Title: Zone Trippers
Word count: 90,000
Genre: Adult SciFi
When a mystery disease causes soul transference among the infected, Owen MacIntyre is too logical to believe in the urban legend of Zone Trippers. After all, he holds an esteemed job at the CDC, managing the mass hysteria surrounding epidemics and preventing pandemics PR nightmares.
But when Owen’s only daughter, Eve, shows symptoms of the psychosis, claiming to be an Irish father of three, he can no longer dismiss the rumors. Owen is forced to face the fact that his estranged daughter is one of the fabled Zone Trippers. He locks Eve’s body in an asylum, ignoring the cycle of personalities who inhabit her body, while he searches the world for her soul.
When Eve’s body escapes the asylum, Owen finds an unlikely partner in Humberto, a temporary soul in Eve’s body. While Owen fervently researches Zone Tripper’s Disease, Humberto hastily constructs a website which allows Eve’s soul to attempt a journey home. But without warning, several soul swaps yank her further away until Owen loses contact with her entirely.
Meanwhile, the world is divided between two camps: the Statics and the Trippers; furthered by an unscrupulous reality television show which exploits the Trippers, while spreading false information and rumors.
Desperation turns to terror when Owen learns of a zone-tripping serial killer who has a get-out-of-jail-free card and a penchant for torture. A video blog details each gruesome murder and offers the first tangible clue in finding Eve’s soul.
Owen abandons logic and risks his job, his life, and his soul to rescue Eve, but he might have already lost the daughter he never really knew.
First 250 Words:
At the CDC, security was a formality but success was often elusive.
My name and title was printed on the magnetized card: “Owen MacIntyre, Executive Officer of Public Health Preparedness and Response.” But the machine squawked at me nonetheless.
A uniformed guard meandered over to me, gun at his hip and doubt in his eyes.
“The card reader isn’t working,” I said, uncaffeinated and irritated. My wife used to make coffee before work but now I was at the mercy of the dregs in the community pot upstairs. My daughter, Eve, only drank green tea.
The guard compared the photo to my face and swiped the card quickly. It gave a satisfying beep.
“Must be sun flares,” the guard replied, referring to yesterday’s memo. The advantage of working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was the abundance of choices for blame. A flurry of potential disasters cluttered my in-box every morning. And every coincidence was the epicenter of an impending catastrophe.
I followed him past the open terminals to the bank of elevators.
“Thanks for the help,” I said, pressing four.
“No worries. Have a nice day saving the world.”
I didn’t bother to tell him I was in charge of press releases, not world-saving.
“There is another outbreak,” Rylan announced unceremoniously as I stepped off the elevator. My intern was partial to delivering bad news in person, rather than via email. “Another cluster of psychosis patients have been linked to the H2N8 virus. An intake ward in Phoenix is reporting a group of trippers.”
Title: An Uncommon Blue
Word Count: 65K
Genre: YA Sci Fi
In Télesphore, the glowing color of a person’s palm determines their place in society, and touching hands with another mixes the colors permanently. For the first sixteen years of his life, rugby star Bruno Nazaire hasn't had any trouble keeping his hands to himself. But when a Green boy sneaks into Blue Campus to get Bruno's autograph and is attacked by a guard, Bruno falls into defense mode.
And kills the guard.
Whether or not the slaying was accidental, the rule of law has not been challenged in fifty years and the Steward is determined to make an example of Bruno. That is, if he can catch him.
Bruno's only chance at survival is to become someone else. That means a haircut, a change of wardrobe, and most important, getting rid of his once cherished Blue. Now he’s visiting parts of town he never knew existed, and making friends with people he would've crossed the street to avoid only weeks ago. But the officials hunting him are getting smarter, and in a city enclosed by jagged iron fences, there are only so many places to hide.At the last minute, Bruno’s parents arrange a deal to clear his name and get some semblance of his life back. All Bruno has to do is abandon those in the Red slums that look to him as a leader and let a familiar Green boy die in his place.
Or there's always offense.
First 250 words:
There are three unspoken rules in high school rugby.
1. Your team members are family.
2. You support your family.
3. This support must be shown periodically with an affectionate slap on the butt.
After four years as the starting right winger, I had almost gotten used to this.
Almost. At least I no longer felt the urge to bloody my teammates' noses when they tried it. But in the middle of the hall? No way. During school hours my glutes were off limits.
I whirled around to explain this to whichever of my idiotic team members was behind me.
Instead, I found myself face to face with an attractive redhead.
“Hey, Bruno,” Drea said with a smirk. “Ready for the test?”
I opened my mouth but no sound came out.
Even with her super-short hair, Drea was stunning. Before last summer she’d often been mistaken for a boy. But that all ended when puberty hit. With both fists.
I recovered from my embarrassment enough to nod.
She leaned against the lockers. Her face reflected the light from her blue palm as she twisted an earring. “History should be a breeze compared to pre-calc. I wanted to stab myself in the eye when I got to that section on antiderivatives.”
I grunted and fumbled with my combination.
Without warning she came up close and spoke in a half-whisper. Her hair smelled like coconut. “I know someone that likes you. If you hurry up with that lock, we might have time to talk before the final.”