Monday, September 24, 2012

Agent Pitch Finalist #17 - Trespassers

YA Fantasy
81,000 words


History books say a civilization called Middeah vanished from North America in 1015. They’re wrong. Middeah still thrives, twisted away from the modern world. The tribe’s survival comes at a violent price for the trespassers who slip through the cracks.

When sixteen-year-old artist Etta “borrows" her dad’s truck for a night of freedom, she ends up trapped in Middeah instead. The crisp air and upside-down trees make Etta feel like she’s stepped into one of her paintings. But if the tribe discovers she’s a trespasser, she’ll become their next human sacrifice. When one native learns her secret, Etta survives his attack and flees with a haunted, strangely familiar boy named Graham.

Etta doesn’t need Graham’s cat-green eyes and cryptic silences clouding her judgment, but she does need his help to conceal her identity. Disguised as a married couple, they discover what Middeah gains from its brutal offerings. The tribe has no sickness. No pollution. No technology, and no need for it. If Etta forsakes her past for an eternal life with Graham, she could contaminate the pristine world. If she follows the clues toward the only way home, back to the father Etta misses more than she ever expected, she risks losing both her neck and Graham’s on the altar stone.

TRESPASSERS was inspired by the real ancient American civilization that abandoned the Cahokia mounds near St. Louis. This 81,000-word YA fantasy is The Wizard of Oz meets The Girl of Fire and Thorns in early America.

First 150:

Etta knew better than to paint in the afternoon, but sometimes inspiration just swallowed her up.

Brakes squealed as her dad’s truck turned into the driveway outside. She squeezed her palm against her forehead. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Her dad was always home from work at six on Mondays. Etta had about three minutes until he walked through the door.

She tossed the paints in her supply basket, grabbed the brushes in a jumbled handful, and sprinted to the bathroom. Blue, green and silvery white swirled beneath the faucet as she rinsed the bristles, twisting into a smoky turquoise. Still dripping, she dropped them into their cup and stashed the whole basket under the sink.

The rattle and thump of the engine dying sounded through the hall. Two minutes.

Back in the kitchen she stole one last look at her piece, a bridge that hinted at metal towers on one side, with hungry, overgrown trees and vines reaching across on the other.


Linda Glaz said...

Clever idea to base a story around the history of the mounds.

Sara D'Emic said...

Interesting! I'm already jumping to know all about the Middeah. Could you please send the first 50 pages and a complete plot summary to Put GUTGAA in the subject line. Thanks!