Dear Mystery Agent,
Since your identity is a secret, I can’t begin my query with the reasons I chose to query you, but since one of the genres listed in the competition brief was YA contemporary, I thought you might be interested in CHASING THE TAILLIGHTS, my 87,000 word contemporary YA novel told in alternating POVs.
Lucy and Tony share only their genetic code and a love of rock music. Tony’s the driven high achiever, the champion diver destined for greatness. Lucy’s biggest concern is getting Cute Guy from the burger joint to ask her out.
After a car accident kills their parents, Lucy and Tony are forced to rely on one another--and decide whether to reveal their secrets. Tony has a crush on Jake, his best friend, while what Lucy knows about the accident is so devastating it sends her into a spiral of self-destruction.
As the siblings struggle to overcome a lifetime of past conflicts and jealousies, they discover they might have more in common than they ever thought.
My short stories have appeared in Halfway Down The Stairs, A Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology, The Barrier Islands Review, Death Rattle, Drastic Measures, Residential Aliens, Cutlass and Musket: Tales of Piratical Skullduggery, and Rapunzel’s Daughter: After the Happily Ever After, among others.
Per your submission requirements, you will find the first 250 words below. Thank you for your time and consideration.
CHASING THE TAILLIGHTS
The darkness is absolute. I’m not sure if my eyes are open or closed. I strain to push the lids up, but they’re already wide. Something covers my mouth and nose, making breathing difficult. My lungs burn for air, but I can only suck in tiny mouthfuls through whatever smothers my face.
I turn my head, crying out as a savage bolt of pain shoots through it. Teetering on the edge of consciousness, wavy grey lines waft across the blank space before my eyes. I struggle to keep my wits about me--what’s left of them--fighting the darkness threatening to drown me. Certain now I won’t pass out, I gasp for breath. There’s nothing covering my face. It was the ground my nose and mouth were pressed into.
The ground? Wet. Greasy. Reeking of something that reminds me of…gas? Reaching out my left hand, I try to find something to hold onto. My fingers scrabble over small objects, pebbles perhaps, that skitter away beneath my touch. I reach further, wrapping my fist around them. Pain prickles my fingertips. Not pebbles. Glass. Small, sharp shards of glass.
Using my torn hand, I drag myself forward, an inch, maybe two. I can’t move my legs, can’t even feel them. Raising my head, I see light. Not a lot of light, but light. Red light, bright at one end, dull at the other. I know what this is. I do. My heart thumps at the side of my head and I can almost hear the gears of my brain creaking to make sense of this weird red glow.