Mentor Name: Julie Dao
Mentee Name: Lorien Hallama
Title: BITS AND PIECES
Word Count: 50,020
13-year-old Quinn Parker uncovers a centuries-old-mystery that threatens her whole town. After learning the awful truth about her neighbors, ‘The Oldies’, and the gruesome secret of how they stay young, Quinn faces a race against time to expose them before she becomes their next victim.
Before he died, my dad warned us about Stine Street.
“You ever notice that our neighbors don’t age?” he asked Mom and me at dinner. “They seem to get younger by the minute. Just the other day I saw Mr. Wayne sprinting laps around the pond. Sprinting! You believe that? It’s like he went out and got a new pair of legs or something.”
Mom smirked as she passed the potatoes and told him to get real.
“This is real,” Dad insisted. “I’m telling you, one day you’ll be sitting at this very table saying, Wow, James was right. If only I had listened to him.”
“Oh, if only.” At that Mom laughed like Dad was the funniest man on earth. After all, it was her idea to move to Stine Street, AKA, Senior Street, AKA the Dead End Street Where No One Ever Dies.
My friends and I call our neighbors “The Oldies”. Mom tells me it’s not a very nice nickname.
“With any luck, Quinn, we’ll all live long enough to be as old and look as good as them one day,” she says. I tell Mom that’s the problem: they look too good for their age. It’s like they keep getting younger instead of older. Mom tells me I sound as paranoid as my dad. Then I guess that makes me Team Dad all the way. He was a cop. He had great instincts, so if he believed that something was up with the Oldies, then something was up with the Oldies.