Genre: YA Contemporary with a Speculative twist
Word Count: 64,000
Pitch: Teen genius Daniel Frank's desperate experiment brings his first love back to life. Now she's dying again, doctors are baffled, he's running out of ideas, and she's running out of time.
Waiting for Jane at the bottom of the staircase, I have this weird, jittery feeling, but I’m trying not to fidget since her dad and her grandma are standing right next to me. The slightest movement seems to echo off the marble floors in the entryway, and the only other sound is her grandma’s breathing. I feel like I’m in a funeral parlor or something.
Crap, I still can’t believe Jane asked me to prom.
She told me I should come meet her dad, but he’s barely said a word since he opened the door to let me in, and I can’t think of anything to say. I keep looking up at the top of the staircase, hoping Jane will suddenly appear.
Her dad clears his throat. “Did you use stem cells?”
“Wh-what?” Wow, I totally wasn’t expecting that. “I mean, yes.” I guess Jane must have told him about my internship. “Our research used stem cells, but not the embryonic kind.” I try to smile. People are usually happy with that answer.
But her dad just makes this ‘hmmph’ sound, and his expression doesn’t change.
Jane’s little sister is hiding behind a doorway, staring at me. I kind of wish I could hide too. Underneath my rented tuxedo I’m covered in sweat—thanks to the bike ride over here—and now my skin feels clammy. “We were able to successfully revive dead organs.” I glance down at my polished black dress shoes, then back at her dad.
There’s no hint of a smile on his face.