Not the kind of secrets like hiding a shopping bag in the closet the week before Christmas or like pouring store-bought pasta sauce into a saucepan and calling it homemade. Mama had bigger secrets than that. Greer just never realized how big, until Mama checked herself out of the hospital to move six states away. And all because of some fruit.
How can Dad go along with this? Greer watched Dad’s stiff posture as he pulled on the gear shift and wondered for the hundredth time how he could let Mama have her way. Greer’s bare legs stuck like duct tape to the station wagon’s rear vinyl seat as she scooted closer to the drippy window and wiped it with her palm. The car rattled up a gravel driveway and a sliver of moonlight leaked through the clouds, sending tree shadows stretching like witch fingers across the windows. Dark towering walls at the top of the hill loomed over the car.
“Are you sure Uncle Llewellyn won’t be here?” Greer shivered as the shadows of her great-uncle’s mansion seemed to rise out of the ground and swallow up the surrounding forest.
“I’m certain.” Mama’s hoarse whisper from the front seat no longer resembled her once honey-smooth voice. She rarely said more than one sentence at a time these days. She just didn’t have enough air.