a·nom·a·ly: Something—or someone—that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.
That awkward moment when your DNA test says you’re not completely human.
Suspecting he may be adopted, 13-year-old Henry Davenport took a DNA test to find the truth. Henry’s results confirm his suspicions, but raise larger questions that he may not be human when his tests show unknown DNA. Henry’s results land in the hands of a rogue federal agent who believes Henry to be part alien, threatening his idyllic life in small town Black Bear Creek. As the agent’s pressure mounts, Henry develops new and unusual abilities that force him to consider whether the agent could be right. ANOMALY is the story of a quirky and gifted outlier who sees the situation as a challenge to outwit his adversary and reclaim his life.
Complete at 41,100 words and written for a middle grade audience, I am seeking representation for Anomaly.
The first chapter:
1 | A fast start
The sirens come from every direction. There’s so many, every last one of the Black Bear Creek police must be on the way—all four of them. Yeah, you could say Black Bear is a small town. No one uses their turn signals here because we all know where they’re going.
I pick up the pace when I hear the sound of a shoe scrape behind me, even though my heart is already threatening to drum its way out of my chest. I can tell you one thing: getting chased is not nearly as much as fun as it looks in the movies. But I’m not going to let them catch me. I still don’t have my answers yet.
A red Miata pulls out of the alley ahead of me. With the sidewalk blocked, I’m forced to take a hard right turn. I bounce off the side of the sports car and head into the alley. The cap-wearing driver doesn’t look any too happy with me. Why is it all older drivers of convertibles wear the same kind of cap?
“Sorry,” I call after him. “I like your cap.”
Moving fast behind the downtown storefronts, my heart is still pounding, though less from the run and more from being chased. But don’t get me wrong, I like to run. It’s one of the few things I’m good at. My father says that with my long legs, I am built for running. The rest of my family, not so much. They more resemble fire hydrants: short, stocky and solid as steel. Me, I’m giraffe tall and thin enough to be concerned when the wind blows.
The loud wail of the sirens masks every other sound, so I don’t know if the men from Thugs R Us have kept up. And I’m not willing to risk a glance behind as it might slow me down—or terrify me. I hate being chased.
I’m running out of alley and options.
A small dog, a Yorkshire terrier, races along the sidewalk across the alley’s entrance. A leash drags along behind it, closely followed by a young girl. She’s crying as she struggles to catch up. I’d put my money on the dog, there’s no way she’s going to catch up to her speedy dog. With all the converging police squads, having a dog on the loose—let alone a young child chasing it—is going to be a dangerous combination.
I really need to go left here, but I can’t let anything happen to either of them and I take the right turn. I’m almost immediately next to the girl. Her blonde pigtails bounce as she runs.
“Hang on,” I tell her. “I got him,” and several steps later I have him. If a dog can look surprised, then that’s the look I get when I scoop him up.
I deposit the little fur-ball back into the girl’s arms. Her eyes go wide and she looks like she doesn’t know if she should stop crying yet or not. “All better,” I say as I ruffle her hair in a gesture I really don’t have time for. Glancing up from her big eyes, I see two men burst out from the alley. They’re wearing dark suits and dark sunglasses and frankly, they scare me.
I turn and accelerate away, anxious to get some distance away from my pursuers. I probably shouldn’t have stopped, but helping animals and people is hard-wired in me. I’d stop again, no matter how many are chasing me. I know what you’re thinking: the poor boy has more heart than brains. And you might be right.
I’m running down the sidewalk, passing the familiar landmarks of our town, Runyon’s Dance Studio, Pearson’s Candies and Evans Music, wondering how it could possibly have come to this. I was always told it was good to ask questions.
Tires squeal on the next block as the sirens draw closer. And with two men chasing me, clearly I’ve stirred up a hornet’s nest. Not wanting to meet the business end of the bees, I’m running as fast as I can.
A squad car comes to a sudden top at the end of the block directly in front of me. The officer is looking at me as he scrambles out of his car. The man is grizzly bear-huge and has that large and in charge thing down. Of course, he heads in my direction.
I put on the brakes and look back. The two suits are headed in my direction as well. They look all business and I appear to have their full attention. A random question opens a door, peeks out and saunters across my mind. I wonder how they got all those muscles shoved into those suits?
So, how did this mess get started? Almost anyone would agree that this whole thing is unusual if they found themselves in similar circumstances. But I’m not just anyone. I’m Henry Davenport, a 12-year old boy with an incredible story that is literally out of this world.