PW #135: Adult Psychological Thriller (#ownvoices): MISSING BLACK WOMAN

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Kristen Lepionka

Mentee Name: Daniel Best


Category: Adult

Genre: Psychological Thriller (#ownvoices)

Word Count: 100,000 words


Two suspects, one missing black woman, zero media coverage. Fletcher can’t remember much after a traumatic brain injury, like why he hid his laptop, or what went down the night his coworker Tanya disappeared. While Black Lives Matter activists clash with police over the lack of interest in finding her, Fletcher must follow clues he left himself to uncover what happened before he becomes a suspect.


Blood trickles down my brow, but I don’t wipe it off. My sleep-deprived eyes focus on my bathroom mirror, at the crater of a wound marring my black skin near my temple, willing it to tell me its secrets. Ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s maddening.

My phone trills on my nightstand. I go back into the bedroom. Blood stains my pillow next to some crinkled gauze. A glass of water beside my phone has blood smeared on it, too. I must have gotten thirsty before bed. No big deal. The phone flashes “1st Day Back to Work—9:00 A.M.”

My head pulses. The pain rips me toward a flash of a charcoal-colored Toyota Camry. It’s mangled. The passenger-side crushed. Windows shattered. Airbags puffed out, frozen in time. The car looks like mine, but I can’t be sure. The memory is on the tip of my consciousness, but shrouded in dense fog. I can’t see past it, so I shake the thought away.

Floorboards creak under my weight as I walk down the hall, in search of paper towels to clean my head. The dining room table is empty except for a white power cord. I see a dry, red substance staining the cord and the table. When I get closer, the penny-like copper scent confirms my suspicions. More blood.

But blood doesn’t bother me. It never did.

What bothers me is my laptop. It’s gone.



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