Mar 10, 2010

Query-Standing Asleep

Dear Query Slushpile,

Homecoming Queen Mandy doesn’t like her home town, assigned homework topics or her lip gloss smeared. When her English teacher gives her the assignment to write a paper on the missing youth in Holden, Mandy laughs through her candy-apple red lips; until she finds herself in the middle of intrigue and mystery.
Mandy figures her English assignment will be easy until she starts interviewing locals for her paper; most of them believe in the stories of alien abductions. Mandy chases clues from the town drunk to the mayor to old mines. As she gets closer to the truth, she finds she and her family are more involved than she could guess.
For one, all the missing youth are boys. And second: they are the same age. Then her underwear-model boyfriend goes missing and Mandy decides there is more to her paper than she realizes. What she discovers next brings many of Holden’s prominent citizens together to rescue the boys before they disappear for good.
Will she solve the mystery in time? And will she get an ‘A’ on her English paper?
“Standing Asleep” is 40000 YA Sci/Fi.
Thank you for your time and consideration.


He looked around, careful not to move his head. He was here again, closer to his escape away from the monsters that brought him here. Why was he here? He looked slowly to his left and saw the newest victim. Younger than most the monsters had taken and he was slim built, tall and dressed in white; like himself and all the others.
He closed his eyes. He didn’t know how long it had been since he was taken from his home. Years most likely. Everyday he worked on his escape and every time he escaped he was caught. Each time, the monsters made him sleep again.
Mandy had only been inside the jail once when she was ten years-old. The jail had seemed huge and scary then. But today when Mandy pulled up to the jail it didn’t feel as impressive. Mandy smiled. She was much more mature now.
A guard showed her into a room just like the ones she saw in the movies: Plexiglas windows, an old chair and phone. Mandy got her supplies out and nervously arranged her pencils into a straight line. She glanced up when she heard the lock open on her side of the Plexiglas. An older woman shuffled to an empty chair and sat.
What am I doing here? Quickly, Mandy shoved her stuff back in her pack. She reached for the recorder and her hand froze.
Steve was sitting in front of her. He looked awful, which was an improvement. Mandy couldn’t take her eyes off his weathered and stubble-lined face. His mouth opened in what Mandy could only believe was a smile. It revealed broken and missing teeth. He picked up his phone and waited for Mandy to do the same.
“Hey missy,” he croaked when she put the receiver to her ear. Mandy held her breath, as if she’d be afflicted by his bad breath.
“It’s Mandy,” she corrected without thinking.
“I know who you are,” he said. “Whaddya want?”
“I uh, need to do an interview for a class.”
While he cackled she looked at his clothes. He wore a tattered red sweater which hung limply over a dirty t-shirt that read, ‘This Earth is mine!’ Didn’t prisoners have to wear black and white stripes or something?
“Maybe you want to hear my story?” If possible, his eyes sparkled.
“Sure, Steve, that’d be great,” she said with crafted nonchalance. It was exactly what she wanted.