Thursday, April 17, 2014

#NestPitch SB2: Reverse Cascade

Category/Genre: YA Contemporary

Word Count: 48,000

Pitch: Jake transfers into a school that has suffered a shooting. He forms a circus arts club to bring fun and attract Sara, but the school is still grieving and may not be ready to heal.

If the MC was an Easter egg...

Jake says, “I’d be a clear sugar crystal Easter egg, perfect for catching the light and sending weird shadows as I rolled along a forearm or across a shoulder.” 

Excerpt: 

Unicycles make people laugh. They smile and clap their hands. They watch to see if you’ll fall.

That’s why I skipped the cheese wagon and pedaled off for my first day at Patrick Henry High School. I wanted to hear some cheers, and I wanted everyone to know when I arrived.

I needed the boost after the crappy way the day had started. For the first time since third grade, Mom made me pass wardrobe inspection. “It’s a new school, and they have guidelines.”

Yeah. We’re not in Baltimore anymore. Those Rocky Mountains? My first clue my friends were a millions of miles away. And guidelines? Strictures. Orders. Commandments. There had been a shooting at the school a year ago. National news. Now an inch-thick book of rules covered everything from “Jokes and Appropriate Humor” to “Manner of Dress.” Which is why I wore a plain red sweatshirt and jeans that had been ironed. This was a compromise from the button-down shirt and khakis she wanted. And marked me as a total loser.

So riding a unicycle was plain survival.

Patrick Henry was a mile from home. I'd googled up a map of side roads to get me there. You don't want to distract drivers who are zipping along a main road.

A block away from my house, I came up on two little kids being walked to their bus stop by their mom. As I rolled by, they both pointed and tugged at her hands. I waved and gave a bobwhite whistle. The mother tugged them in closer, but then she smiled.

I turned the corner, and I came across two girls my age. They wore skirts, something that wasn't too common back home. I rode up close. I matched their pace, waiting for them to notice.

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