SJ15: CLEVERLAND



Genre: YA Fiction
Word Count: 65,000

In a dark retelling of Peter Pan, Wendy Darling joins the ‘Lost Boys’, or burnouts of South Seattle High School, in the clandestine group ‘Cleverland’, pulling pranks on bullies with inspiration from banned books.

When a star dies, it collapses on itself. The outside shell is blown away, leaving nothing but the pure white core, waiting to fade to black as time goes on. Each passing day, it darkens. The purity of the core disintegrates, just like the purity of an aged heart. As time moves along, every ounce of cleanliness -every chance of a tabula rasa -slowly fades away. Something that was once intact and whole is nothing more than dead star. If the star is a supergiant, the core twists enough to become a black hole, where not even light can escape its jaws as it drinks everything in until it’s surrounded by nothing.


If I was a star, which would I be? Would I be small and disappear? Or would I destroy everything with me, like the supergiants?


The only thing that would liven my wandering mind during Freshman Orientation is a copy of Nietzsche and some absinthe. Neither is present, so I make do with what’s given, which isn’t much.


My freshman advisor’s standing in front of me in a raccoon hat, the tail drooping past his left eye, expecting me to take him seriously. A few kids giggle as he leads us through unfamiliar hallways. He sends them dirty looks. In my opinion, if you come to school with a taxidermy animal on your head, you’re fair game.

“I’m sure you’ve seen it all on television. You’ve seen the jock fall in love with the nerd.

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