Title: The Chimera’s Snare
Word count: 85K
Genre: YA Horror
Sixteen-year-old prodigy June grew up in a bunker, rarely allowed human contact; the streaming feed on her computer monitor her main window to the war-ravaged world outside. June’s only companion and link to her mysterious handlers is her stoic, infuriatingly tight-lipped and fiercely loyal guard Kyle.
June's isolation is shattered when vicious, genetically engineered mutants attack her enclave. Surrounded by the terrified survivors, who give wildly disparate accounts of the events, June must use her enhanced cognitive faculties to piece together the truth behind their conflicting memories of the attack before the people turn on each other. The enclave's damaged records could hold the key to reconciling their stories and finding a way to fight the chimeras, but with four other enclaves destroyed, the monsters are certain to return – and soon.
As June and Kyle navigate the mysterious subterranean passages, looking for the remnants of lost data, June discovers clues to her origin. She wasn't born, but grown, imbued with the power to turn the surviving humanity into a giant beehive of drones, where she would reign as queen. Now, June must decide if her all-too-human feelings for Kyle, who is hoarding deadly secrets of his own, are enough to keep her from fighting a program encoded in her DNA and turning the world into a twisted version of utopia. What June doesn’t realize is that another clone is vying to become the Queen of Drones.
June woke up to the acidic shrieking of the siren. The sound passed through the thick layer of earth and reverberated against the bunker’s titanium bearings, making the walls and the ceiling of her cell tremble and moan. The holographic surface of the monitor flickered and silver chess figurines on the table knocked against each other with a clear, icy chime.
June slid out of bed and pressed her ear to the wall, trying to catch more familiar sounds beyond the piercing wail.
The main generator was silent.
She climbed on the table, licked her fingers and reached towards the air conditioning ducts. Nothing, other than a faint scent of mildew. And apples.
In the settlement, apples were a luxury. A shame. June liked their taste. Distracted by the puzzle of synthesizing an adequate substitute, she didn’t notice when the siren cut out. For several long moments the walls preserved its echo, fainter with each wave. But the air conditioning, the generator, and the intercom system didn’t come back online.
“Kyle?” June never liked the sound of her voice. It was high-pitched, and the discord between her chronological age and the actual development of her body made her acutely self-conscious. At sixteen, she was tiny and frail.
“Kyle, where are you?”
Not in the bunker. Otherwise, he would’ve already come.
As long as June could remember, Kyle had always been there. Almost three years now. Of course, the first four months of her confinement didn’t count: her memories of that time were too chaotic and vague.
Entry Nickname: My Name is Poison on Your Lips
Word count: 102,000
Genre: YA sci-fi/fantasy
Word count: 102,000
Genre: YA sci-fi/fantasy
Since the eruption of Yellowstone’s supervolcano, the Anathema Infection has turned a small percentage of the surviving world population into deadly superhumans, including sixteen-year-old Calynn Davitt.
Despite her attempts to evade the government’s purge program, Cal is captured and sent to Sanatorium, a sterilized city made to contain the Infection. However, waiting for a cure proves to be as dangerous as living with the disease. Sanatorium divides the Anathema into heroes and villains, and Cal is labeled a villain despite her integrity. In order to escape, Cal must trust backstabbing villains and evade overzealous heroes, including Solar Flare, the man who killed her father.
Even with her half-tamed energy manipulation abilities, Cal seems doomed to an early death until she finds an unexpected ally in the shy hero, Invisiboy. But when the villains begin hunting any heroes with information on Solar Flare, Cal is forced to choose between her fellow villains, and the only friend she’s known in Sanatorium, where not all is as it seems, and even heroes can be villainous.
I couldn’t see the stars.
Though it was late June, snow drifted past my window in enormous gray flakes. Mom said thirty years ago, before Yellowstone’s supervolcano erupted, the snow was pure white and came only one season a year instead of choking the planet in a constant ash-stained winter. With one foot of snow outside, her stories were hard to believe.
I tied the hem of my button up shirt under my ribs, and straightened my tank. When I was certain my loose clothing wouldn’t get in the way, I ground a violet pastel onto a chipped plate. In the flickering candlelight, my knuckles seemed to glow luminous and white, the bone too close to the skin.
I added a splash of water, and stirred the chalk with my fingers until it became a smooth paste. Barefoot, I stood on my bed. It didn’t matter if I spilled. The bedspread, speckled with fluffy pink sheep, was hideous at best.
On the ceiling, a purple smudge appeared everywhere my fingers touched. They danced with the other colors of my painting, transforming from mere fingerprints into stars and galaxies. A large moon, as white as an angel feather, glimmered over my bed. I ran my fingers along the edge, giving the crescent a pale purple glow. Luminous. Alive. Unlike everything else on this wretched planet.
I wiped my fingers on my frayed jeans, leaving purple smudges like shooting stars. With a sigh, I laid on my bed to admire my own personal heaven on Earth.