Rachel Stevenson @whatshewrote
title: Traveler's Epic
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pitch: EYE OF MINDS meets PRINCESS BRIDE: Two bickering brothers leap into a plague-ridden Renaissance world, hoping to save it before its creators... their dad and his friends ... destroy it.
Vosh swirled his milk in his tea as he hopped on one foot down the squawking stairs. He squinted at the dust hovering in the sun’s glare through the multi-colored front windows.
“Stop bouncing around!” Mum ordered from upstairs. Loudly. She had to yell to be heard over Tarson banging around on his stupid drums. Couldn’t an intellectual get any quiet?
“I stubbed my toe.” Vosh landed with a thud on the floor and his tea jumped to slap his chin. Something was moving in the front yard.
“Ah, see that’s more excusable.”
“No, it isn’t!” Tarson shouted, and hit something noisy.
Vosh’s whole family lived with exclamation points defining their entire lifestyle. Normally, such awful din signaled a sense of stability in his house. But this was no time for racket. Not when the world was ending and Vosh might gain himself an actual criminal record. Worst of all, about ninety percent of him was certain Tarson stalked him to the Department the other night about a week ago. He swallowed tea, tossed both his coat over his shoulders and the glass on the counter in one move, and opened the door.
“I’m going out, Mum!” he called.
“All right! Be back for dinner.”
Vosh sighed as he slammed the door. The impact sent all the bells and chimes on their porch into a jingling frenzy. He slid a hat over his hair and twisted his lips as he turned around. “I don’t know if I’ll come back at all, Mum.”
He stopped short. Blue eyes met his, set in a small figure surrounded by at least fifty tons of pink glow glitter dumped all over the lawn he just mowed yesterday.
FESTIVAL, TARSON? the glitter asked.
“Oh, hello, Vosh,” the girl said. She hugged herself. “Don’t tell Tarson, please. I haven’t finished yet.”
She pointed at a stack of unlit sparkler candles. Once Dalec lit a ton underneath their advanced mathematics professor’s desk and ended class prematurely in a chaotic cloud of smoke and purple sparkles. The memory was almost as amusing as the visual of Tarson dressed up for a formal, but Vosh didn’t have time to be amused.
No one did.
“Have fun,” he said. He pushed past her, hopped over the glitter-letters and dashed headlong into the street.
The universitas’ spire poked out of the horizon in front of the city’s dark skyline. Already people clogged the entryway, some holding signs and waving flags. Vosh jiggled his contacter out of his coat pocket as his feet slapped the road.
“Any update?” he asked it.
“C’mon, c’mon,” he muttered as he skidded to a stop in front of the shoving crowd. He elbowed his way toward the entrance, where three irritated guards in bright yellow stood waving staffs at protestors’ legs.
“The ON are immoral! Vote them out!” shouted a sign holder.
Vosh bent his head and edged to the guards, student identification sheet curled in his fist, when a woman grabbed his shoulder and shook it.