Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 60,000
Pitch: A small-town teen makes a reluctant move to the Upper East Side and realizes she’s living a twisted retelling of Dorothy’s travels in Oz—starring her controlling Aunt Emily as the Wicked Witch.
Megan doesn’t even bother to pull off the road. My ballsy friend parks in the westbound lane of Highway 57, right in front of the barricade. We duck under the police tape and walk as close as we dare to the crumbled brick and twisted metal remains of Mason Academy, the small private school we were supposed to graduate from next June.
The air smells hot, charred, like the stand of blackened trees bordering the now mangled electrical substation. Mr. Henry’s brand new barn can’t be more than a hundred yards from the decimation, standing there completely unharmed. It’s amazing what was hit and what’s left intact, like some petulant giant stomped down the road, destroying only the structures that lay in its path.
“Mother of shit,” Megan mumbles, nudging the corner of a mud-caked textbook with her foot. “I thought I’d be happy to see it this way. Does that make me an ass?”
“You don’t look happy.”
She turns to face me. Her dark eyebrows knit together. “Are you crying?” she asks, starting toward me. I press my fingers to the corners of my eyes and yeah, I guess I am.
“Thea, stop it. You’re gonna make me cry.”
I wipe my hands on the front of my skirt. “We should leave before someone comes,” I tell her.
Megan lifts her arms, palms up, and takes a 360-degree survey. “I’m surprised we’re the only ones here.”