Jun 7, 2018

QK Agent Round: Cowboys Versus Zombie Pirates

Title: String Theory
Entry Nickname: Cowboys Versus Zombie Pirates
Word Count: 93K
Genre: Young Adult Speculative


Music is the key to all time and space.

Teenage violin prodigy Crystal Aislen learns her mother, who went missing seven years ago, has been lost in time. When an eccentric scientist gives her a violin that can open time rifts, Crystal becomes impatient with the process of searching for her mother and accidentally flings herself into the past. The specialized violin is her only hope of returning home, but its strings were scattered throughout history as she fell through time. Unless she can find all four before the temporal energy of the time rift runs out, she will be trapped in the past forever.

Crystal’s hunt for the strings will require her to stay a step ahead of some of the most ruthless outlaws of the Old West, outwit notorious pirates, and team up with Anna Maria Mozart. Each string recovered gives Crystal more control over time and space. However, each use of the violin risks giving away her location in time to wraith-like electric guitar players from a dark and terrible future. They are hell-bent on erasing Crystal from existence, and their sinister mission seems to be related to her mother. Despite being warned not to, Crystal searches for the truth about her mother’s fate. Her only clues come in the form of pages of sheet music dispersed through time. The music resembles a lullaby Crystal’s mother used to sing, but the true purpose of the composition will only be revealed when played in its entirety. It is a melody of hope, not only for Crystal to return home, but for the future of all humanity.

STRING THEORY is complete at 93,000 words. I am a Texas Aggie with a Master's degree in Human Relations, and an Air Force veteran of ten and a half years as an Air Battle Manager. I live in Houston and am a proud father of three. I write in hopes of bringing up tough questions for the betterment of humanity and to inspire our youth. "String Theory" is my third complete manuscript of four, but this would be my first major publication.

First 250:


Crystal’s violin screeched as she halted her song at the sharp command, her mouth wide in disbelief. She had barely played three measures. The faculty member had interrupted her. Why? This was her best work, an original composition, but she hadn’t even reached the melody. They were judging her without allowing the long, slow opening measures to build in intensity and speed until the fire of desperation exploded in an anthem of triumph—like a lost soul finally finding her way home. She was up against a lot of talented musicians in this audition for the West Chester University School of Performing Arts. Any one of them could play Bach or Tchaikovsky with precision, but it took something more to connect music to the pain of loss, or the joy of reunion. She would never gloat, but if they didn’t let her finish, they would never hear the deep feelings woven into this musical ode to her mother. She needed this. Three measures?

“But I—”

“Thank you, Miss Aislen. That will be all,” the lead judge said with a flippant wave of her hand. The grey-haired woman pushed her wire-framed glasses up on her nose, leaned back in her chair, and folded her arms. “We have a lot of applicants to go through today.”

Surely there had been a mistake. Did they even look at the composition she gave them? It had a complex series of layered chords. The chorus alone demonstrated every classical skill. It would have made her mother proud.

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