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Wednesday, 23 January 2013  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

NAME: Holly Dodson
MENTOR: Danielle Ellison
GENRE: YA Magical Realism


PITCH: Seventeen-year-old Delia is hearing voices, and when they lead her and her best friends to a legendary forest, they find themselves faced with solving a riddle to save their lives.

I have six weeks to live. Brain tumor. Inoperable. The words don’t seem real. 

This is the same thing that killed my mom. College starts in eight weeks, and I won’t be alive to get there.

This can’t be happening. 

How will I tell my friends? 

A flash of movement in the corner of the changing room and a whimper has me whirling around to see who could have snuck in. But no one is there. I blink and rub my hands across my face. It must have been a trick of the light.

Maybe my brain is already failing.

Dad is at the door in an instant, guiding me by the shoulders down the hall toward the elevator. Toward what little life I have left.

The murals on the walls that seemed cute and cheerful before have a darker tinge. The teddy bear’s gaze is somehow foreboding now, where it was delighted before.

That sensation of being watched follows me. Maybe people can sense that I’m dying. They all see a dead girl walking. Or maybe it’s my imagination.

When Dad and I reach the elevator, he presses the button while keeping one hand on my shoulder. It dings a moment later, the doors swishing open to reveal one of the last people I want to face right now: Blair. 

We both freeze. Her tiny features scrunch up as she assesses me.

“Delia? What are you doing here?” Blair asks with a half smile and a raised brow.

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