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Super Intern Contest – DUALITY

Wednesday, 13 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 104,000
Dear Ms. Chapman:
If Dima could remember her life, she’s damn sure she’d want it back.
The Humani Project’s latest test subject believes she’s human, but her sleek black fur, claws, and tail make that seem impossible. Her only clue to an existence before panther DNA was spliced to hers is a name—Janelle.
Imprisoned in a Phoenix, Arizona lab, Dima must complete the grueling, and often deadly, physical exams administered by resident jackass Dr. Frederick James, who makes Dima’s life miserable at every turn. To survive the tests, she must tame the wild animal that wants to take over. But to survive James’ cruelty, she has to escape. Only she has no idea how.
When she fails a combat assessment and is nearly killed by her opponent, she’s surprised that the project’s founder, Dr. Lorenzo Fernandez, breaks protocol to save her. When he calls her “Janelle,” she realizes the scientists have erased someone they knew. Now she has a reason to stay, despite the danger.
With her human side begging her to stay and her panther side pushing her to leave, Dima must choose. Follow her heart and learn the truth behind her change, or follow her instincts and run.
Good thing cats have nine lives—she’ll need every one of them.
DUALITY is a work of science fiction with romantic elements complete at 104,000 words. It is a stand-alone novel with series potential.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
250-word excerpt:
Claws popped from my fingertips every time I stretched my hands.
It tingled, but didn’t hurt, not like the rest of my body. The sensation was both natural and foreign, muscles and tendons I didn’t know I had contracting and relaxing with the movement. I’d freaked out when I saw the black fur leading to the claws. That was the second time they’d upped my morphine. The first time was after my tongue had brushed against fang.
The steady, faithful morphine drip, now on its highest setting according to the a gray-haired nurse—the only one who would speak to me—barely dented the pain ransacking every nerve, muscle, and bone. Waves of agony rolled from my feet to my head and crashed against everything in between. But somehow it kept my mind safe, stable. Human. Didn’t matter much. Too little information left me with questions no one would answer.
The brunette, a waif in a too-large white coat, had mentioned cardiac arrest. She’d said a lot of other things, too, most of which I ignored. She kept calling me a name I didn’t recognize but thought I knew from somewhere. I couldn’t ask about it, though. The “stress of the procedure” had frozen my vocal cords; however, she spoke like she didn’t expect me to have a voice at all.
They should have just let me die. No doubt it would have hurt a helluva lot less.
Today was Day Four, if I’d counted correctly.

Filed: Contests, Misc


    I like the way you present the hook in this. It’s kind of interesting the whole Panther/Human thing. I don’t understand why someone calling her Janelle, suddenly causes her to stay though? Doesn’t see still want to escape? What is she staying for? I think that needs to be made more clear since it looks like an important part of the story. I need more to believe she’d stay at that place.


    I like this. I can feel the confusion. It comes through in the writing. I really like the last line of this. It gives us a timeline and really punches up the stuff before. I’m not sure if I’m sold on this enough to read more though.

    Thank you for sharing your work ;o)

  • lexcade says:

    Thanks for the comments, Erica 🙂 Much appreciated. I’ll take a look at the query and see if I can clarify.

  • You’re very welcome!!

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