Pitch Madness: SJ12 – THE LAST SUMMER AT SHADOW LAKE

Genre: Young Adult Horror

Word Count: 63,000

Pitch: Mia thinks she drowned her best friend and lied to cover it up. Years later, back at the lake, she learns the truth, which is way more horrifying than what she’s been led to believe.

Excerpt: The air hung steamy and thick as we pulled up the drive to the lake house. Over the past four years our old summer retreat existed only in my memories. Ones I’d tried hard to forget.

The house hadn’t weathered well since our last summer. The paint was peeling and the foliage was so overgrown, it looked like the trees and bushes were devouring the place. The smell of mold and wet moss wafted in the air as I climbed out of the car onto the stone drive. I looked around and shuddered. From where I was standing, I could see my best friend Sara’s old house as well as the path to the lake where her dead body had been floating after I killed her.

My mother handed me my bag and sighed. I knew she wasn’t any happier about being here than I was, but I wasn’t sure if her sigh was one of nostalgia or regret. Maybe a little of both.

“Well, honey, ready to take the plunge?” she said. “See what we’re dealing with inside?”

“If it’s anything like the outside, I think we should cut our losses and go home.”
My mother shot me a wan smile as she brushed my cheek. “I know you don’t want to be here, Mia, but we need to finally sell this place, especially now that your dad’s gone. Besides, Dr. Hershel thinks it will be good for you to come back. You know, for closure.”

“Psychiatrists love to throw around terms like closure.

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