Title: THE WAXLING
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Pitch: Wax girl Sarah’s heart is a carved seed, storing her emotions and empowering her last great wish. A miracle Blake needs to save his mother. But when he steals her heart, he loses his own.
The mannequin glared at me.
I had chosen this seat for the vantage of the bus driver eating a hot pocket at the counter, the view of the clock ticking down to 8:30 p.m., and the fact that the stupid mannequins at the gift shop were facing away from me, but now one white faceless statue stared me down from beneath a Welcome to Tacoma baseball hat.
I clutched my bag handles to my chest and changed seats so my back was to the gift shop. My new seat squeaked, drawing the attention of a young family a row over. They had a little kid with them, maybe seven or eight, who slept on his mother’s shoulder.
My eyes stung so I closed them.
Mattie would be okay without me. He didn’t need his big sister.
I had to think for myself here. He’s not the Protector. They aren’t going to train him the way they trained me. They aren’t going to break him the way they broke me.
Taylor Swift sang through the bus station sound system as I looked up at the clock. Seven minutes until boarding. Seven minutes until freedom.
They’ll all be okay without me.
My heel bounced on the linoleum letting out a crack, crack, crack like a soft drumming. The dad looked up at me, and I could see him look twice; once to see me, once to judge me. I knew the verdict. My ancient blue polyester dress clung to my sides from sweat and my long braid poofed up around my bangs like I was a runaway polygamous bride. I know he pegged me as a member of a cult, and I hated it.
I hated that it was sort of true.
Someone sat down in the chair next to me. I didn’t need to look up to know who it was. I knew Henry by his smell-- campfire smoke, sweat, and the soft taint of wax. I knew him by the ink that stained his fingertips, the scar on his wrist from years ago when he fell off the top of the stone wall that surrounded the Singer Compound. I knew him from the warmth of his knee brushing against mine.
I knew they would send him. Henry was my prison walls.
The driver took a last bite of his hot pocket and wiped the grease on his uniform. I looked up at the clock. Four minutes. “I bought two tickets. Just in case,” I said.
Henry closed his eyes and rubbed the back of his neck. “Ari…”
“Come with me.”
The florescent lights highlighted the line of his nose. His floppy blond hair hung over his gold-framed glasses. He sighed and I glared at the vending machines. He didn’t even have to say a thing; I know his sighs.
“You know it wouldn’t work. They’d come after us. You’re the--"“—I know what I am. And I know what I can do. Come with me.--