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PW #372: Young Adult Taiwanese Horror (Own Voices): HUNGRY GHOSTS

Friday, 4 November 2016  |  Posted by Heather Cashman

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentors: Janella Angeles and Axie Oh
Mentee: Judy Lin
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Taiwanese Horror (Own Voices)
Word Count: 85,000


Food blogger Lydia thinks she’s starring in her own Taiwanese drama when she devours photo-worthy meals and encounters mean girls and cute boys at her overseas camp. But when life drastically shifts into an Asian horror movie after a vengeful spirit is unleashed upon campus, Lydia must defeat the ghost before it all goes to hell…literally.


What Air Canada serves us for breakfast on the flight to Taiwan looks like yellow vomit. I poke it with a fork and watch it jiggle in its little plastic compartment. Jurassic Park-style.

“Does this look like it’s spelling out a message?” I ask my seatmate, pointing out the red and green flecks that dot the surface. Help me. I’m trapped as an amorphous blob.

My cousin Maggie leans over the armrest and peers at my tray. “Or it could be peppers. It doesn’t look that bad.”

“I’d offer to trade but I don’t think yours is any better.” Her Chinese breakfast option is congee, the rice porridge we grew up eating. Except the dish I’m used to contains tasty pieces of meat, spicy bamboo shoots and crunchy peanuts, while hers is more soup than porridge. Squinting at her tray, I can make out a few slivers of shredded pork.

“Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you’re a food critic now.” She sniffs and dips her spoon into her bowl.

“You don’t have my discerning palate.”

Maggie rolls her eyes and blows daintily on her spoonful of congee.

I pull out my cell and take a picture of the omelet, along with its companions: a lump
of noodles sitting in a thin brown sauce, and a tired-looking fruit salad. I’m going to put together a post for the blog. People shouldn’t suffer through this travesty while stuck on a twelve-hour flight.


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