The first draft of my standalone dark fantasy novel, The Hands of Cally Wu, has a word count of 63000 words. See my blog for (unedited) excerpts.
Cally Wu has spent the last thirty years with three demons bound to her mind – the result of being a child sacrifice in an occult ritual gone wrong. Nightmares, possession, and uncontrollable bouts of rage are everyday occurrences. They even cost her her son Ben, who she was forced to give to her sister for his protection. Now, Cally spends her nights as a psychopomp, having made a bargain with her demons: if they help her rescue lost and stolen souls, she allows them to feast on the psychic vampires and money-grubbing soul merchants she encounters in the process.
Then someone murders Cally’s sister and locks up her soul. Ben – now twelve – is returned to Cally. Life becomes nearly unbearable as her demons rage against her one source of happiness. The price for even a minute of peace skyrockets.
But with her sister’s soul and murderer still out there, and custody of Ben hardly guaranteed, peace is too much to ask for, anyway. Seeing no other options, Cally bargains with her demons again and again to set things right… until her willingness to compromise might just lose her the last bit of control she had.