Title: There’s Something About Earth
Entry Nickname: Where’s Will Smith When We Need Him?
Word Count: 83,000
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
When Clover Martinez – 17-year-old pilot and astronaut in training – returns from a camping trip to find the human race obliterated, she knows her dreams of space have gone south.
Six months ago, alien spaceships landed on Earth and sent the planet on an uproar. After months of waiting and no sign of life, the buzz quiets down – only for the aliens to take humanity by surprise and launch a massive attack. Struggling to come to terms with what has happened, Clover battles PTSD and suicidal thoughts while she’s on the run.
After half a year thinking she’s the last of her kind, Clover discovers survivors in former area 51, the self-titled “Last Teenagers on Earth”. Finally, someone who will fight with her.
What Clover isn’t expecting is their unwillingness to take on the enemy and risk their lives in a hopeless endeavor. Not a single person will stand by Clover and worse, one of them isn’t who they’re claiming to be. Surrounded by enemies, Clover needs to tell friend from foe apart and find answers before the aliens attack and destroy the last stronghold of humanity.
If Clover wants to live, she needs to convince her friends to fight back – and most of all, convince herself there’s more waiting for her than a bullet to her head.
First 250 words:
My abuelo used to say there were people who belong to the Earth, and others, like us Martinez, belong to the Sky.
There’s nothing like the feeling of rising in the air, feeling the wings of the plane accelerate beneath you, and the sinking of your stomach on the excitement of getting off the ground. Adrenaline rushing through our veins, laughing blindly to the sun. Dreaming about the day I wasn’t going to fly a plane, but pilot a solo mission beyond the International Space Station.
All that gone from the day the aliens spaceships landed on Earth’s backyard six months ago and never left.
One of them looms near, standing by the side of the road. They are shaped like pears, all smooth iron surface, closed up like oysters, the one constant reminder that there was no longer a safe space in the sky. By now, everyone’s taken the alien ships as a part of the landscape. Noah hits his foot on the pedal, but no cars travel the road of the inhospitable mountainside.
“Cheer up, Clover,” Noah says by my side, hands on the steering wheel of his red pick-up truck. “You look like you’ve seen an alien.”
He laughs, putting one of his hands on my knees, squeezing it. I’m used to the gestures — the small touches of reassurance that he needs. It’s the joke that makes it worse. We haven’t seen any aliens since the ships arrived, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.