17. BEAT – Young Adult Thriller

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: Cole Gibsen

Mentee Name: Laura DiamondTitle: BEAT
Category: Young Adult

Genre: Thriller
Word Count: 77,000


Seventeen-year-old heart transplant recipient, Adam Gibson, must pair up with a snarky artist to fight the demons in his mind if he’s to survive the psychological torment of someone dying so he can live.


Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

Wind slashes across my body, burrows up my nose, and yanks at my hair. I hook my fingers through the wire fence wrapped around the Empire State Building’s observation deck and toggle my lip piercing—two black hoops side by side—with my tongue. Spires top the fencing, curving inward way above everybody’s heads to prevent people from jumping. I wonder what it’d be like to leap off the building’s edge, knowing I wouldn’t survive the fall. Somehow, greeting Death before he finds me is appealing.

I close my eyes, imagining the sensation of falling free. No safety net. No ropes. My heart races and stomach plummets. I grip the fencing tighter. My heart can’t handle the challenge, yet my imagination refuses to let go of the vision.

I clench my teeth and force my eyes open before I can see myself smack the ground.

The city below seems like a miniature replica at this height.

I let the illusion take over me until my heart slows to a regular pace.

New York City, so different from my London. I wish we were home, surrounded by memories of before I got sick, but Mum and Dad insisted on coming here “for the best care possible for their only son.” That was months ago.

I pick out several landmarks dotting the skyline and mentally slash another item/adventure/must do/whatever off my bucket list. Well, it’s more like my parents’ bucket list.

For me.

It’s hard to muster up joy and awe when all I’m doing is waiting for someone to die so they can give me their heart. Anything we do—whether it’s a weekend trip to the city, having front row tickets for a concert, or celebrating another week of life with a hot fudge sundae—all it amounts to is killing time.

And all I want is more time.

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