Name: Maria Mainero @mariaannawittGenre: Contemporary Supernatural
New 35 word pitch:
A classmate crippled by Kelsey’s boyfriend in a car accident draws powers from his comic book art, and swaps bodies with her. She must stop his revenge against her boyfriend, or live his life forever.
It was the summer before senior year, and my boyfriend of two weeks might break up with me. No biggie. In eight solid years of experience with Dave, as my friend, he’d never let me down.
As my boyfriend?
Maybe I let him down.
I scanned the parking lot for Dave’s truck. “He’ll be here,” Darcie assured me. In front of us, the concrete break wall stretched out into Caseville Harbor, where Lake Huron rippled with tiny waves, blue and glassy, under the rosy sunset. We headed to the far end, toward the pile of large boulders in the water, and the sound of voices.
“It’s just Kelsey and Darcie.”
Queen Bree and her clone Cate were perched on the center rock like pink and blonde flamingoes in a flock of jocks and other seagulls. I ducked through the railing and stepped over the lapping water to the rocks. Just Kelsey. Not someone they wanted to see. Like Dave.
“Hi all!” I forced confidence into my voice, and squeezed onto a rock to sit with Darcie. One of the guys tilted a beer can in our direction. “Thanks,” I said, as Darcie held up her hand to decline. The icy aluminum in my palm made me shiver. This was a mistake. What if Dave did let me down?
“Too soon for shorts in Michigan,” Darcie said.
“They’re capris.” I scrunched up my self-pedicured toenails in Parlez-Bleu Francais.
Bree snickered. “You’re explaining fashion to someone who wears black jeans and flannel to the beach?”
“Were we supposed to wear pink?” Darcie looked Bree and Cate up and down. “If I ever do, kill me. Slit my throat, drench me in my own blood and bury me in a garbage bag. A black one.”
The girls rolled their eyes but Darcie didn’t flinch. I sipped my beer the way Dave had taught me at my first high school party. “Just drink a sip or two,” he told me. “Hold it for a while, then put it down somewhere. You can do that all night long, and never get wasted.”
No matter how many beers I abandoned, he always claimed I was buzzed when I tried to flirt with him. Always said he’d never take advantage of me. I always pretended to be grateful for that. Welcome to the friend zone. Our friendship was too important to screw up with a relationship. Yeah, he really said that. But for one wonderful week, I thought I proved him wrong. Then I proved him right.
“Just talk to him,” Darcie kept telling me on the drive up to Caseville. That’s what I dreaded. I knew what he’d say. This was a mistake, let’s just stay friends. I knew what would happen, the awkward conversations, the gradual distancing.
I knew what I’d feel. I was feeling it already, waking up from disturbing dreams where Dave refused to listen to me or take my side. But Darcie was right about one thing. I couldn’t avoid him any longer.