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PW #244: YA Psychological Thriller: TRUTH IS

Monday, 2 November 2015  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

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Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Stacey Trombley
Mentee Name: Amanda Searcy
Category: YA
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Word Count: 75,000


Kayla’s plan to escape her poverty stricken home is derailed when she falls for a charismatic boy hiding a deadly secret.

Every time her phone flashes, Betsy has twenty-four hours to respond or the nightmare from her past will hunt her down.

The two girls are separated by hundreds of miles but trapped in the same dangerous conspiracy.

Only one will make it out alive.


I can’t see it, but I know it’s there.


Beat. Beat. Flash.

Beat. Beat. Flash.

One persistent pulse of the red message light for every two beats of my heart.

Beat. Beat. Flash.

Under the bed, in the arms of a teddy bear, wrapped in a sweatshirt, zipped in a duffle bag, the flash cuts through my brain.

You self-centered little bitch, it screams. It’s all your fault.

It’s hot as hell in here. The heavy curtains printed with unicorns and rainbows block out some of the sun, but not enough to keep me from suffocating in this oven. Above my head, a stream of tepid air spills out of the ceiling vent and deposits a thin layer of sand over everything. Whenever I blow it off, it comes back.

It’s a sick joke.

All of it. The sand, the sun, the unicorns. This place I’m supposed to call home.

Months ago the shuttle driver from the El Paso airport deserted us here. Somewhere near the Mexican border. Nowhere near anywhere else.

Beat. Beat. Flash.

I’ve left it for twenty-three and a half hours this time. If I don’t call him back before it hits twenty-four, the black burner phone will stop blinking. Then he’ll send someone to kill me.

It’s my choice. Whatever that means


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