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35-Word pitch: When Annie is busted for selling her foster parents’ meth, she’s placed in an alternative rehab in program to become a vice cop working child exploitation cases. Her options? Cooperate or go to jail.
500 word sample:
There are days when you wish you could hit the rewind, crawl back under the covers, and have a serious do-over. Like days when you get caught with twenty bags of meth in your backpack on the way to gym class because the vice principal’s had it in for you since the first day of the term. Days when the best thing you can hope for is a cop car with good air conditioning on your ride into the tank.
"She's clean, says the big goon that doubles as the school rent-a-cop as he waves the test-stick in front of my face like I just won the lottery. His face shines with sweat. He's nervous and twitchy, like he expects me to go all Joker on him and make my yellow, No. 2, Ticonderoga pencil disappear up his nose.
"No duh, Sherlock," I spit back at him and toss my hair over my shoulder. He glares at me and I sink deeper into the protective shell of my old, army jacket.
He’s waiting for me to write up my statement on the bright yellow legal pad he dropped in front of me. He’s gonna be waiting a heck of a long time.
"Her urine might be clean, but if she's dealing in this poison, she's got to be using it too." Principal Jack-Off waves at the twenty-dollar bags lying on his desk—bags that I hid in the ripped lining of my backpack, ready for delivery after school to a half-dozen, loyal customers.
Really? Since when is he an expert on what I’d willingly put in my body? Battery acid? Drain cleaner? Antifreeze? I know what's in that stuff—poison.
It’s my own personal brand, and you won't catch me using it to clean the locker room urinal.
"Where did you get the meth, Annie?"
Where? That’s not a complicated question from where I’m sitting. In my life, that's like asking me what I ate for breakfast. Crank's my life. But not by choice. Never by choice.
A knock on the door prevents me from telling the principal what part of his anatomy he should search for his answer. Two big-as-the-doorway, Pennsylvania state cops fill the tiny hallway outside the office like monstrous, gray thunderheads blocking the last rays of my sunshine.
Their hands hover near their guns.
Hello! Teenager over here, not a Charlie Manson look-a-like. Jeez! Does everyone think I’m about to lose it?
I swallow hard as my heart pounds jackrabbit fast. I will my hands not to shake.
From somewhere far away behind me, I hear the principal ask me again, "Where did you get the meth?" But I’m not listening to him anymore. I’m not really here. This is all so screwed up.
“You’re smart. Figure it out,” I snap as I pick at the frayed strings escaping from a tear in my jeans.