Name: Ruthanne Reid
Title and genre: THE SUNDERED--Speculative YA
Pitch: A world that hates you is bad; slavery is worse; but nothing tops having to choose the survival of someone else's species... or your own.
1st 250 words:
The world I know is flooded.
I believe it wasn’t always that way, but that doesn’t set me apart. All we know now is swamp, tufts of land here and there, occasionally islands or muddy peaks big enough to sleep or build on. Everybody knows, though, that the water wasn’t there before. That there used to be dry land all over the place. What sets me apart, makes me different, is I believe it can go back to that.
We walk on the tufts, knob-sized things that stick out of the water with limp grass all over them. When there are a lot of them, we have to carry the boats. The water’s black.
You don’t go in the water. You don’t touch it. If you do, it will get you, drag you down, and you’re gone. The only safe way to interact with the black water is in a boat or inside the nets, at least if you’re a human. The Sundered can do anything they want in the water. Who knows why.
Maybe that’s one of the things I’ll learn when I find the Hope. It’s supposed to have all the answers.
“Hey, Harry!” Toddy, one of my younger travelers, is pointing at something. He straddles the black water, each boot on a different tuft, standing with the easy balance we all must learn or else we die. “There’s something over there!”
The Hope. I have to find the Hope. Whatever he wants to show me, it’s not the Hope, but I’m young, and I can fake interest.