Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Word Count: 40,000
A once-in-a-lifetime trip aboard a historic wooden whaling ship is the perfect chance for twelve-year-old Ellie to get even with her nemesis Jimmy. She plans to put a few dead fish in his bunk. Maybe run his underwear up the ship’s mast like a flag. She never means for him to fall overboard and get captured by the Scrimshawnees, a tribe of warrior merpeople who are out for revenge of their own.
A part of twelve-year-old Ellie wants to stop being ticked at Jimmy for his bullying and making all the kids hate her so much that she finally changed schools; after all, her new school filled with geeks just like her is awesome. Unfortunately, a bigger part of her wants to teach Jimmy a lesson. So when she wins an essay contest whose prize is a once-in-a-lifetime trip aboard a historic wooden whaling ship, she convinces Jimmy that it’s an invitation he can’t refuse.
She only plans to put a few dead fish in his bunk. Maybe run his underwear up the ship’s mast like a flag. She never means for him to fall overboard and get captured by the Scrimshawnees, a tribe of warrior merpeople who are out for revenge of their own.
Even though it’s been 160 years since a whaling vessel has sailed their seas, the Scrimshawnees are still outraged. The humans had no right to kill so many of the sacred whales they depend on for survival, and they’re not about to let them do it again. So they’re declaring a war that’s going to start with sinking the ship and killing its captain; who they mistakenly believe is Jimmy.
When Ellie resurfaces after attempting to rescue Jimmy, no one on board the ship believes her crazy story that Jimmy is locked up in a whale rib-cage guarded by warrior mermen, and that he’s somehow alive and breathing underwater. It only convinces them that she’s to blame for him falling overboard and drowning. And they want her dragged off to jail the second they get into port. Ellie’s got to figure out a way to rescue Jimmy and stop the Scrimshawnees before the quest for revenge destroys them all.
Jimmy puked over the side of the ship’s rail as Ellie hoisted his tighty-whiteys up the wooden mast. The underwear waved in the sea breeze like a flag, black magic-marker letters declaring that “Captain Butthead” was at the helm.
“I’ve never felt so sick in my life. Why did I let you convince me to come on this stupid trip?”
Seeing Jimmy blindly feeling around for a sweatshirt draped just out of reach, Ellie rolled her eyes and slid it toward him with one finger. Jimmy wadded up the hood and blotted cold sweat from his forehead before throwing up again.
“Oh, don’t be a whiner. There are worse things than seasickness,” Ellie said with a smirk. “You know, like having someone at school make it their goal to get everyone to hate you for no reason, having your books shoved off your desk every day, constantly being called nerd-turd and geek freak.”
Jimmy retched, but nothing came out. He stepped back from the rail and collapsed onto the deck, wrapping his arms around his stomach and closing his eyes. “You’re seriously mad about all that?” A gust of wind caused the sails above to flap like the wings of a giant sea dragon. The ocean rose up into white-capped peaks. Jimmy took several deep breaths and swallowed hard. “I was just foolin’ around. Everybody thought it was funny.” He had to shout just to be heard over the roar of the wind and sails.
“Yah, it was real funny.”