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PW #358: Young Adult Contemporary, Own Voices: WE ARE NOT ALONE

Friday, 4 November 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: Tabitha Martin
Mentee: Lisa Moore Ramee
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Own Voices
Word Count: 69,000


THE BREAKFAST CLUB meets THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW – When a sinkhole traps sixteen-year-old Nia and her classmates, they must fight to survive against hunger, paranoia, and the serial killer trapped with them.


The hardest part wasn’t sneaking out, it was stealing back in. That’s when you’d get busted. That’s when a stuck window or a squeaky floor would give you away.

Crickets chirped like car alarms and my head was spinning. No, the street was spinning. Black asphalt swished like a panther’s tail. Flicking from side to side. Flying up and slamming back down. I couldn’t find my balance.

A cold breeze swung down the driveway and I shivered in my t-shirt. I’d been in such a hurry to bail; I must’ve left my jacket in the car.

Our porch light was out, but a slice of the moon gave me just enough light to see. I wasn’t sure what time it was, but it was late, or early I guess. Not that it mattered. Missing my curfew wasn’t the issue.

The back edge of the house folded and moved to my left. Booze glasses. That’s what Liz called the watery, twisted view of the world after too many drinks. I dug my nails into my palms and tried to focus.

A shadow moved behind a tree. I froze. Someone was there.

I crept toward a row of bushes. The shadow moved with me and grew. The crickets went silent.

There was nowhere to hide.

I stumbled down the driveway. Every step I took, the shadow took one too, and got bigger.

My breathing was so loud it echoed.


It was a whisper, a plea.

I thought of the bogeyman and the Sedemore Slasher and zombies. If I didn’t turn. If I didn’t look, it couldn’t catch me.


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