Manuscript Status: 2 weeks delivery
Mentor Name: Kate Foster
Mentee Name: Kimberly Fernando
Title: THE HALF MILLENIUM CURSE
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy Retelling
Word Count: 50,000
Rama and Sita Retelling. Terrified of demons, Kavindi is content living in a cage underground. She’s safer there than caught up in the demon war—that’s what her caretaker, Ms. Hiruni, tells her. But Kavindi’s trust is shaken when a mysterious girl starts visiting instead of Ms. Hiruni, claiming there are no demons or war. Unsure what to believe, Kavindi must make a decision—let fear keep her locked up forever, or discover what does exist in the outside world.
My cage rolls across the dark side of the dungeon. The wheels grind against the ancient stone as my home inches along the pulley. I don’t mind the time I spend in the shadows. But I do resent that only a single candle is lit. I can’t read by the light of one flickering flame or gaze at the sacred text of the gods etched in the stone beneath me.
Ishan is at the nook clear across the moat for his daily washing and leg stretching. Ten minutes is all he gets for a scrub and a quick fencing lesson, and then our assigned caretaker, Ms. Hiruni, is gone for twelve hours until it’s my turn.
I can’t see Ms. Hiruni or Ishan hidden behind the stone divider on the far side of the moat. But most of the time I hear what they say. Sometimes I even see their candlelit shadows dancing over the gilded glyphs on the wall.
“Ishan, did I not tell you two seconds ago to stand up straight?” Ms. Hiruni’s high voice echoes through the vaulted chamber.
“I’m two heads taller than you. What makes you think I’m not standing straight?” my best friend counters. There is strength in his voice today and a dark edge in his tone.