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Tuesday, 21 January 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

MENTOR: Sarah Henning

MENTEE: Dan Malossi


CATEGORY/GENRE: Adult Psychological Thriller

WORD COUNT: 91,000



Jude Fisher’s love is the kiss of death. Ever since his parents’ murder, anyone he cares for dies. Ten people in ten years, the last being beautiful, brave Angela, ruined right before Jude’s eyes. Haunted and hungry for answers, Jude journeys to upstate New York to confront the violent man who set the terrible curse in motion.



The vision came hard on Jude Fisher.

As always, it went like this: The frantic rush of headlamps (too fast, too close, too quickly on top of them), the white-hot starburst spurting across his visual field, a result of brain smashed against skullbone. The porcine squeal of wrenching metal. The heavy, industrial crunch of automotive exoskeleton. The sweet foulness of spilled blood, pouring and pooling.

My own? Am I dead?

Even worse, the watery whine dripping from his poor mother’s lips. Like a woman drowning, a gurgling scream. Over and over and night on night, since age twelve, this was Jude’s sleepscape.

It was hell.

After the wheels of their BMW had stopped spinning in the air, his mother dangled strangely from her overturned seat. Her lumbar spine had snapped upon impact, but little Jude couldn’t have known that. Wrenched sideways, still belted in, body twisted unnaturally. Bleeding arms, broken and hanging in topsy-turvy surrender. Her blood-smeared face hanging upside-down, just a few inches from Jude’s pinned hands. What would he have given to touch his poor mama’s face just one more time, to pull her down and hug her back to life?

And then the bad man came.

Jude could hear another car’s door slam, a few scraping steps. Like a zombie in those movies his father was just starting to let him watch.

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