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Super Intern Contest – AN ABSENCE OF LIGHT

Wednesday, 13 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Genre: YA light Sci-Fi
Word Count: 90,000


The first time Leah saw the Shadows,they clung to the man who kidnapped and murdered her friend. That was the Shadows playing nice. After they murdered her family, Leah fled Los Angeles in a stolen BMW with one thing on her mind: survive long enough to kill the Shadows.

Leah doesn’t know why she alone can see the Shadows, or why they influence humans to commit rape, murder, and acts of terrorism. When she stumbles onto a small group of people who share her ability to detect the Shadows, she jumps at the chance to learn more—especially how to get rid of the vile things. The hot Shadow-hunter, Adam, makes the opportunity even sweeter. In studying the creatures, they piece together that the Shadows are preparing the next stage of their invasion of the human world, one that will leave humanity ripping itself to shreds.

As the band of hunters plan how to stop the invasion, they find out not all the Shadows are on earth to spread evil among humanity. Some are trying to convince the Shadows to return to their home world. To stop the invasion, Leah and the others must trust in the rebels before the Shadows choke the entire world with darkness. 

250-word excerpt:

The dark rind of dried blood wasn’t coming out from under my fingernails no matter how hard I scrubbed. I finally grabbed a paper towel to turn off the faucet and push open the graffiti-coated door.

The gas-station teller was reading Busty Babes in the Bedroom behind the counter, his eyes glossy as he turned the page.I dropped the bathroom key attached to the giant wooden dowel in front of him, biting back my “In your dreams” comment—the last thing I wanted was him remembering me.

Turning,I nearly ran into the cop behind me, her coffee in a mug so large it bordered on a bucket. I stepped out of her way, forcing a smile that probably looked more like a grimace.

Keep calm. She’s not here for you. No way the cops here had any idea to look for me so far from home. Not yet.

The stolen BMW out back was a different story. Was she waiting for me to return to it so she could pick me up? Had she even seen it?

I tried to walk slowly as I exited the store, though my feet wanted to take off sprinting. I went the opposite direction from the beamer, rounding the other side of the building and ducking behind the gated off area housing a propane tank. The cop’s cruiser sat out front and I could just make out its back bumper.

It was then I noticed the snaking coldness pool around me—coldness that had nothing to do with the curtain of grey fog that surrounded the station.

Filed: Contests, Misc

One Comment

    I like the idea of Shadows making people kill. I’m confused as to why you would start your first paragraph with the shadows murdering her friend and then follow up with them murdering her entire family. I would think you would start with that. Something like. The Shadows murdered my family. would be a sentence that would get my attention. This query has some good stuff in it, but I think it needs to be pared down and rearranged. to focus on the main plot and stakes. What does SHE have to lose if she doesn’t stop the Shadows? She’s already lost her family, is there enough stakes in this? I’m not sure.


    I like your voice in this. I also like how you introduce that there is blood under her nails. I’m wondering why that is. So that’s good, but I’d like to feel what she feels. What does running into that cop do to her? Do her palms start sweating? Does she ball her hands into fists? What about the gas station attendent, what does he smell like? I think if you add these sensory details it would help. it’s a nice start.

    Thank you for sharing your work ;o)

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