Manuscript Title: SUN AND BONE
Category/ Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
Word Count: 83,000
35-word Pitch: A girl with OCD, raised in an isolated religious sect, trades favors with a vengeful migrant worker to save her dying brother’s life. Gated meets The Butterfly Clues with a dash of Eleanor & Park.
If your MC was an Easter egg, what flavor would s/he be?
Eve: Wild berries, lavender, and brushfire smoke. Mana: Tsokolate (chocolate) with siling labuyo (hot peppers).
Excerpt (first 300 words):
Dying children can’t shock me.
Whether I’m stabbing them with a kitchen knife or they’re burning in a house fire. Whether it’s me or a disease or a natural disaster doing the killing. It happens every day in the dark corners of my obsessive mind.
Though I’m ninety-nine percent sure I would never act on these thoughts, for a few seconds I see myself suffocating my six-year-old sister instead of helping Mama wrestle her into the kitchen chair. While the Attendants stand by, waiting to fill a vial with Theresa’s blood, I blink four times to make the image retreat.
“Let me go!” Theresa shouts, bucking like a wild animal.
Her bare foot wallops my gut. For a second, I can’t breathe.
“Theresa Marie Thomas, you cooperate right now,” Mama says in a voice that could freeze the sun. “The Healer is watching you.”
My sister must be more scared of Mama or The Healer than the needle because she stops thrashing. Once the tip pierces the crook of her arm, her hazel eyes widen. The thin red stream shooting up into the glass is beautiful, though it seems wrong for the blood to leave her body.
After we release Theresa, I avoid Mama’s eyes and mouth a prayer, then tap the back of the chair four times. Not because I want to, but because I can’t stop myself. That way it won’t be my fault if Theresa tests positive.
Sarah’s next. Nearly nine, she’d rather live with nonbelievers than let anyone see she’s scared. She jumps into the seat, jaw clenched and lips mashed together. When the vial’s full, she pivots toward me, beaming.
“They already took my blood,” I say. “I’m done.”
“Humph!” She marches off while I rock baby David in his cradle.