Title: THE COLD PLACE
Age Category: Young Adult
Word Count: 65,000
Everybody knows about Sam.
Burned his house for fun. Cuts himself for attention. Locked in a mental hospital for everyone’s safety. Broken beyond repair by fifteen.
Everybody knows it.
But none of it is true.
First 250 Word of Manuscript:
I don’t trust this new doctor.
“Samuel Guerrero,” he says.
He holds on to the O too long, like he owns my name. Owns me. He’s wrong. Wrong about my name. Wrong about me.
He leans back in his fake leather chair. Watches my reaction. Observes me like I’m a chemistry experiment. Stirs the mixture. Waits for it to explode. Has he gotten my name wrong on purpose?
His lips quirk up at the end. Cunning.
“Tell me about your earliest memory?” he continues, “What’s the first thing you–”
“Playing with a Tonka truck in the front yard at 112 W. Pearl,” I cut him off before he can finish.
It’s the same answer I give all the doctors.
It’s a lie.
My first memory is mine. I won’t share it with a pack of leeches trying to “understand” me so they can write an article for some medical journal. I know that’s what they want to do because I overheard Dr. Stuart, my first therapist, telling one of the nurses.
“He’s such a fascinating case. I could make a name for myself if I could get the kid to open up.” Then he laughed. I never said another word to him after that. The center had to switch doctors since he wasn’t making any progress. When we pass each other in the hall now he avoids my eyes.
I hate the doctors.
I hate their questions.
I hate their hypocrisy.