Title: THE BEES IN EGYPT
Category/Genre: MG Adventure/Fantasy
Word count: 40,000
Is your antagonist hot or cold?
Despite the fact that Khufu lives in the blistering heat of the Egyptian desert, an icy cold chill can be felt whenever he’s around. A long-preserved anger has been buried deep in his soul for as long as anyone can remember and it’s showing no sign of thawing.
Dear Sun Vs. Snow Agents,
When 12-year-old Hamish Bee is forced to spend the summer holidays with an eccentric uncle and two annoying younger sisters buzzing around him, he wishes he could fast-forward to the end of the holidays and be done with it. He almost gets his wish when Uncle Alastair introduces them to his latest invention, which he describes as a “virtual reality prototype.” But one teensy-tiny glitch and a Very Bad Decision later, Hamish finds himself with the two smaller Bees in the middle of a swarm of pyramid-builders in Ancient Egypt.
Almost immediately they’re discovered by the young, troubled King Amenhotep, who insists that they join him at his palace. He’s intrigued by their strange clothing, and is just superstitious enough to believe they’ve been sent by a divine force to help him.
If bickering with his mutinous sisters in the desert heat while fretting about the vanished time machine aren’t trying enough, Hamish learns of a shadowy murder plot to overthrow their new royal friend. Hoping to buy time in order to determine who exactly wants Amenhotep dead (and why), the children flee with the King… the sting in the tail being they’ve now become targets by association.
With adversaries hot on their heels, the children must uncover a conspiracy and defeat a nefarious villain who is much closer than they ever imagined. And if they can manage all that, they’ve still got to find a way home or the honey-loving people of Ancient Egypt will be acquiring three extra Bees—forever.
First 250 words:
There’s a particular combination of feelings that only ever happens in the instant you realise you’ve made a Very Bad Decision.
You may have experienced it; the ground no longer appears to be beneath your feet, the blood in your veins is replaced with icy cold liquid, a concrete ball of fear has landed in your stomach, and a high-pitched screaming sound (“Undo it!” “Take it back!” or some variation on that theme) fills your head.
As a result of a very specific recipe of circumstances, Hamish, Bernie, and Callie—otherwise known as the Bee children—were being collectively subjected to that very combination as they hovered between the floor of the laboratory and the ceiling overhead.
To be fair, the day hadn’t started out so oddly. Hamish had returned home from school filled with the type of joy only the last day of term can bring; endless summer days loomed ahead, no classes, no homework, all about to be kicked off with the annual family summer holiday.
He was met at the garden gate by twin glares.
“Holiday’s cancelled,” Bernie said, by way of welcome. She wasn’t the type to elaborate.
Hamish looked to Callie for more detail.
“Aye, it’s true.” Callie took a big breath—a sure sign that it was not going to be a quick explanation.
Hamish leaned against the garden wall in preparation. And that, he would later realise, was precisely the point where it all began to unravel.