Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: Nikki Roberti
Mentee Name: Allison Dillon
Title: STRIKE TWICE
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy
Word Count: 99,000
Abducted by space thieves, an exiled girl discovers that while she may not be the “chosen one” to save her planet, she has the power to persuade the one who can. FIREFLY meets UNDER THE NEVER SKY.
Storms remind me of everything I will never be.
Clouds knit on the horizon. A splash of silver on a star-studded canvas. The sands dance, drawn into little vortexes, then brushed flat by gusts.
I smooth my star chart across my lap, legs dangling over the windowsill. The parchment corners flap as I double-check the new additions—a yellowish star to the north and a tiny, white one to the east. If I could pilot a starship, I would fly to them. There must be so much beyond here. So much I will never see.
“Elysia!” Mom’s voice carries from downstairs, and I scramble to catch my pencil before it rolls off the sill.
“Coming!” I retreat into my room, where the air smells like oil and spices. Parchment sheets cover the floor, some splattered with raindrops. Others torn and wrinkled. I shove them into a messy pile under my bed. My parents don’t need to know about all the daydreaming I do.
Fastening the waist of my stained apron, I rush down the stairs and emerge in the family tavern.
Forks clink and voices chatter. Travelers and villagers occupy every stool, stacked beside each other like the seasonings in Mom’s kitchen. Some sing and sway, spilling their drinks. Others hold quiet conversations, tucked in the room’s corners.
I weave through the crowd. Our regular customers wave, asking if I want to listen to their stories. Any other night, I would. Tonight I say, “Sorry, I have to help my mom.”
Really, I wish I was out in the storm.