TITLE: Lang Sawyer and the Den of Nostromo
GENRE: MG Fantasy
Here's the thing about finding out your great-great grandfather Tom Sawyer was a big time monster hunter, that he killed Dracula, and that your Dad's running the family business out of the former Indian cave behind your house.
(You know, in case that ever happens.)
The thing to remember? It's not all fangs and glory. It's a hit-or-miss proposition.
Like literally, hit or miss. Sometimes you hit the crossbow target your Dad sets up for you in the backyard. And sometimes you miss. And hit your neighbor's poodle.
In the tail.
Yeah, that was a thing.
The upside? Leaving ordinary seventh grade life behind to jet to Peru and track a deadly creature called the Mapinguari.
But there were drawbacks. Hunger being one. Sweat, too. That's what has my attention on the afternoon of our first full day in the Amazon rainforest. Late afternoon. Heat still in the triple digits. Everywhere green on green, the sun strafing the leafy canopy.
Dad skids to a stop in front of me and points at a spot on the ground inches from my right foot. I attempt to wring the sweat from my already-drenched St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap.
"Freeze, Lang," he says.
I don't know much about the jungle, but I've read about the snakes. Fire hose-sized ones. With a proclivity for squeezing people until their insides turn to Cheez Whiz.
"Python?" I ask.
Dad scowls and jabs his finger toward the ground. "No. Some sort of track. And it's a big one."