Name: Kasey Dallman
Twitter Handle: @kaseydallman
Title: THE DOLL TRAIN
Genre: Contemporary YA
Word Count: 60,000
My Main Character's Most Stressful Relationship is:
My MC, Marc, struggles to accept himself. When he is blamed in the death of his best friend it suddenly becomes very clear that his skin color is fueling the charges. From early on he has recognized that his skin sets him apart from his community. Marc's not ashamed of his color, nor should he be. But he does want to turn his skin color off, or better yet, shed it like a snake and build a new one that fits his town better.
When high school junior Marc Amazi witnesses his best friend overdosing, he knows a war has started. It isn’t just anyone who died. It is 17-year-old Anna Mason. The most stunning girl in the universe. Captain of the varsity basketball team. A blonde hair, blue eyed staple of every suburban community. And he has skin too dark and a haunted past that turns everyone away.
When Anna’s death is ruled an overdose and pills are planted in Marc’s toilet, he is charged with delivering the narcotics that killed her. As the justice system brands Marc by the color of his skin, the town doesn’t label him a friend in mourning. They label him a murderer.
After he is released on bail, Marc is trapped in a sea of online threats and harassment. A social media group is created to attack Marc. It doesn’t take long for it to manifest into physical acts of violence. As Marc prepares for his trial, he finds himself not only fighting for his life, but the lives of millions of people that look like him and face the same prejudices.
The night Anna died
Time doesn’t stop when the world is ending. It sticks together, every moment exaggerated, ticking by so dreadfully slow.
I watch the seconds unfold. The pavement slices my knee. Crimson drops stain the gravel. Still, Anna remains limp. A pretty little doll someone forgot to put back on the shelf.
It’s not possible to give one person every beat of your heart, every drop of your blood, every ounce of energy. To attempt something so foolish is suicide. Yet, for Anna, I’d do anything. Come back to me, I silently plead. Come back.
Her body is stretched out on the pavement. I attempt to pull her up from the ground. Shake her until she wakes up. But all 5 feet and 9 inches of her is dead weight. She slips back to the ground, her arms and legs nothing but gelatin.
Only seconds ago she was seizing. Her body possessed, dancing in shapes I never knew existed. My head collapses onto her chest, searching desperately for a heartbeat.
Then I hear it. A panicked roar pulses through my ear. But she is still. So very still. This horrendous symphony is only comprised of my pulse. Hers is…
Gone? It shouldn’t be a surprise. This is what happens to everyone I love.