Category: Young Adult
Title: WE WHO REMAIN
Word Count: 75,000
Three Sentence Pitch:
An African-inspired fantasy of a young aspiring scientist who befriends an “untouchable” preparer of the dead and joins him to do the unthinkable–grave robbing–to stop a deadly plague ravaging her world.
Any use of the word “science” makes my heart skip a beat, so a few of you already have my full attention already. Where I live it seems science and fantasy blend at the edges and I have to say Jabberwocky, you sound like you also understand the gritty and the fantastical that run in parallel here, still I would not count any of you out, honestly.
A bright, passionate female scientist, a plague rife with a hidden conspiracy, grave robbing, an extremely forbidden romance, and flying machines? What’s not to like?
First 200 Words:
The man stood before them, waiting to die.
He was a criminal, worse, a murderer. Kanoro Mambe. The faces of the seven women swam before Eshe’s mind. Though she did not know them, she imagined how the knife must have burned as it cut through their flesh. Watching him, she felt sick. But worse, it felt like they were becoming what he was by doing this. Life is sacred, she thought. Life is sacred.
She glared, wishing with every part of her being he could feel this hatred and revulsion roiling inside her. They were scientists. They were meant to help people, not butcher them.
Genet grabbed her hand. Her friend knew her too well, better than a sister. Eshe flexed her clammy fingers, trying to give new life to them. It was difficult to breathe, but it didn’t matter. No one wanted to be there, but all of them had to watch.
Death was never taken lightly in the archipelago. Their country valued the sanctity of life, unlike some others. She searched the vast crowd until she saw the two ambassadors from Venira who had insisted they come and view this proceeding. Barbarians.