Name: Nicole Wolverton
Title and genre: THE TRAJECTORY OF DREAMS -- Psychological Fiction
Pitch: A woman traumatized as a child by a space shuttle disaster breaks into astronauts' homes, studying their sleep habits to stop another mishap.
1st 250 words: The bulbous head of the tiny, ceramic tchotchke stared at me with the wide, innocent eyes of a horse caught cribbing the wood of his stall. Except the statue’s cheeks puffed out as though it had contracted an eternal case of the mumps, something very unhorse-like. It seemed like a stupid thing for a woman of science to have in her apartment. It seemed too frivolous, too child-like.
I used to dream of seeing my name on an astronaut uniform when I was a child, “Lela White” embroidered in white on the patch. My career interests had changed, although it still mattered to me who wore the NASA jumpsuit, and this woman . . . well, she wore Smurf pajamas as an adult. Not that there was anything inherently wrong with cartoon sleepwear, but it didn’t seem right for a serious person. The space shuttle couldn’t possibly be safe in her care. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration testing must be lacking in some way to let someone like that through.
She’d been chosen as part of the crew for the upcoming Empire mission, for the love of God. I’d expected more dignity until I’d gotten to know her a little bit through my observations. Now I thought it likely she’d own cutesy socks with bunnies and puppies on them. It would have been okay for anyone else to wear them, but an astronaut?
----- note: Thanks to you and all involved!