Name: Michelle Painchaud
Title & Genre: FEAR ITSELF - YA/UF
Pitch: Noa's infected with an alien parasite - she'd kill to be normal again. Government spooks will kill to get her.
1st 250 words:
My mistake was that I figured this would be easy.
The city had been my backyard for so long, I thought a few homogenized houses and overly-friendly adults would be a pushover. Even when Aunt Miranda told me I’d be attending her alma mater, an illustrious private school by the name of St. Francis Preparatory, I hadn’t balked. This was going to be pie, I kept thinking to myself. No - something easier than pie, softer. Cake.
This was before I stood in front of the door of my first class. The school bustles around me with perfectly pressed uniforms and stylish handbags. Sickly sweet perfume is interlaced with every simper and laugh. I inhale deeply, composing myself. Through the window I see the class is already full. My reflection in the glass is worn and weary – dark circles from no sleep, stringy brown hair. A pair of terrified, slate-colored eyes, trying hard to look tough.
A razor of anxiety twists in my stomach. Where was this sick, heavy dread coming from? Walking in there was simple enough.
These kids don’t scare me, I try to convince myself. I’d seen a girl die right before my eyes. She held the shard of mirror to my throat and I’d scrabbled for something, anything, and swung hard. The blood blossoms like a dark flower in my memory.
I shake my head to clear it. No more fear. No more death. I push through the door.
Nothing scares me anymore.