Wow, I was literally shaking as I frantically refreshed my browser to try and get into The Writer's Voice competition hosted by Cupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Monica B.W. of Love YA, and Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.).
Thanks to all of you for doing this!
Query: THE CRICKET PROJECT (YA Science Fiction)
Sixteen year old Lyra Altair, a genius by every measure, is thoroughly perplexed. Stars don’t fall out of the sky and they most certainly don’t just disappear. But Spica, of the constellation Virgo, is gone.
Lyra approaches her father, lead astronomer for Space Exploration and Discovery (SEAD) but her questions go unanswered and that is unacceptable. Sneaking into his place of employment, Lyra discovers the StarCatcher, a machine which captures stars and uses their energy to grant any wish desired. Those within the perimeter of the SEAD building at the time of the wish are the only people who know the world has been altered.
AIDS ceases to exist and a natural disaster is averted. But when a terrorist group attacks, the
government has little patience left. They want to use the StarCatcher to force countries
housing radicals to become US territories, allowing them to root out the
terrorists and bring the planet one step closer to world peace.
Lyra’s had her world changed without her consent and is horrified countries will lose their sovereignty via a wish upon a star. She pleads with her dad, but he pushes it off as the government’s problem. His interests lie in science. With no other option, Lyra turns to the electronic genius of her best friend, Darren, putting both his freedom and her own on the line.
They must reveal The Cricket Project and let the world decide what wishes are worth the price of a star.
First 250 words
“Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the best interview in the history of interviews. But give yourself a break, Lyra. It was your first one,” Darren tries to assure me, raising his head of thick, black hair from the telescope. I let him go first because I’m too busy wallowing in my pathetic attempt at an interview after our high school Academic Decathlon competition. Which now, thanks to the nightly news, just played for all of
Arizona to see.
“I looked like a total nerd. A loser. Self absorbed. I worked really hard.” I repeat the words from my interview in a mocking tone, tucking my hands into my flannel shirt.
Darren shrugs, not bothering to look up from the scope. “You are a nerd.” His dark brown, almost black eyes meet mine. “But you’re not a loser.”
I give him a fake pout and twirl my hair, not bothering to stop the annoying habit. A few pieces are stuck in my fingers after I’m done and I discard the strawberry blonde strands out the window of the tree house.
Darren cocks his head and comes to sit next to me. “If everyone knew you like I do, they’d know you’re not self absorbed…most of the time.”
A small smile spreads across my face. It’s an automatic reaction to Darren’s. He punches me lightly on the shoulder. “You work really hard and expect a lot from yourself and others. Most people don’t live up to your expectations. We leave you disappointed.”