Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #26 - Of Fire and Shadow

YA Urban Fantasy


The day after her mother dies, shadows start stalking sixteen-year-old Talitha Martin. Talitha knows better than to tell anyone, this isn’t the first strange secret she’s had to keep. Talitha’s body turns into smoke, and she can’t always control it.

Except secrets, like smoke, are impossible to contain. When Talitha’s new neighbor Caspar witnesses her shift she’s sure he’s going to expose her, but Caspar is intrigued. His stubborn friendship is unshakable even when the shadows attack Caspar and Talitha.

Barely escaping, Caspar and Talitha learn that the beings who saved them are the Ascended, an ancient race forged from flame that wage war against the shadows. They’ve come to find a human vessel with the power to turn the tide of battle. Since Talitha’s power enables her to find and protect this human vessel, the Ascended promise to teach her control of the smoke, but only if she agrees to help them.

When Caspar’s life is linked to that of the vessel, Talitha must harness her powers fast or the shadows will destroy the only real friend she ever had. Either way, her dreams of a normal life just went up in smoke.

First 150 Words:

My mother died a week ago. Smoke inhalation, the coroner’s report said.

The problem: there was no fire.

The cause: my freakish powers. Not that I could admit it, unless I wanted to become a science experiment, or thrown in jail.

I leaned against the rough brick wall of the lawyer’s office and nearly crossed my arms, except something across the road caught my eye.

The shadows there were oddly darker than the midday sun warranted, as if they had swallowed the very ground. Goosebumps prickled down my neck.

I stepped away from the wall, intrigued by the shadows.

Something, or someone, stood in the shadows across the street. I squinted, trying to overcome the glare of sunlight off towering office buildings. The figure swayed like branches caught in a breeze. My eyebrows furrowed as I stepped into the gutter, ignoring the cars blurring past.


Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #26!

I’m going around giving everyone at least one critique and one positive today. (Maybe more, if I spot something helpful.)

- Original concept!

- Intriguing 150, but Talitha seems a little callous about her mother’s death.

Best of luck! :)

Lone Star said...

I have to say, she makes me think of the smoke monster from Lost. :) But that's okay, it's still an original concept. It's especially interesting that her powers led to her mother's death.