Title: The Deepest Lake
Category: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy (Own Voices OCD)
Word Count: 50,000
Pitch: Ever since her dad’s accident, Pearl counts everything by twos to keep everyone safe. It works, she swears—at least until a freak storm sweeps a mind-reading girl with a death wish into her backyard.
First 250 words of manuscript:
When the storm hit last summer, the Girl was in her underwater house at the bottom of the lake, pacing the halls in her long white dress. She wasn’t dead, not yet. I hadn’t even met her. I was hiding in my bed from the thunder, and the rain was aiming for me, smacking my window so hard the glass shook, just like me.
I called for him like I was still a little kid, like he could still climb the stairs and keep me safe. Like he wasn’t out cold from his pain pills most nights.
I should have known better. He never checked on me, not anymore. I checked on him.
So I forced myself out of bed, and I trudged down the stairs by twos, my hands over my ears. Like always, I skipped the odd steps, because they were odd, or because I was odd, or both.
In the living room, Dad was sprawled out in his La-Z-Boy, sound asleep, like the sky wasn’t exploding. Like the world wasn’t out-of-control.
“Dad! Wake up!”
He didn’t move, not an inch, but at least he snored. At least he was breathing. In the dark, I couldn’t see the brace and screws along his leg. I imagined the storm could melt them away. I imagined I’d give anything for that. But I did not imagine the Girl was rising up out of the lake and into the air. Spinning toward us. Toward me.