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PW #334: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy (Own Voices): SURRENDER YOUR SONS

Friday, 4 November 2016  |  Posted by Nikki Roberti

MANUSCRIPT STATUS: Three weeks delivery

Mentor: Lisa Amowitz
Mentee: Adam Sass
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy (Own Voices)
Word Count: 95,000


In this LOST-inspired thriller, sixteen-year-old Marcos Major is spending his summer vacation at camp—one that wants to turn him straight.

Sent to Nightlight, a gay conversion camp on a secluded island, Marcos endures their program in the hopes it will “cure” his real problem: the electricity that shoots from his hand when he’s anxious. Which is basically all of the time.

As Marcos navigates treacherous campers and sadistic staff, dark secrets lurk in the jungle surrounding Nightlight. Someone wants more than to turn Marcos straight. They want his power. Even if it means killing him.



Chapter 1: Trouble in the Blood

I have to tell my favorite teacher that she’s going to die.

She’s not going to die right away, so I’m not a bad person for finishing my funnel cake first. I’ll let her enjoy the church fair and the sunshine and her granddaughter peeling the cornmeal casing off her corndog. But only for a minute. Her blood whispers to me that there’s not much time left.

Mrs. Penn’s blood isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Her granddaughter’s blood babbles uneventfully through her tiny, overall-clad body. Her husband’s blood rattles like a snare drum, but it still flows in the proper direction. But Mrs. Penn’s blood crashes against the lobes of her brain, flooding all available corners as it hisses in my ears like a tea-kettle.

The blood sound—the invisible electric fingers that send the town’s heartbeats whispering through my skull—finds me even at church.

It always finds me.

I squat on a church pew—the one chucked outside until someone fixes its busted leg. It’s high noon on Saturday during Hometown Days Church Fair and an open seat is worth more than gold.

“Hey, Major, your fat ass crack that pew in half?” somebody snickers.

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