Thursday, February 14, 2013

PAPfest Entry - THE ART OF MAKING GRAVY

TITLE: THE ART OF MAKING GRAVY

GENRE: Upper MG Contemporary

WORD COUNT: 50,000

QUERY: 

Thirteen-year-old Anthony Wish has plans to make the gravy as they say in his parts. He's studying to win a scholarship to an elite school, Ducksbridge. Anything, to one day roar free of  Wrigley Field, bog land of middle England. Preferably in a red Ferrari.

But when his bankrupt father is sued by Lord Spur for faulty plumbing at his 18th century mansion, Anthony’s home is put on the market in order to pay. His get rich schemes are overshadowed by a horrible prospect: relocation to Grandpa’s tumbledown house in the freezing wilds, lost to all civilization, wifi connections and eligibility for the scholarship. There is also a distinct possibility his wildcard mother will throw in the towel and take off with her slimy yogi. That’s about two wilds too many for Anthony.

He plows all his entrepreneurial energy into bringing home the bacon – £50,000 to be precise. Saving his home, his parents' marriage and his very important future become his red alert priorities. In a moment of folly, Anthony pockets the key to the mansion and during Lord Spur's one week absence, rents it out to Matrix, a reckless rocker and his band. For entertainment he calls in the --uh-- Fabulous Gdanskys. Yeah, there's a slight problem with illegal residency and smuggled goods here, but who's looking when you're bankrupt and dumped with a dud family.

To rake in £50,000 rent money, all Anthony has to do is keep everyone in line and the mansion intact for five days. When his mother, however, gets wind and breezes in - and out - with the rocker and the riches, he's left betrayed, bankrupt and with a blubbing father for company. Revenge will be his - all the way to Venice - but on the way he'll learn just how deep love can flow and that the gravy is not all it's pumped up to be.

FIRST 200 WORDS:

The police from Upper Luddley, the big smoke down the road, were sniffing around for the stolen antiques. My friend, Crank and I had watched one of them heave his stomach onto the bar down at the Green Man and ask a few casual questions just this morning.

We could have told him from the get-go that a fancy copper car and a peaked cap weren’t enough to get the burks in Wrigley Field talking.  Not that the burks knew anything.

Crank and I were the ones working the case and we were keeping it under our zombie t-shirts.  Let’s just say, there was a big reward out from police HQ for information. Until we were absolutely sure and ready to share, we didn’t want the uniforms coming in, claiming all the glory and robbing the gravy from us. The gravy is what we called money in these parts – the glorious gravy- and in my lifetime I was going to make a lot of it.

I took a breather from algebraic equations, sat back and pulled up Crank’s number. “Oi, Crank.  Are we on for tonight?” I said.

“A course. What do you think I am? A sissy?”

“It’s 'of course' and I’m thinking… a right dork?”

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