Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pitch Slam Entry 6: Seeing Through the Blindfold


Genre: YA Sci/Fi Thriller

Word Count: 72,000

Pitch: Lust and drugs took seventeen-year-old Ava’s first family. After foretelling a nationwide blackout, she flies her new family toward safety, failing to foresee the crash. Guilt-ravaged, she crosses the country on foot, hoping they’ve survived.

First 250:

A sparrow takes a kamikaze flight into the window near our booth in the diner. The thunk causes my sister, Ronnie, to flail and laughter jumps into my throat at her reaction. But inside, something wilts for the bird. A few silent seconds pass before my adopted family bursts into snorts again, though it feels wrong to laugh about a life lost at the hands of ignorance.

Silverware clinks on ceramic as a woman twists a cigarette in an ashtray in the booth across from ours. Her brows cast shadows over her sunken eyes. She reminds me of my bio-mom. Also bone-thin. Crack does that to people.

One whiff of cigarette smoke and I’m swept backward in time to seedy hotel rooms, truck stops, laundromats. Shaking off the déjà vu, I look around for a piece of reality to ground me.

The gravity of my family’s love is all it takes. Everything in the diner seems to orbit around it, including me. So, why does my past glare at me through the sunken eyes of the woman across the diner?

Just when I feel I may fly out of orbit, my eyes fall on Ronnie. I get that weird feeling that I’m looking into the mirror, a cajoling that something deep connects our life-threads. But two people couldn’t be more different. We’re both seventeen, redheads and eerily similar in looks, but she’s the outgoing daughter of a Rabbi and I’m the quiet, less approachable spawn of a prostitute and evangelist.

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