Entry Nickname: Escape the Fate
Word Count: 65K
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Cassandra of Troy High School has the gift of divine prophecy, is compelled to recite what she sees, and is cursed--no one can ever remember what she says.
Knowing the future sucks the life out of everything (and has left her in need of a serious attitude adjustment) but Cass has discovered an almost as good consolation prize: money. When her prophecies are ready to become reality, she presses record and uploads the video to her website. All Cass cares about are how those thousands of ‘press play’ clicks turn into cash.
While ProphecyPunked.com is a much-needed money-maker, Cass’ prophecies aren’t all viral video worthy. Buried beneath the funny accidents, incredible feats, and curious glimpses of her future girlfriend, she also foresees a deadly rivalry brewing. A foreboding vortex of violence has begun to swirl around her beautiful, and beloved sister, Helen. With the sinister threat of a school shooting looming, Cass must turn to her morally bankrupt ex-boyfriend, Apollo, for help. She swore to never speak to him again after their prophecy-fueled blackmail business ended badly. Unfortunately, he’s the only who can help her (because that dirtbag can remember her prophecies).
Together, they vow to do anything (including lie, cheat, steal, commit felonies…) if it will prevent Helen’s death. Cass knows the future is impossible to change, but for the first time in her life, she’s ready to fight fate.
Cass had warned him this would happen.
A dangerous patch of early morning ice had formed up ahead, right in front of the door to the fast food place where he worked. He pulled on his coat while talking to someone not visible through the glass door.
“Why are you stalking Kiernan? I thought you didn’t like him?” Diana asked. Foggy plumes of breath formed with each impatient huff. “Anyway, we’re going to be late so let’s go.”
Cass lounged against the Java Joint's brick wall. She winked at Diana, lips curling into a mischievous smile--the kind that made a person want in on whatever was about to go down.
“Shut up before you mess up my video.” She pressed the camera icon on her phone and held it up toward the spot she had seen in her prophecy.
“Ooh!” Diana rushed to her side, peeking over Cass’ shoulder to watch the screen. “What are we recording?”
It had always been we, not you.
“In about ten seconds, Kiernan is going to come running out of the building, slip and almost fall for about seven seconds of pure hilarity in a stunning show of balance and luck. It’s going to be great. I’m thinking about calling it Lights, Camera, Traction.”
Diana’s eyes glazed over with an opaque sheen. Her face slackened while the memory of Cass’ prophecy erased itself from her mind. When she blinked, her eyes returned to their normal dark brown.
“Did you just say something?” she asked.
Title: The Siren Episode
Entry Nickname: Cement Gargling 101
Word Count: 82K
Genre: YA Fantasy
Arlen’s parents kill monsters—sirens, gorgons, and even leprechauns—then broadcast the murders on their TV show, Myth Slayers. And killing is a family business.
Ever since mythological creatures destroyed San Francisco twelve years ago, Myth Slayers has been number one in the ratings. Now the show’s stars want to retire and force the reins upon their son. But at seventeen, Arlen doesn’t want to slaughter monsters on primetime TV—he just wants to survive high school, where a quirk in his Myth Slayer blood makes life unbearable.
Arlen’s blood gives him power, but repels members of the opposite sex. He can’t even approach girls without making them physically ill. So when he finds a girl who’s not getting sick, he finally sees a chance at a normal life. Problem is, Lenora’s a siren. Worse, she’s a murderer. And Lenora hides a secret: the location of a safe filled with evidence that Arlen’s parents destroyed San Francisco, not the monsters. If opened, the safe’s contents could ruin his family, leaving humans unprotected against nightmarish creatures. Arlen’s parents want the siren dead, and Arlen faces an impossible choice: kill Lenora to bury the secret, or trust the siren and expose the truth.
Arlen Boggs hopped his neighbor’s fence and slipped past the protestors. They’d camped in front of his house again, picket signs raised. He tried to keep his footsteps light, but the rain puddles didn’t help his cause.
Two blocks, he thought. You can do two blocks without getting recognized.
The morning air chilled his neck, and he buttoned his father’s trench coat, too big for his lanky frame. Arlen wore the coat, baseball cap, and sunglasses to keep himself hidden. He hoped it would work this time.
Head down, he hurried along the narrow sidewalk. Trees rustled on either side of the street, and he glanced up at the sycamores. Nothing but windblown leaves.
A woman’s voice came from behind him: “There he is.”
Arlen turned to look at the protestors, five houses back. “Great,” he muttered.
Two of their poster boards read, “GO AWAY, MYTH SLAYERS!” and “MYTHS HAVE RIGHTS, TOO!” Despite the wet September morning, the crazy zealots surged onto the road and shouted at him.
A few months shy of his eighteenth birthday, Arlen still didn't have his driver's license. His parents never had time to teach him, always out filming their TV show. Otherwise, he would have driven himself to school and avoided the daily hate-fest.
Another tree rustled and a branch snapped.
Could be a monster.
The protestors sped up, chasing after him with their hand-painted signs.
Arlen broke into a jog. Monsters in the trees, protestors on his tail. Why were mornings so complicated?