Name: Mads Bertasio (@madsbertasio)
Genre: Diverse YA Fantasy
35 Word Pitch: Blake finds out he’s prophesied to fight immortal, genocidal Elites. His premonitions foresee him becoming their puppet and ultimate weapon for a second genocide, but running and hiding spells certain death for his newfound friends.
Blake crept across the creaking floorboards. His mother would’ve hated to see what her perfect home had become since she and his father disappeared. Good--after all, the house wasn’t all that they had abandoned. He flicked a finger out, pushing a vase from its pedestal, not looking back as it shattered.
He was poised for this final act of defiance. After more attempts than he could count over the two years they’d been gone, he finally stood in front of the place they'd forbidden him his entire childhood. He hoped to find answers behind those doors, but even if the police cleared it out, he wanted to see; wanted to stand in the room and strike a last blow against their neglect.
After all of this time, the leaden knot still sat in his gut at breaking the rules. He drew closer; the air charged with electricity. He was like a little kid getting caught playing tricks on the maid. This was a close as he’d gotten. Whether it be Charlie catching him, or his own nerves, he never made it all the way to the doors of his parents’ quarters before. After this, he could move on from that part of his life--put it behind him once and for all. People would still whisper to each other when he passed, eyes drawn with pity, but at least he could move on. Maybe nothing important was in there, but it's where they were taken from, and the only part of this old mansion he never explored. There would be nothing new to discover after this, and that had to be for the best. They were gone and he needed to move on.
Holding his breath, he reached out to touch the doorknob, jerking back as a shock jolted through his hand. It hurt more than simple static, like a warning. Maybe he should stop here--be proud he made it this far and come back next week, but… Blake punched at the door. No, he was too close to give up again. Blake reached out with both hands, tapping the knobs to test that he wouldn’t get shocked again before taking hold. He could do this. Three…two...one—
A creak sounded behind Blake, setting his teeth on edge. Logic told him it was just Charlie. The officer had been busting Blake for breaking into the old Clive mansion since the very first time he tried, but it wasn’t like him to be so quiet, and he certainly wasn’t built for stealth. Maybe it was the creeping foreboding in the place making him mistake every creak and groan for someone following him. Or, he was looking for a reason to back out. He could just look behind him and prove there was nothing to worry about—that there weren’t eyes staring hard into the back of his head like a looming threat—but, somehow, not knowing seemed safer. Closing his eyes, he pressed his forehead to the cool wooden doors. Just turn and push.