Name: Gretchen Kaup
Title: The Mirage Shifter
Word Count: 56,000
MC’s Favorite Movie Genre: Aiden Flanagan loves action adventure, especially if they involve mutants or zombies. He knows how it feels to be a freak with an uncanny ability.
Pitch: Aiden, an overzealous twelve-year-old, crosses into a dreamworld, confronting irate dreamers, unseen beings, and multinational law enforcement as he races to wake his comatose friend before he’s trapped in a nightmare forever.
First 250 Words:
Jake is the mastermind behind our game, but without me he’d never win. He needs me, or at least, he needs my brain.
“Okay, we need to focus, Aiden,” Jake says, stopping in front of the Hallmark store.
The window display is full of red—hearts, balloons and cuddly bears—sickly reminders of the coming holiday.
“How many heads?” I ask, standing on my tiptoes to see over a huge, white teddy bear.
Jake is tall enough to see down every aisle and ducks to look between the heart-shaped balloons. “Only four,” he says. “One white-haired pompadour, a lovey-dovey couple and the nose-pierced clerk.”
“We should go for the pompadour,” I say as we sit on the mall bench facing the store.
Jake unzips his backpack, pulling out a sheet of paper. Before I can see what’s on it, he tapes it to the front of my shirt. It takes a moment for my eyes to adjust to reading the upside-down purple crayon writing:
Only $5 each lie detected
or we pay you!
“I’m not wearing this,” I say, starting to tear it off.
“No!” he complains, pushing on my chest until it sticks again. “People always try to weasel out of paying us. Now it’s in black and white.”
“Purple and white.”
“No one’s gonna pay $5,” I say, shaking my head.
“Yes they will. We just have to get the right crowd.”